7.2/10
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21 user 35 critic

Hell Is a City (1960)

In Britain, a Manchester police inspector becomes obsessed with capturing a criminal who escapes from prison.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 2 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Det. Inspector Harry Martineau
... Don Starling
... Gus Hawkins
... Julia Martineau
... Chloe Hawkins
Joseph Tomelty ... Furnisher Steele
... Doug Savage
Geoffrey Frederick ... Det. Devery
... Lucretia 'Lucky' Lusk
Charles Houston ... Clogger Roach
... Tawny Jakes
Charles Morgan ... Laurie Lovett
... Bert Darwin
Dickie Owen ... Bragg
Lois Daine ... Cecily
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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:

From Dives to Dames...From Nightsticks to Nightmares...From Dusk to Dawn... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hetzjagd  »

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Box Office

Budget:

£115,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

The dead girl on the moors appears to blink but in fact she doesn't and it is her hair blowing in front of her eyes which causes this illusion. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Martineau: You on or off duty?
Devery: I'm just going off.
Inspector Martineau: Come on, I'll buy you a drink.
Devery: Well it's very nice of you, but I'm afraid...
Inspector Martineau: Teach her to wait. That's one thing a policeman's girl must always learn.
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 »

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User Reviews

 
excellent ahead of its time Brit-noir
9 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

I watched Hell is a City on DVD again the other day and was struck by how fresh and undated the story and acting still appears. It was a breakout Brit film for 1959/60- with its semi-documentary approach to police procedure,meshed with a tough on women approach and attempt to show relationships that don't have happy endings. On the DVD there is an alternate ending shown, which the director Val Guest claims to have no knowledge of at all! It's much weaker i think than Guest's own choice of ending. Stanley Baker is excellent; successfully showing all dimensions to an Inspector's working/personal life; Billie Whitelaw got nominated that year with the BAA for in the Newcomer category and deservedly so. All the support cast flesh out their characters' quirks very well. Actual location shooting (in this case-Manchester) was still quite unusual and there is a world of difference between this and a studio based crime thriller of maybe 10 years before.


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