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VINCE EDWARDS IN THE ATOMIC AGE LATE NOIR 'CITY OF FEAR'

Title: CITY OF FEAR Stars: Vince Edwards, Steven Ritch Year: 1959 Rating: ***

An escaped convict, played by Vince Edwards, steals a metal container of what he thinks is uncut heroin, but is really radioactive cobalt and, as he ventures through sparse Los Angeles, slowly dying in a kind of nuclear cautionary tale version of D. O.A., a cop (WHITE HEAT heat John Archer), a dame (Patricia Blair) and doctor (Steven Ritch from PLUNDER ROAD) are after him...

The edgy, stylized yet subtle nuance of CITY OF FEAR exceeds the somewhat sluggish pace when our ailing anti-hero, not on screen, is discussed by other cast members: a symbolic comparison to that lethal cobalt and the 1950's American male criminal... both are active, deadly...

Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR

One character warns Edwards that he can't show his face for fear of EXPOSURE: which means being seen, but also contagious as the police, not wanting to cause citywide panic, warns anyone involved about how dangerous he is while only we know what they're really after all along...

Proof that heavy-handed symbolism can usually work within a Noirish setting, but, like MURDER BY CONTRACT also by director Irving Lerner/starring Vince Edwards, where side-characters randomly distract from the edgy mainline, our man wields enough palpably emotional tension to let the audience figures things out on our... and his... own.

Steven Ritch in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR
Vintage but then new radio from CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR with Patricia Blair

John Archer in CITY OF FEAR
Noir and Western staple Kelly Thorsden from CITY OF FEAR
The Werewolf actor Steven Ritch in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR
Kathie Browne in CITY OF FEAR
Kathie Browne in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR
Poster Art for CITY OF FEAR
Atomic radar Steven Ritch and cop John Archer in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwwards in CITY OF FEAR
Vince Edwards in CITY OF FEAR
Kathie Browne in CITY OF FEAR
John Archer and Steven Ritch in CITY OF FEAR

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