The Frightened City
The Frightened City is a 1961 British neo-noir gangster film about extortion rackets and gang warfare in the West End of London. It stars Herbert Lom, John Gregson and a pre-Bond Sean Connery, who plays a burglar called Paddy Damion. He is lured into a protection racket by oily mobster Harry Foulcher (Alfred Marks), in order to support his partner in crime Wally Smith (Kenneth Griffith), who is injured in a robbery.
|The Frightened City|
Original film poster
|Directed by||John Lemont|
|Produced by||John Lemont|
|Written by||Leigh Vance|
|Music by||Norrie Paramor|
|Distributed by||Allied Artists Pictures Corporation US|
Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors UK
Although Connery's character has a girlfriend, he seduces the beautiful Anya (Yvonne Romain), the mistress of the seedy and sinister crime boss Zhernikov (Herbert Lom). John Gregson plays Detective Inspector Sayers who is dedicated to tackling organised crime.
The Shadows had a hit single, no. 3 on the British charts in May 1961, with the main theme. It was subsequently covered by Peter Frampton in the 1996 collection Twang!: A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows.
- Herbert Lom as Waldo Zhernikov
- John Gregson as Detective Inspector Sayers
- Sean Connery as Paddy Damion
- Alfred Marks as Harry Foulcher
- Yvonne Romain as Anya Bergodin
- Olive McFarland as Sadie
- Frederick Piper as Sergeant Bob Ogle
- John Stone as Hood
- David Davies as Alf Peters
- Tom Bowman as Tanky Thomas
- Robert Cawdron as Nero
- George Pastell as Sanchetti
- Patrick Holt as Superintendent Dave Carter
- Martin Wyldeck as Security Officer
- Kenneth Griffith as Wally Smith
The London premiere of “The Frightened City” took place at the Odeon Marble Arch on 9 August 1961.
In a contemporary review, Variety noted "a conventional but brisk gangster yarn," concluding that "Herbert Lom plays the brains of the crooked organization with urbane villainy and equally reliable John Gregson makes a solid, confident job of the dedicated cop. Alfred Marks is cast offbeat as Lom’s gangster lieutenant. Marks gives a rich, oily, sinister and yet often amusing portrayal of an ambitious thug who is prepared to turn killer to get his own way. Comparative newcomer, rugged Sean Connery makes a distinct impression as an Irish crook, with an eye for the ladies. Connery combines toughness, charm and Irish blarney." and more recently, AllMovie wrote, "The film itself is only of moderate interest, a gangster thriller that's engaging but not special; but the cast makes it worth watching."
- "The Frightened City". Art & Hue. 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
- "The Frightened City (1961)".
- "The Frightened City (1961) - John Lemont - Cast and Crew - AllMovie". AllMovie.
- Brown, Tony, Jon Kutner & Neil Warwick, The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums, Omnibus Press, London, 2002 p. 894
- "Twang!: A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic.
- Staff, Variety (1 January 1961). "The Frightened City".
- "The Frightened City (1961) - John Lemont - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie.
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