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The Frightened City (1961)

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.


John Lemont


Leigh Vance (original story), John Lemont (original story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Herbert Lom ... Waldo Zhernikov
John Gregson ... Det. Inspector Sayers
Sean Connery ... Paddy Damion
Alfred Marks ... Harry Foulcher
Yvonne Romain ... Anya
Olive McFarland Olive McFarland ... Sadie
Frederick Piper Frederick Piper ... Ogle
John Stone John Stone ... Hood
David Davies David Davies ... Alf Peters
Tom Bowman Tom Bowman ... Tanky Thomas
Robert Cawdron ... Nero
George Pastell ... Sanchetti
Patrick Holt ... Supt. Carter
Sheena Marshe Sheena Marshe ... Avril (as Sheena Marsh)
Patrick Jordan ... Frankie Farmer


In London's West End, crooked mob accountant Waldo Zhernikov meets with gangster and nightclub owner Harry Foulcher to create a new crime syndicate. Waldo suggests that Harry recruit the five most prolific mobsters from the West End and create a syndicate with Harry as a boss. Every member of the syndicate would still control his usual territory and they would all evenly divide the profits, after paying Waldo his customary 20 per cent fee. During a meeting, they all agree to the plan. Their racket is the protection business. They force many small merchants and business owners to pay a monthly protection fee. Most victims comply out of fear. Those who refuse, are intimidated, beaten or have their businesses vandalized by hired thugs. The police does what it can to stop these acts but the resources and manpower are stretched to the limit. Detective Inspector Sayers is in charge of the West End rackets investigation. But witnesses are afraid to talk to the police. The crime syndicate had... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A city terrorised by its own evil! See more »


Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


Along with a couple of others, this film contributed to Sean Connery being cast as James Bond. See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening title sequence, when actors and crew are listed, many of the names are displayed one by one on successive beats of The Shadows' famous title music. See more »


Referenced in Sean Connery: A BAFTA Tribute (1990) See more »


Marvelous Lie
Lyrics by Bunny Lewis
Music by Norrie Paramor
Sung by Helen Shapiro (uncredited)
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User Reviews

Undistinguished but solid
1 March 2014 | by Marco_TrevisiolSee all my reviews

'The Frightened City' stars both Sean Connery and Herbert Lom just before their iconic appearances in the Bond & Pink Panther series respectively (although Lom already had a substantial film career before The Pink Panther series).

But it wasn't the first time they appeared together, having appeared in 1957's 'Hell Drivers'. And it's this comparison that weakens TFC as while both films are similarly hard-nosed, rough-edged action films, HD is superior more interesting characters, compelling drama and more vivid action scenes.

That isn't to say TFC is a bad film - it's solidly entertaining with a good atmosphere and Connery displaying the charisma that was about to make him a major star (plus a nicely underplayed turn from Lom as the villain). But it's too conventional in its plotting and lacking great action scenes to be up to HD's level.

Still, TFC is a decent film and worth a look

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Release Date:

20 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Frightened City See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zodiac Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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