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Hell Is A City
Hell Is A CityA 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
  A City
..
.”

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
fine character
development and a well-
paced storyline
...”
Harry 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 Tawny Jakes.

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: Alternative ending.

"Suspenseful and well cast, Hell Is A City is dark and moody; with fine character development and a well-paced storyline" Maggie Woods, MotorBar