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9 August 1961

The Frightened City is a 1961 British neo-noir gangster film about extortion rackets and gang warfare in the West End of London. It stars Herbert Lom, John Gregson and a pre-Bond Sean Connery, who plays a burglar called Paddy Damion. He is lured into a protection racket by oily mobster Harry Foulcher (Alfred Marks), in order to support his partner in crime Wally Smith (Kenneth Griffith), who is injured in a robbery.

Although Connery's character has a girlfriend, he seduces the beautiful Anya (Yvonne Romain), the mistress of the seedy and sinister crime boss Zhernikov (Herbert Lom). John Gregson plays Detective Inspector Sayers who is dedicated to tackling organised crime.

The Shadows had a hit single, no. 3 on the British charts in May 1961, with the main theme. It was subsequently covered by Peter Frampton in the 1996 collection Twang!: A Tribute to Hank Marvin & the Shadows.


A small time thief is recruited by a mobster to help with the racketeering. He doesn't like the job, but with the mob on his back, a femme fatale in his bed and a sick friend to care for, he will have to keep all his wits about him.

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