Fear Over the City

Fear Over the City (French: Peur sur la ville[2]) is a 1975 French crime film directed by Henri Verneuil and starring Jean Paul Belmondo. It was the first time Belmondo played a police officer. [3]

Fear Over the City
Directed byHenri Verneuil
Produced byJacques Juranville
Written byHenri Verneuil
Jean Laborde
Francis Veber
Based onoriginal story by Verneuil
StarringJean-Paul Belmondo
Music byEnnio Morricone
CinematographyJean Penzer
Edited byPierre Gillette
Distributed byAMLF (France)
Columbia Pictures (USA)
Release date
9 April 1975 (France)
19 November 1975
Running time
120 minutes (France)
91 mins (USA)
Budget$2.7 million
Box office$29.6 million[1]

It was released in the USA and the UK as The Night Caller.


Policeman Jean Letellier is under pressure because the infamous gangster Marcucci escaped from him publicly. Moreover during the pursuit an innocent bystander was killed by a stray bullet. Letellier is investigated for having fired the deadly bullet.

Before Letellier is cleared, a serial killer begins to murder young women, each time leaving a weird message at the site of crime. He calls himself "Minos", referring to the Divine Comedy. The murderer always declares he had punished his victims for what he considers their impure life style.

While Letellier still has no trace of "Minos", he comes across Marcucci's current whereabouts. Just as before, Marcucci tries to escape in a spectacular manner when Letellier confronts him. But this time Marcucci dies in the course of action.
Marcucci's death is no relief for Letellier who is now publicly accused of having neglected the "Minos" case in favour of settling his personal feud with his late archenemy.

"Minos" keeps on murdering and leaving provoking hints until Letellier can identify him. The serial killer can only scarcely elude Letellier, who chases him over the roofs of Paris. His next coup is to take hostages in a skyscraper. Letellier decides he has had it and goes airborne. From a flying helicopter he jumps through the window into the flat and puts "Minos" down.



The film was the second most popular film at the French box office in 1975, after The Towering Inferno.[4] It was Belmondo's most popular movie since Le Casse (1972). It was also popular in Italy and Germany.[1][5]

It was released in the USA and the UK as The Night Caller.

The New York Times said "it seems to be two completely different movies, neither of them up to much."[6] The Los Angeles Times thought the action sequences "keep an otherwise routine film entertaining."[7] Time Out said Belmondo is "piling stunt on daredevil stunt and risking his neck for a particularly silly story", and "desperately little of the film's energy" goes into the plot.[8]


  1. Box office info at Box Office Story
  2. "Peur sur la Ville (Fear Over the City) (The Night Caller) (1975)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-12-22.
  3. Arnold, Gary (25 November 1975). "A Caller Under the Influence". The Washington Post. p. B2.
  4. "1975 French Box Office". Box Office Story. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  5. "Box Office Information for Jean Paul Belmondo Movies". Box Office Story. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  6. Elder, Richard (20 November 1975). "Belmondo Is Sleuth in 'Night Caller'". New York Times. p. 51.
  7. Thomas, Kevin (4 March 1976). "MOVIE REVIEW: Belmondo Agile in 'Night Caller'". Los Angeles Times. p. e10.
  8. "The Night Caller (1975) | Film review". Time Out London. Retrieved 2019-09-03.
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