MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 23,118 this week

City of Fear (1959)

6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 451 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 11 critic

A vicious killer escapes from San Quentin with a cannister of what he believes to be heroin but is actually a radioactive substance that threatens all Los Angeles.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 9999 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
a list of 35 titles
created 28 Jan 2014
 
list image
a list of 613 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 10000 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 54 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "City of Fear" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: City of Fear (1959)

City of Fear (1959) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of City of Fear.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Sniper (1952)
Crime | Film-Noir | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sniper kills young brunettes as the police attempt to grapple with the psychology of the unknown assailant.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Arthur Franz, Adolphe Menjou, Gerald Mohr
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powelll, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf
Breakthrough (1950)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An American infantry unit, from its pre-invasion training to combat in Europe.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: David Brian, John Agar, Frank Lovejoy
Human Desire (1954)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Korean War vet returns to his job as a railroad engineer and becomes involved in a sordid affair with a co-worker's wife and murder.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford
Edge of Fury (1958)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A psychopathic young beachcomber pretends to befriend a mother and two daughters living at their summer home.

Directors: Robert J. Gurney Jr., Irving Lerner
Stars: Michael Higgins, Lois Holmes, Jean Allison
Cornered (1945)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Canadian flyer Laurence Gerard finds that his wife has been murdered by a French collaborator. His quest for justice leads him to Switzerland and Argentina.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Dick Powell, Walter Slezak, Micheline Cheirel
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a reporter claims that New York police are on the take letting the mob run its horse parlors at will, a shocked District Attorney Michael Norris decide to do something about it. Not ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Wendkos
Stars: Darren McGavin, Margaret Hayes, Warren Stevens
City of Fear (Video 2000)
Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

When reporter Steve Roberts acts on a call from his good friend, Dr. Charlie Venco, urging him to leave Seattle and report on a hot scientific story in Bulgaria, he ends up in a world of ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Roper
Stars: Gary Daniels, Carol Campbell, Richard Clarkin
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-military accountant is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate the mob in Chicago in an attempt to break open the rackets. To complicate his job, two women stand in his way, each with their own agenda.

Director: Fred F. Sears
Stars: Dennis O'Keefe, Abbe Lane, Paul Stewart
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four vets attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer try to rob a Rno Casino and pull off the perfect crime.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Brian Keith
Nightfall (1957)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a series of bizarre coincidences artist finds himself falsely accused of bank robbery and murder and is pursued by the authorities and the real killers.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Aldo Ray, Anne Bancroft, Brian Keith
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Social worker tries to befriend local slum gang.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, James Whitmore
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Vince Ryker
...
Chief Jensen
John Archer ...
Lt. Mark Richards
Steven Ritch ...
Dr. John Wallace
...
June Marlowe
Kelly Thordsen ...
Detective Sgt. Hank Johnson
Joseph Mell ...
Eddie Crown
Sherwood Price ...
Pete Hallon
...
Jeanne (as Cathy Browne)
Edit

Storyline

Vicious drug dealer Vince Ryker escapes from San Quentin with another prisoner after stabbing a guard to death and stealing what he believes to be a cannister filled with experimental heroin from the prison hospital. In reality the container is filled with cobalt-60, a highly radioactive substance which threatens the entire city if it is somehow opened. The ruthless Ryker dumps his dying cellmate and murders a bypassing motorist, burning his body beyond recognition. Assuming a new identity, Ryker heads for Los Angeles to become reunited with his beautiful girlfriend and Crown, a corrupt businessman and front man for Ryker's drug business. Fully aware of the potential dangers of the situation, the authorities are engaged in race against time to recover the cannister and avoid citywide panic. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A City in terror... Chills for millions... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I polis tou fovou  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Towards the end you see a policeman in uniform in front of a door. Look at the holster on the right hip. It is what is called a "clam shell" holster. The holster is cut in half and held together with a spring. To release you put your finger into the holster and into the trigger guard. You push a button and the holster springs open releasing the revolver. The danger is, if you don't push the button, you can't get the revolver out. These are no longer used. See more »

Goofs

Cobalt-60 is easily shielded and would not have the adverse effects it does if kept in a lead container. See more »

Quotes

Vince Ryker: Let me take a look at you. You haven't changed.
Vince Ryker: [Her expression turns serious, and he looks down] You have changed. The first year you take it, and the second year you change. Then you get out.
June Marlowe: Not this way.
Vince Ryker: What difference does it make? I'm out the right way. Could you have waited eight years?
June Marlowe: I'd have waited.
Vince Ryker: For what? An ex-con? Do you know the difference between a con and an ex-con? Well, there isn't any. You're just dead meat, dishwashing the rest of your life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Little Nicky (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Let's Make LA Really Glow!
3 July 2007 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

In 1958, director Irving Lerner scraped together enough money to make two poverty row features that Columbia released. The first, Murder By Contract, is one of the fine sleeper classics of low-budget film-making, Vince Edwards as a professional hit-man.. By virtue of that film, Andrew Sarris includes a paragraph on Lerner in his seminal book on film directors and auteur theory, American Cinema.

Unfortunately, the second film doesn't measure up to the first. Still, City of Fear has its moments, particularly in the hand-held location shots that lend some much needed pacing. And that's a key problem with this thriller-- it stalls whenever the scenes shift to the offices where Archer and Talbot as police officials add little energy needed to rev up the chase. Thus we get a kind of jerky effect that can't sustain the story momentum.

And a good story premise it is, as the authorities try to track down Edwards before he can loose a big dose of radio-active cobalt on LA. In my book, Edwards was an interesting actor at this early stage, a genuinely commanding presence in a lot of better-than-average B-films. There's also the under-rated Kathie Browne who could be a pixie one minute and a hellion the next (though her part here is small). Steven Ritch too, is an interestingly obscure figure, collaborating on a number of B-level scripts as well as acting in them. And what guy could pass up a chance at the really luscious Patricia Blair-- move over Marilyn!

Anyway, it looks like Sarris was right-- Lerner was a one-shot wonder. Nonetheless, he manages a few neat tricks on display here. All things considered, this minor thriller is still worth a look-see, even 50 years later.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss City of Fear (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?