Old country traditions and values cause Ron Howard to honor the pleas of his brother (played by Mickey Rourke), a quadriplegic following a motorcycle accident, to end his life, and then to ... See full summary »
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Erik Van Looy
A simple self-destructive drifter and tough small-time boxer with a brain injury that could kill him meets and falls for a cute beach carnival owner, Ruby, but also befriends a sleazy friendly criminal, Wesley, who's planing a big score.
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Anthony Michael Hall
David Janssen gives a superb final screen performance
City in Fear, a 1980 ABC made for television movie,which is loosely based on the Son of Sam murders, is television at it's best. Anyone who gets the chance to view this movie will be in for a treat. The viewer can't lose with veteran actors like Robert Vaughn, Susan Sullivan, Mickey Rourke, Perry King and the forever amazing, but often underrated actor, David Janssen.
David Janssen would have been an Oscar nominee in films had he lived. The character of Vince Perrino played by Janssen is that of a frustrated, cynical alcoholic columnist, who is a man of many excesses one of them being alcohol. Janssen is hired by a wealthy Robert Vaughn, who recalls Janssen as a legendary columnist, who he (Vaugh)hopes can revamp a Los Angeles newspaper that has just been brought by Vaughn, when a series of murders of young women begins, that will by the end of the movie create a reign of terror in the city.
Watching this movie is almost like gradually seeing the curtains close in on the career of one of the finest actors in film and television. David Janssen died of a heart attack on February 13, 1980, he was 48 years old. City in Fear was a three (3) hour movie of the week. City in Fear aired on ABC a month after his death.
City in Fear is like two movies in one for it gives the viewer deep insight how newspapers and television news (Media) will go to extreme lengths to sell papers in a time of a national crisis like Son of Sam. It closely follows the killer's moves, played brilliantly for that time in television by Mickey Rourke whose victims are young women. Rourke would go on to make successful films such as 91/2 Weeks, Angel Heart and Barfly in the 1980's. David Janssen performance is in a class all by it's self, no one in this film can touch him. In my opinion David Janssen should have been awarded an Emmy posthumously for City in Fear. This movie was on video in the 1990's, additional copies may can still be found. City in Fear is not on DVD. Check this movie out, you will not be disappointed. R.I.P. David JANSSEN.
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