While New York Sleeps. 1920. USA. Directed by Charles J. Brabin. With Estelle Taylor, William Locke, Marc McDermott. Silent, with piano accompaniment. 88 min.
Shot in Fox’s Manhattan studio with extensive location work around the city, While New York Sleeps offers an unusual three-part structure, with episodes set on Long Island, Times Square, and the East Side, with the same three actors—Estelle Taylor, Harry Southern and Marc McDermott—playing very different roles in each. Director and cowriter Charles Brabin was a veteran of the pioneer Edison Studios who later married Fox star Theda Bara; he remains best known for the shockingly brutal MGM gangster film The Beast of the City, which this film anticipates with its raucous final shoot-out. 35mm print from MoMA’s archive