‘Hell is a City,’ directed by Val Guest

Movie, 1960

By no means a bad film, although one which maybe tries a little too hard in places, starting off like an inappropriately lit film noir, in which the Mancunian setting doesn’t really translate, and working in subplots when the main story itself feels a little underdeveloped. A little clunky, although there’s still much to admire. If Manchester isn’t Chicago or New York, the trips to the moors and cosy suburbia give the film a more genuine ‘English’ feel, and the acting from the supporting cast keeps the thing ticking along nicely, and offers some relief from the manly manliness of the two leads. With a few tweaks, you suspect this could have been a belter – it remains as a slightly odd, non-essential curio.


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