City of Fear (1959)

Article 1833 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 3-22-2006
Posting Date: 8-19-2006
Directed by Irving Lerner
Featuring Vince Edwards, Lyle Talbot, John Archer

An escaped convict flees to Los Angeles with a container of what he believes to be illegal drugs but is actually a radioactive substance in a deadly powder form.

Several sources refer to the radioactive substance by different names, but it sure sounds to me like they’re actually calling it Cobalt 60 in the movie. I also don’t know to what extent the movie is science fiction, but I’m assuming that its inclusion in at least one source means that it at least rubs up against the genre. As for the movie itself, it’s not bad, especially if you consider its budget; it’s well acted, has some interesting scenes, and the story is decent enough. However, I don’t think the movie really succeeds at being a nail-biting suspense thriller; despite the fact that the whole city of Los Angeles is supposed to be in deadly danger from the substance (hence the title), you never really feel that any more than a handful of people are really at risk in the movie. Nonetheless, the movie is rather efficient, and it’s effective enough to make for worthwhile viewing.

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