City in Fear

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City in Fear
City in Fear.jpg
Genre Drama
Written by Peter Masterson (story)
Albert Ruben
Directed by Jud Taylor
Starring David Janssen
Robert Vaughn
Perry King
Mickey Rourke
Theme music composer Leonard Rosenman
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Peter Masterson
Producer(s) Ronald Lyon
Steve Nicolaides (associate producer)
Cinematography John Bailey
Editor(s) Fred A. Chulack
Running time 150 minutes
Production company(s) Trans World International
Distributor ABC
Original network ABC
Original release March 30, 1980

City in Fear is a 1980 Edgar Allan Poe Awarded television drama film. It was directed by Jud Taylor, under the pseudonym Alan Smithee, and written by Peter Masterson and Albert Ruben. The film score was composed by Leonard Rosenman.

The film stars David Janssen (his last film), Robert Vaughn, Mickey Rourke, Perry King, William Prince and Susan Sullivan. It is about a newspaper's attempts to sensationalize the killing spree of a psychopath. It premiered in the USA on March 30, 1980.[1]



The film was inspired by a conversation between two friends, William Goldman and Pete Masterson. Goldman admitted he had his daughter's hair cut short and dyed back because the Son of Sam, in his letters to Jimmy Breslin of the New York Daily News, said he liked to shoot women with long, auburn hair. "That's how pervasive women's fear became," said director Jud Taylor. Goldman told Masterson "this would make a terrific TV movie" and they hired another writer to write it up. Taylor cast Mickey Rourke as the killer. "It was one of Mickey's first big parts, and he was extraordinary, and conveyed just the sense of casual menace -- he was a bag boy in a Los Angeles supermarket, for God's sake -- that we wanted.".[2]

Director Jud Taylor later made Out of the Darkness based on the policeman who investigated the Son of Sam case,

Taylor had his name removed from the film. "After I left, the producers filmed four more point-blank murders without asking me, and I was offended," he said.[2]


  1. ^ IMDb release dates
  2. ^ a b Kelley, Bill (11 Oct 1985). "SON OF SAM MOVIE TRAILS DETECTIVE". Sun Sentinel. p. 1.E. 

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