Studiocanal are set to introduce rare British gangster film The Frightened City to their Vintage Classics range. Starring Sean Connery and Herbert Lom, the film has been newly restored and will be available for the first time on Blu-ray and on DVD and digital platforms from next.
This cool British noir is set in 1960s gangland London, following the story of a low-level criminal (Connery) who gets embroiled in a dangerous racketeering syndicate when he accepts a job from local mobster Harry Foulcher (Alfred Marks).
The Frightened City is Pre-James Bond, coming out a year before Connery was thrust into stardom as Bond in Dr. No. He plays the brooding, muscular Irish enforcer Paddy Damion with a streak of rakish charm. Directed by John Lemont (The Shakedown) with its gritty depiction of the criminal underworld and the idea that police officers did not always operate on the right side of the law, marked a distinct shift in the way policing and crime was portrayed on screen. Shot in moody black and white by Desmond Dickinson and with nods to classic American and Italian crime thrillers, the film .is a tense, stylish gem of 60s British cinema.
There is no official Trailer for the film, there was a clip involving Herbert Lom, check it out…
Harry Foulcher is a night club impresario and one of many small-time mobsters running protection rackets across London’s West End. Ruthless businessman Waldo Zhernikov (Herbert Lom) spies a lucrative opportunity and instructs Foulcher to get the biggest gang leaders to join forces but under his control. Paddy Damion, a ‘climber’ (cat burglar) by trade, is recruited as the tough but intelligent front man. He is reluctant at first but agrees so he can support his partner (Kenneth Griffith) who was injured on a job. He becomes a regular at Foulcher’s club where he meets and seduces Anya, Zhornikov’s mistress, much to his girlfriend Sadie’s (Olive McFarland) distress and Wally’s disgust.
Meanwhile Zhornikov wants to raise the game but not all of the gang bosses agree to go along. The increased violence is alarming the press and public and with the determined and unorthodox Detective Inspector Sayers (John Gregson) on the case things begin to look shaky for his burgeoning criminal empire.
EXTRA FEATURES: Interview with Journalist and Film Historian Matthew Sweet
The film available now to pre-order at Amazon