After being released from prison, Augie Cortona sets up a blackmail operation, fronted by a model agency. When the authorities get wind of his activities, they send in an undercover police ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Augie Cortona
Mildred Eyde
Jessel Brown
Bill Owen ...
David Spettigue
Chief Insp. Bob Jarvis
Harry H. Corbett ...
Gene Anderson ...
Eddie Byrne ...
George - Barman
John Salew ...
John Arnold
Georgina Cookson ...
Miss Firbank
Joan Haythorne ...
Miss Ogilvie
Sheila Buxton ...
Dorinda Stevens ...
Jack Lambert ...
Sgt. Kershaw
Larry Burns ...
1st Thug


After being released from prison, Augie Cortona sets up a blackmail operation, fronted by a model agency. When the authorities get wind of his activities, they send in an undercover police woman, but when she is recognised, the police need to move in on the operation, before Cortona can take his revenge. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Models were the bait for BLACKMAIL!


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

January 1960 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bandoleiros do Asfalto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sheila Buxton receives a "guest star" credit. See more »


Referenced in Piccadilly Third Stop (1960) See more »


Written by Philip Green
Sung by Sheila Buxton
See more »

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User Reviews

Astonishingly Ballsy Yet Anonymous B-movie! Grab It!
7 May 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's something rewarding about discovering a solid but unknown film from the past... like finding $50 in the pocket of a suit you haven't worn since last summer. This British gangster exploitation flick is such a film. THE SHAKEDOWN is so much better than it ought to be that it's kind of amazing. It's hardly even listed in any major movie review books. Still, I'm not ashamed to say this is without question a minor low budget UK noir gem and absolutely worthy of any crime drama (or 50s British cinema) fan's time. I saw it last year at the American Cinematheque Film Noir festival in Los Angeles and it was the wrong print! They meant to screen the American noir called SHAKEDOWN, but the audience and myself are forever grateful for the error as this movie is edgier, pulpier and just plain better.

The plot concerns a con returning after a stretch in the pokey and finding his turf has been taken over. He adapts and finds some new angles with a photography / blackmail shoppe only to get embroiled in police intrigue and a bad gangwar. As plots go, this one hangs together well despite some seemingly calculated titillatory edges. There are some unexpected and enjoyable twists thrown in as well for good measure.

The best aspect of this movie is the tough guy lingo and no-nonsense characterization. There's something particularly enjoyable about the straight ahead narrative. No smoke and mirrors or flashcut editing or deep focus trickery here; just simple, reliable point-the-camera-and- shoot storytelling. But forget any deep analysis; this is at its heart a compelling man-against-the-system tale and finally a very enjoyable moviegoing experience. Seek it out... this one is great English fun!

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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