The Shakedown (1959 film)

The Shakedown is a 1959 crime-drama film directed by John Lemont, starring Terence Morgan, Hazel Court, and Donald Pleasence.[1] It was filmed in the United Kingdom.

The Shakedown
"The Shakedown" (1959).jpg
Original British poster
Directed byJohn Lemont
Produced byNorman Williams
Written byJohn Lemont
Leigh Vance
Music byPhilip Green
Theme tone "SHAKEDOWN". sung by Kathy Kirby.
CinematographyBrendan J. Stafford
Edited byBernard Gribble
Distributed byJ. Arthur Rank Film Distributors
Release date
January 1960 (1960-01)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film was banned in Finland (known there as Häväistyksen kauppiaat).


Augie Cortona, a recently released convict, opens up a photographic studio and modelling school that serves as a front for a service enabling amateurs to take erotic photographs while blackmailing some of the participants. Meanwhile, a longstanding feud with a rival gangster who took over his operation while he was imprisoned continues. Scotland Yard decide to investigate Cortona by sending an officer, Mildred Eyde, to operate undercover by enrolling as a student model. Cortona is smitten by Eyde and begins to woo her.

Eyde's cover is blown when another criminal recognizes her. As Cortona decides what to do with her, police raid the studio in order to rescue her. Cortona tries to flee but is shot by a waiting blackmail victim who has been pushed too far by repeated threats of exposure and demands for ever more money. As Cortona is dying, Mildred kneels down to comfort him. With his last breath, Cortona says "Bitch". Mildred is led away, upset.[2]


Critical receptionEdit

TV Guide wrote: "the performances are all strong and believable, and fast-paced direction helps to gloss over some of the inadequacies in the predictable script."[2]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "The Shakedown | BFI | BFI". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b "The Shakedown Review". Retrieved 10 May 2014.