dangerous criminal is on the loose,
having killed a warder during his
escape from prison just five years into a
fourteen-year sentence for a jewellery
robbery, and a tough, dedicated police
inspector is determined to track him
down before he strikes again in Hell Is
HAVING BROKEN OUT OF PRISON, jewellery robber and now murderer Don Starling
(John Crawford: The Enforcer) returns to Manchester and is looking for
a safe place to hide. He finds it with one of his former associates, Laurie
Lovett (Charles Morgan: Sergeant Cork) and they plan another theft to
get Starling enough money to get a fake passport and flee the country.
Harry Martineau (Stanley Baker: The Cruel Sea; Zulu; Accident), a tough
and dedicated police inspector who originally arrested Starling and knew him
when he was growing up, believes Starling who has never divulged
the name of his accomplices will return to Manchester to recover
the stolen jewels he hid in an unknown place before his conviction. Martineau
is determined to track him down and is hot on his trail.
Suspenseful and well
cast, Hell Is A City
is dark and moody; with
development and a well-
has a complicated private life. He and his wife Julia (Maxine Audley) are at
loggerheads with each other, arguing over starting a family and Harry's long
working hours. And Barmaid Lucretia "Lucky" Lusk (Vanda Godsell), who used to
be Starling's girlfriend, is in love with him.
Starling soon makes his presence felt. He kidnaps a young woman, Cecily (Lois
Daine), who works for turf accountant Gus Hawkins (Donald Pleasance) when she
leaves the betting shop with thousands of pounds worth of takings secured to
her wrist in a leather bag. As he has been spotted in Manchester, Starling is
instantly a suspect for the robbery.
When things go horribly wrong, the gang members separate and Starling is again
looking for somewhere to hide out. His former girlfriend ChloŽ (the lovely Billie
Whitelaw: The Omen; Frenzy) is now married to Gus Hawkins and he gets reacquainted
with her; but when her husband comes home unexpectedly Starling knocks him out
causing him to be hospitalised with concussion.
The Police are following up Starling's known contacts, including Lovett, Lucky,
ChloŽ, Steele (Joseph Tomelty), an antiques dealer who has a deaf and dumb daughter,
Silver (Sarah Branch), and Doug Savage (George A Cooper). But ultimately it
will be a battle of wits between two men who will face each other in a fight
from which only one man will walk free and Starling will not hesitate
to kill again.
At the time of its original release Hell Is A City, a 1960s Hammer film,
was acclaimed worldwide for its startling realism, shocking violence and gritty
Manchester locations. The film was nominated for two British Academy Awards,
including Best Screenplay and Most Promising Newcomer for Billie Whitelaw.
Suspenseful and well cast, Hell Is A City is dark and moody; with fine
character development and a well-paced storyline. The movie is highly watchable
with a period interest.
Hell Is A City also features: Russell Napier as Superintendent; Geoffrey
Frederick as Deverey; Charles Houston as Clogger Read; and Joby Blanchard as
Screenplay is by Val Guest, based on a novel by Maurice Procter; Music Composed
and Conducted by Stanley Black; Director of Photography is Arthur Grant BSC;
Produced by Michael Carreras and Directed by Val Guest.
Hell Is A City has been digitally remastered and is out on DVD on 8 October
2012. Feature running Time 92 Minutes Approximately | RRP: £15.99 | Extras:
"Suspenseful and well cast, Hell Is A City is dark and moody; with fine
character development and a well-paced storyline" Maggie Woods,