IMDb > City of Fear (1959)

City of Fear (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Up 29% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Steven Ritch (written by) and
Robert Dillon (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for City of Fear on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
February 1959 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A City in terror... Chills for millions... See more »
Plot:
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:
User Reviews:
Let's Make LA Really Glow! See more (15 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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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
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Additional Details

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

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:
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 »
Quotes:
Lt. Mark Richards:Did any of his friends contact you?
Eddie Crown:[Shakes his head] Just his girl once. The reason I remember is because once you've seen her, you've seen her.
[He gives a knowing smile]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Little Nicky (2000)See more »

FAQ

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Let's Make LA Really Glow!, 3 July 2007
Author: dougdoepke from Claremont, USA

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.

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