Hell Is a City (1960)

  |  Crime, Thriller

Hell Is a City (1960) Poster

In Britain, a Manchester police inspector becomes obsessed with capturing a criminal who escapes from prison.


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1 November 2015 | lee_eisenberg
| Hammer noir
Hammer Films, best known for horror movies, stepped into film noir with Val Guest's "Hell Is a City". Stanley Baker plays a police inspector who suspects that an escaped criminal will head for Manchester to collect some loot. The dreary look of the city is as much a character as any of the actors. The post-war British film industry wasn't generally known for these sorts of movies, but they did an excellent job here. The chase at the end of the movie is impressive but I thought that the most effective scene was the whole sequence where the criminal hides in the woman's house.

I've liked every film noir that I've seen, but HIAC has to be one of the best. Baker's forceful performance as the hardened inspector is the epitome of acting. I recommend the movie.

The rest of the cast includes Donald Pleasance (Dr. Loomis in the "Halloween" franchise), Billie Whitelaw (the nanny in "The Omen") and Joseph Tomelty (the father of Sting's ex-wife).

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