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Steven Ritch (written by) and
Robert Dillon (written by)
View company contact information for City of Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1959 (USA) See more »
A City in terror... Chills for millions... See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(2 articles)
The Black Sleep
 (From Trailers from Hell. 23 February 2016, 10:33 AM, PST)

Nintendo 3Ds goes retro with Sega Game Gear Classics out this week!
 (From Blogomatic3000. 26 March 2012, 1:37 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
the one about something lethal loose in a big city See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Vince Edwards ... Vince Ryker

Lyle Talbot ... Chief Jensen
John Archer ... Lt. Mark Richards
Steven Ritch ... Dr. John Wallace

Patricia Blair ... June Marlowe

Kelly Thordsen ... Detective Sgt. Hank Johnson
Joseph Mell ... Eddie Crown
Sherwood Price ... Pete Hallon

Kathie Browne ... Jeanne (as Cathy Browne)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Larry J. Blake ... Police Sergeant (uncredited)
Jean Harvey ... Landlady (uncredited)
Michael Mark ... Restaurant Proprietor (uncredited)

Directed by
Irving Lerner 
Writing credits
Steven Ritch (written by) and
Robert Dillon (written by)

Produced by
Leon Chooluck .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Lucien Ballard 
Film Editing by
Robert Lawrence 
Art Direction by
Jack Poplin 
Set Decoration by
Lyle B. Reifsnider 
Costume Design by
Norman Martien 
Makeup Department
Ted Coodley .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Louis Brandt .... assistant director
Art Department
Charles Stokes .... property master
Sound Department
Jack Solomon .... sound
Music Department
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor
John Williams .... musician (uncredited)
Other crew
Jack Barton .... title designer
Pat Miller .... script supervisor
Joe Steinberg .... dialogue coach
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
81 min | West Germany:75 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Sound)

Did You Know?

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 »
Continuity: When Vince Edwards runs in panic from his room after chasing out his landlady, the wall painting is crooked and there is nothing on small table beneath it. When the police enter a short time later, the picture is straight and there is a milk carton and packaging from a sandwich on the small table.See more »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Final Girls (2015)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
the one about something lethal loose in a big city, 24 March 2014
Author: blanche-2 from United States

"City of Fear" is a 1959 B movie starring Vince Edwards, Patricia Blair, and Lyle Talbot. Directed by Irving Lerner.

Vince Edwards is the imaginatively named Vince, a prison escapee who believes he's carrying a lot of heroin in a cannister. He plans to sell it and then take off with his girlfriend (Blair). There are a few people in his way, but in his drive from the person, he's able to dispatch them. One of them is his fellow escapee, who becomes very sick and dies.

Vince is actually carrying a lethal cannister of cobalt-6, and it's making him ill, though he persists with his plans. Meanwhile, city officials know what he has and are desperate to find him.

This script has been made I don't know how many times, most notably Panic in the Streets (1950). It's fairly well executed here by Lerner's touches, one where Vince drives away from a gas station and the cannister has rolled out of his car, and another where he's trying to open it, to no avail.

I never considered the brooding Vince Edwards to be much of an actor. He's Ben Casey gone rogue here. Patricia Blair is a knockout. The actress Kathie Browne has a nice cameo - she later appeared in many television shows and was married to Darren McGavin. Finally, one of the great character actors, Lyle Talbot, enjoyed a 56-year career before dying at the age of 94. At the time of his death, he was working on his biography. A shame he didn't finish it - it would have been a great read.

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