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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

Cobalt-60 is easily shielded and would not have the adverse effects it does if kept in a lead container. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John Wallace: [to Richards concerning the mayor notifying the public of the danger] You could tell them it won't wipe out the whole city. There's not enough of it. It's not a bomb. However... it will contaminate entire farms, milk, butter, eggs, get carried into markets on meat and produce, into theaters and restaurants, get carried around by people on their clothes, on their shoes, on insects and birds... and on children... Then you'll have to describe the symptoms to watch out for - hoarse coughing, heavy ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Final Girls (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the one about something lethal loose in a big city
24 March 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"City of Fear" is a 1959 B movie starring Vince Edwards, Patricia Blair, and Lyle Talbot. Directed by Irving Lerner.

Vince Edwards is the imaginatively named Vince, a prison escapee who believes he's carrying a lot of heroin in a cannister. He plans to sell it and then take off with his girlfriend (Blair). There are a few people in his way, but in his drive from the person, he's able to dispatch them. One of them is his fellow escapee, who becomes very sick and dies.

Vince is actually carrying a lethal cannister of cobalt-6, and it's making him ill, though he persists with his plans. Meanwhile, city officials know what he has and are desperate to find him.

This script has been made I don't know how many times, most notably Panic in the Streets (1950). It's fairly well executed here by Lerner's touches, one where Vince drives away from a gas station and the cannister has rolled out of his car, and another where he's trying to open it, to no avail.

I never considered the brooding Vince Edwards to be much of an actor. He's Ben Casey gone rogue here. Patricia Blair is a knockout. The actress Kathie Browne has a nice cameo - she later appeared in many television shows and was married to Darren McGavin. Finally, one of the great character actors, Lyle Talbot, enjoyed a 56-year career before dying at the age of 94. At the time of his death, he was working on his biography. A shame he didn't finish it - it would have been a great read.


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