In Frightened City the pubs and clubs of London are in thrall to numerous racketeers running protection schemes, all competing for a slice of the action. Crook Waldo (Herbert Lom) sets up a scheme to unite the various gangs to form a syndicate, hard case Paddy (a just pre Bond Sean Connery) is hired to provide the muscle to keep all the gangs united, problems start though when Paddy falls for Lom’s nightclub singer girlfriend Anya (Yvonne Romain). Of course Scotland Yard (as personified by John Gregson’s Inspector) is more than keen to bring matters to a close.
The very definition of a British B-Grade thriller, from back in the days when the British film companies (in this case the very small scale Zodiac) were guaranteed a release for their movies thanks to the governments “quota-quickies” agreement, this flick is enlivened by a reasonably high profile cast, featuring as it does the always dependable John Gregson, the creepy Herbert Lom and a typically hard faced Connery.
The dialogue is pretty ropey but the players are enthusiastic and the movie is entertaining enough even if it does include one of those well dodgy night club scenes that were a staple of such b-grade movies.
Watch for a blink and you’ll miss it appearance from Blakey from On The Buses as one of the thugs.
“Touch her again and I’ll cut your ears off”
UK / Zodiac / 97 minutes / 1961
Director: John Lemont
Writers: John Lemont, Leigh Vance,
Herbert Lom as Waldo Zhernikov
John Gregson as Det. Insp. Sayers
Sean Connery as Paddy Damion
Alfred Marks as Harry Foulcher
Yvonne Romain as Anya Bergodin
Olive McFarland as Sadie
Frederick Piper as Sgt. Bob Ogle
Marianne Stone as Barmaid
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