MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 12,448 this week

Hell Is a City (1960)

7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 426 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 20 critic

Committed but seen-it-all police inspector Martineau rightly guesses that after a violent jailbreak a local criminal will head home to Manchester to pick up the spoils from his last job. ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
0Check in
0Share...

Related News

The Forgotten: Phantom Rides
| MUBI
DVD Review: 'Hell is a City' (rerelease)
| CineVue

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 27 Oct 2010
 
a list of 30 titles
created 05 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 25 Jan 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Hell Is a City" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Hell Is a City (1960)

Hell Is a City (1960) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Hell Is a City.
Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Cut off by the Japanese advance into Burma, Captain Langford (Stanley Baker) and his exhausted British troops take over an enemy-held jungle village. Despite the protests of an elderly ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Stanley Baker, Guy Rolfe, Leo McKern
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A disgruntled veteran recruits a group of disgraced collegues to perform a bank robbery with military precision.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Jack Hawkins, Nigel Patrick, Roger Livesey
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An ex-con who's taken part in the robbery of a racetrack is caught and sent back to prison, but he won't tell his fellow gang members where he's stashed the loot. The gang kidnaps his ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan
Essex Boys (2000)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The film is based loosely around events in December 1995 that culminated in the murders of three drug dealers in Rettendon, Essex, UK. On 6th December Patrick Tate, Craig Rolfe and Tony ... See full summary »

Director: Terry Winsor
Stars: Charlie Creed-Miles, Sean Bean, Gareth Milne
Dr. Crippen (1963)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The real-life story of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen, who was hanged in London in 1910 for poisoning his wife so he could be with his young lover. But was he truly guilty of murder?

Director: Robert Lynn
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Coral Browne, Samantha Eggar
Brighton Rock (1947)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. ... See full summary »

Director: John Boulting
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Hermione Baddeley, William Hartnell
Adventure | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A kindly English botanist and a gruff American scientist lead an expedition to the Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Forrest Tucker, Peter Cushing, Maureen Connell
Payback (TV Movie 1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Kathryn runs a restaurant but one night she calls the police after she sees a suspicious man waiting in his car. However Kathryn sees one of the three police officers, Kaleen, assault the ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Cameron
Stars: Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Denis Arndt
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A small time thief is recruited by a mobster to help with the racketeering. He doesn't like the job, but with the mob on his back, a femme fatale in his bed and a sick friend to care for, he will have to keep all his wits about him.

Director: John Lemont
Stars: Herbert Lom, Sean Connery, John Gregson
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Deep in Malaya, as World War II is rapidly coming to an end, men, women and children, trapped by the Japanese invasion, are held captive in the Blood Island prison camp. Knowing that ... See full summary »

Director: Val Guest
Stars: André Morell, Carl Möhner, Walter Fitzgerald
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Struggle between a Liverpool Juvenile Liaison officer and a young and dangerous pyromaniac.

Director: Basil Dearden
Stars: Stanley Baker, Anne Heywood, David McCallum
Mystery | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After surviving a traumatic car accident, a race car driver travels to the Cote D'Azur to recover but is plagued by an urge to strangle his wife.

Director: Val Guest
Stars: Claude Dauphin, Diane Cilento, Ronald Lewis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Inspector Harry Martineau
John Crawford ...
Don Starling
...
Gus Hawkins
...
Chloe Hawkins
Joseph Tomelty ...
Furnisher Steele
George A. Cooper ...
Doug Savage
Geoffrey Frederick ...
Devery
Vanda Godsell ...
Lucky Lusk
Charles Houston ...
Clogger Roach
Joby Blanshard ...
Tawny Jakes
Charles Morgan ...
Laurie Lovett
Peter Madden ...
Bert Darwin
Dickie Owen ...
Bragg
Lois Daine ...
Cecily Wainwright
...
Commercial Traveller
Edit

Storyline

Committed but seen-it-all police inspector Martineau rightly guesses that after a violent jailbreak a local criminal will head home to Manchester to pick up the spoils from his last job. Martineau is soon investigating a murder during a street robbery which seems to lead back to the same villain. Concentrating on the case and using his local contacts to try and track the gang down, he is aware he is not keeping his own personal life together as well as he might. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Temptation is a woman, murder is a man! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hetzjagd  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Val Guest:  Customer at a table in the pub ordering a beer See more »

Goofs

(at around 15 mins) When the driver says ,"Here we go," director Val Guest and another member of the crew are reflected in the side of the car. See more »

Crazy Credits

"The production of this film was greatly assisted by the full cooperation of the Chief Constable and the members of the Manchester City Police Force, for which the producers wish to express their thanks." (opening credit) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Why do we always try to be like America?
19 November 2001 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Inspector Harry Martineau is a hard-edged police man in gritty Manchester. When a major criminal, Don Stirling, escapes from jail by killing a guard Martineau makes it his person responsibility to hunt him down. Stirling gets his old gang together to steal £4000 from wealthy businessman Gus. However the theft goes wrong and a young girl is killed and the money begins to leave behind a trail that will lead to the gang.

This desperately wants to be an English 1950's American style film noir. It has the gritty urban title, it has a moody lead actor with an iffy moral code, a pumping jazz soundtrack and is surprisingly tough. It isn't completely successful because of one main problem - it's in England. In Manchester. It's tough even for someone who lives here to take it as seriously as the Bogart-esque equivalents. It's an unfair criticism perhaps but it is off-putting to hear the thick Yorkshire accents in the setting of an urban crime drama.

There is quite a lot to like here. The plot is interesting with gritty levels, the whole idea of the money being dyed and staining hands is a good concept and only seems stretched occasionally and is actually a very effective way of leaving a money trail. The jazz score does give the film a real feel of a urban crime zone, but at times it feels a bit out of place with some of the scenes.

The 2 lead performances are mixed in their roles. Stanley Baker is good as Martineau mixing the role with a bad guy edge by being distant from his wife etc, but he isn't as convincing as his American equivalents. You never are totally convinced that he is anything but a good guy, with his only real faults being his commitment to work over his wife. John Crawford is better as Stirling who benefits from not having an English accent. He plays the violent, cruel criminal well and is totally convincing. It's also good to see Donald Pleasance in a small role as Gus, but his accent is frighteningly thick.

The film is surprisingly tough. I assumed that this would be a lesser film because it's British but this has quite strong language (although not by today's standards) and is very violent considering when it was made. There is quite a bit of violence towards women all of which gives the film a much more believable very tough edge that adds to it's credentials as a crime thriller.

Overall a strong attempt to make a British film noir. It loses something with Baker being too clean-cut in his role and the Manchester setting and accents are hard to line up mentally with the action. But hey - it's pretty good.


11 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where are the sequels simon-king376
Maxine Audley? spookyrat1
Discuss Hell Is a City (1960) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?