Sergio Leone Web Board

Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: drinkanddestroy on November 21, 2013, 12:00:42 AM

Title: City of Fear (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 21, 2013, 12:00:42 AM

City of Fear (1959)

cast, courtesy of wikipedia

    Vince Edwards as Vince Ryker
    Lyle Talbot as Chief Jensen
    John Archer as Lt. Mark Richards
    Steven Ritch as Dr. John Wallace
    Patricia Blair as June Marlowe
    Kelly Thordsen as Detective Sgt. Hank Johnson
    Joseph Mell as Eddie Crown
    Sherwood Price as Pete Hallon
    Kathie Browne as Jeanne (as Cathy Browne)

Previous posts:


dave jenkins: City of Fear (1959) - 7/10. An escaped con (Vince Edwards) is loose on the streets of LA with a canister of what he thinks is heroin but which in fact contains "Cobalt 60." This follow-up to Murder By Contract is Irving Lerner's Panic in the Streets, but with a nuclear angle. Great widescreen b&w photography provided by Lucien Ballard, and an impressive score from Jerry Goldsmith. The plot is little more than the premise followed to its logical conclusion, but it's entertaining enough.


cigar joe:

City of Fear (1959) Dir. by Irving Lerner, with Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer, Steven Ritch, and Patricia Blair. Edwards & a fellow inmate escape from prison stealing an ambulance and what they think is a canister of pharmaceutical grade cocaine from the prison hospital, what it actually is Cobalt 60, a highly dangerous radioactive substance. The chase ensues with the police employing a Geiger counter to trace the Cobalt 60. It will remind you a bit of "Panic in  the Streets" minus the great visuals of New Orleans and the Plance/Mostel chemistry. Edwards is good as the dying of radiation poisoning convict and the last shot of the film is a hoot. Another 6.5-7/10

Title: Re: City of Fear (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 21, 2013, 12:18:01 AM
The cast is very good; looks like it's all real locations; nice editing; I give it a 7/10

-- one little mistake IMO - when they twice cut to Pete Hallon's white sneakers.... the joke wasn't funny the second time. They should have just shown it the second time (after the store owner offers him free alligator shoes) and not the first time (at the beginning of the scene, when he first comes to the shoe store

-- also, why the hell is the prison hospital keep this deadly chemical in a  canister through which it can escape? if people get infected just by holding the canister, does it make any sense (other than for the sake of allowing the movie to happen, that the hospital would have stored the Cobalt 60 in a canister that can't properly protect it?

-- Finally, and most importantly:
what do y'all think of the cops' decision not to announce that the canister contains Cobalt 60? Of course, the movie wouldn't work if they did announce it, but realistically, I was trying to think about it: the cops' goal is to make sure no one is exposed to it. If the cops make the announcement, announcing to Edwards, through the media, that he has the Cobalt 60 (and they should also tell him how he can get rid of it safely):
There's always the chance the Edwards  won't believe them, and goes on holding onto the can, in which case we are no worse off than before.
On the other hand, there's a chance he believes them, in which case, he'll do his best to get rid of it, and then we'll be better off than before.
Third option, the worst-case scenario, is that Edwards is pure evil and decides to intentionally expose the chemicals and kill all the people. Would he really do that, knowing he'll be killing himself in the process - would he be happy to kill himself as long as he takes down 3 million people with him? He may be a crook and a murderer, but he doesn't seem to me to be like a Muslim terrorist who's happy to die as long as he can bring down others with him. Maybe he can somehow try to hold the city hostage, to use the can as leverage to get his freedom - but hey, allowing one murderer his freedom is a small price to pay to get the can back. Even if he is evil and decides to expose everyone, is that much worse than him not knowing what it is, in which case he'll probably expose everyone anyway as he carries it around and tries to break down the "heroin" and sell it?

of course, announcing it would create panic, but at the chance of saving so many lives, that seems a small price to pay.

So, I really don't see  any good reason why the cops wouldn't announce to Edwards the truth about what he is holding except for the fact that the movie wouldn't movie couldn't happen if they did.