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Hell Is A City on Talking Pictures

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  • Hell Is A City on Talking Pictures

    Tough thriller from Hammer (1960) shot in Manchester with Stanley Baker Billie Whitelaw John Crawford and Donald Pleasence.. Directed by Val Guest. Not been on for a while but on Talking Pictures today Saturday 2nd December at 4pm.

  • #2
    I've read the City of Manchester were not to happy about the description, 'Hell', to describe the place, at the time.

    The lovely Vanda Godsell in her prime has a role, anything with her in is a must watch for me.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mark O View Post
      I've read the City of Manchester were not to happy about the description, 'Hell', to describe the place, at the time.
      Does the City of Manchester have a voice? Does it speak for everyone there?
      You shouldn't just repeat what you've read somewhere, especially without a citation so that we can check who or how many people said it

      When weren't they "to happy" (sic)? Why didin't (or don't they do something about it and stop it being "Hell"?

      Steve

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Crook View Post
        Does the City of Manchester have a voice? Does it speak for everyone there?
        You shouldn't just repeat what you've read somewhere, especially without a citation so that we can check who or how many people said it

        When weren't they "to happy" (sic)? Why didin't (or don't they do something about it and stop it being "Hell"?

        Steve
        Around the time of filming, looks like circa 1960.

        It was the Councillors and City elders of the time, who objected, though I can't recall where I read it, but I did read it.

        I was there a couple of years ago, seems quite a vibrant place now, I stayed in the Travelodge that used to be Woolworth, which had the catastrophic fire in 1979, obviously that fact isn't shouted about, but it was the cheapest place, overlooks Piccadilly Gardens.

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        • #5
          I remember seeing Hell Is A City twice at the Rex East Finchley when it was released.The sort of film which led to Z Cars,an antidote to the anodyne Dixon of Dock Green with the decrepit Jack Warner

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          • #6
            I do recall that back in 1960, the film's title was discussed in the press - some civic dignitaries thought it might put visitors off spending their weeks holday in Manchester, rather than say Benidorm...!
            I think parts of Manchester were pretty grim back then with lots of Victorian slum properties that were later demolished in the 1960s..

            Comment


            • #7
              As the film was classified by the BBFC in early 1960, it would actually have been made in 1959. I saw it on Talking Pictures TV last night and it was a great film. Stanley Baker; John Crawford and the whole crew must have had nerves of steel to film that scene on the roof of that building in Manchester, struggling over that narrow parapet at least a hundred feet above the street. This was not a process shot. It really was filmed there on location. I wouldn’t have done it in a month of Sunday’s. It’s enough to give anyone vertigo just watching it.

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              • #8
                The location for the above scene was The Refuge Assurance building (now the Palace hotel) on the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street, Manchester.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mark O View Post

                  Around the time of filming, looks like circa 1960.

                  It was the Councillors and City elders of the time, who objected, though I can't recall where I read it, but I did read it.
                  So they said it over 50 years ago and have since cleaned the place up? It’s a different story when you put it all in context like that. Manchester was quite hellish 50+ years ago

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mark O

                    Just looked it up, apparently it's recently been named the Principal Hotel, rooms from £95, looks a very interesting building, inside and out........
                    It looks little changed now from how it looked in 1959.

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                    • #11
                      Now that I have 'Talking Pictures' I had not intended to watch 'Hell is a City' but was drawn into it...what a cracker! I enjoyed it immensely. TP's schedule looks great, all those old gems that never get shown anymore, it's going to be a favourite.

                      Meanwhile here is Stanley Baxter taking the P.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bert Quark View Post
                        Now that I have 'Talking Pictures' I had not intended to watch 'Hell is a City' but was drawn into it...what a cracker! I enjoyed it immensely. TP's schedule looks great, all those old gems that never get shown anymore, it's going to be a favourite.

                        Meanwhile here is Stanley Baxter taking the P.

                        Another gem on tonight at 10pm Yield To The Night with Diana Dors and Yvonne Mitchell.

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                        • #13
                          “And can we have our next contestant on Mastermind, please. Your name?”

                          “Edgar Lustgarten”.

                          “And your chosen specialist subject?”

                          “The Life, Loves and Adventures of Russell Napier”.

                          “Alright, you have two minutes to answer questions on ‘The Life, Loves and Adventures of Russell Napier’ starting from now. For his fourth birthday on November 28th, 1914, Russell Napier was given a tricycle by his uncle Harry. How many wheels did the tricycle have?”

                          “Errrrrr….mmmmmm….pass!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mark O

                            Just looked it up, apparently it's recently been named the Principal Hotel, rooms from £95, looks a very interesting building, inside and out........
                            I went for a wine tasting there, when it was the Palace, a few years ago. Got absolutely paralytic. Very enjoyable.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bert Quark View Post
                              Now that I have 'Talking Pictures' I had not intended to watch 'Hell is a City' but was drawn into it...what a cracker! I enjoyed it immensely. TP's schedule looks great, all those old gems that never get shown anymore, it's going to be a favourite.

                              Meanwhile here is Stanley Baxter taking the P.

                              I remember Robbie Coltrane doing a similar spoof as "Edgar Dustcarten".

                              Comment

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