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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 »


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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 Patrick Jordan ... Frankie Farmer


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A city terrorised by its own evil! See more »


Crime | Drama


See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 July 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Peitsche See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zodiac Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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 »


The Frightened City
(instrumental) (opening titles) (uncredited)
Music by Norrie Paramor
Performed by Studio Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

THE FRIGHTENED CITY (John Lemont, 1961) **1/2
23 January 2009 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

One of a clutch of vintage British thrillers released by Anchor Bay Entertainment (back when it was still going by that name and enjoying its deserved status as one of the major specialist DVD labels) that also included two superior Stanley Baker efforts – Val Guest's HELL IS A CITY (1959) and Joseph Losey's THE CRIMINAL (1960). That THE FRIGHTENING CITY comes up short when compared to these two movies is perhaps unsurprising in view of the fact that director John Lemont – best-known today (if at all) for the campy monster flick KONGA (1961) – is clearly not the equal of either Guest or Losey at the top of their game. In fact, there is little evidence here of anything as individualistic as Guest's combination of wit and grit or Losey's extraordinary expressionist pyrotechnics and, ultimately, the film rises or falls on the strength of its actors. A pre-Bond Sean Connery may be third billed but he commendably carries the film on his shoulders for much of its running time; smooth-talking shady lawyer Herbert Lom is also quite good but his screen time is much less than his top billing might suggest; lock-jawed copper John Gregson adequately stands up to both men, pitting them one against the other when Connery's friend (a reluctant 'director' in Lom's crime syndicate) is shot in cold blood by Lom's sleazy partner (a scene-stealing turn from Alfred Marks). Of course, a gangster is only as good as his moll and Lom's is ambitious French singer Yvonne Romain (actually, she's half-Maltese!) who soon gets under Connery's skin (or should I say bed sheets) but does not think twice of betraying his whereabouts to the police when they threaten her with deportation! Also featured in the cast are Kenneth Griffith (as Connery's crippled ex-partner from his cat burglar days) and Italian restaurateur George Pastell (who soon finds out that 'accidents will happen' when one does not pay his dues in protection money).

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