6.4/10
753
25 user 12 critic

City of Fear (1959)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | February 1959 (USA)
A vicious killer escapes from San Quentin with a cannister of what he believes to be heroin but is actually a radioactive substance that threatens all Los Angeles.

Director:

Irving Lerner

Writers:

Steven Ritch (original screenplay), Robert Dillon (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Vince Edwards ... Vince Ryker
Lyle Talbot ... Chief Jensen
John Archer ... Lt. Mark Richards
Steven Ritch Steven Ritch ... Dr. John Wallace
Patricia Blair ... June Marlowe
Kelly Thordsen ... Detective Sgt. Hank Johnson
Joseph Mell Joseph Mell ... Eddie Crown
Sherwood Price ... Pete Hallon
Kathie Browne ... Jeanne (as Cathy Browne)
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Storyline

Vicious drug dealer Vince Ryker escapes from San Quentin with another prisoner after stabbing a guard to death and stealing what he believes to be a cannister filled with experimental heroin from the prison hospital. In reality the container is filled with cobalt-60, a highly radioactive substance which threatens the entire city if it is somehow opened. The ruthless Ryker dumps his dying cellmate and murders a bypassing motorist, burning his body beyond recognition. Assuming a new identity, Ryker heads for Los Angeles to become reunited with his beautiful girlfriend and Crown, a corrupt businessman and front man for Ryker's drug business. Fully aware of the potential dangers of the situation, the authorities are engaged in race against time to recover the cannister and avoid citywide panic. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A half crazed man in a terror crazed town! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I polis tou fovou See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orbit Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2000 cobalt-60 was unwittingly exposed in a scrap metal dump in Thailand. Several of the workers became ill and subsequently died. This was the only recorded incident involving the radioactive substance. See more »

Goofs

When Vince Edwards runs in panic from his room after chasing out his landlady, the wall painting is crooked and there is nothing on small table beneath it. When the police enter a short time later, the picture is straight and there is a milk carton and packaging from a sandwich on the small table. See more »

Quotes

Vince Ryker: Let me take a look at you. You haven't changed.
Vince Ryker: [Her expression turns serious, and he looks down] You have changed. The first year you take it, and the second year you change. Then you get out.
June Marlowe: Not this way.
Vince Ryker: What difference does it make? I'm out the right way. Could you have waited eight years?
June Marlowe: I'd have waited.
Vince Ryker: For what? An ex-con? Do you know the difference between a con and an ex-con? Well, there isn't any. You're just dead meat, dishwashing the rest of your life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Little Nicky (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Possible germ warfare in Los Angeles...and Ben Casey in his undershirt
3 July 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Pulpy, wildly overwrought, but entertaining co-feature from Columbia has a pre-"Ben Casey" Vince Edwards starring as a convict who breaks out of San Quentin with a container he thinks is "a pound of 100% snow", but instead of heroin it's actually radioactive Cobalt 60 and any exposure could decimate Los Angeles. Not a compact thriller (even at 75 minutes!), this suspense film is full of behind-the-wheel montages and bits of generic police business. Edwards smolders like a reckless mad-dog stud, yet when he's required to disguise himself as a businessman with glasses, he's adept and convincing at this transition. The other actors in the cast aren't as versatile, and the mechanical writing and directing certainly doesn't liven them up (they're all stock figures, though Vince's girlfriend does get in a few funny wisecracks down at the police station). Photographed by Lucien Ballard, the movie has a great, gritty look full of L.A.'s neighborhoods and back streets, and the tension does manage to build successfully even though just about everything in the picture is second-rate. **1/2 from ****


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