The Shakedown (1959 film)

The Shakedown is a 1959 crime-drama film directed by John Lemont, starring Terence Morgan, Hazel Court, and Donald Pleasence.[1] It was filmed in the United Kingdom.

The Shakedown
Original British poster
Directed byJohn Lemont
Produced byNorman Williams
Written byJohn Lemont
Leigh Vance
Music byPhilip Green
Theme tone "SHAKEDOWN". sung by Kathy Kirby.
CinematographyBrendan J. Stafford
Edited byBernard Gribble
Distributed byJ. Arthur Rank Film Distributors (UK)
Release date
January 1960 (1960-01)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The film was banned in Finland (known there as Häväistyksen kauppiaat).


Augie Cortona (Terence Morgan), a newly released convict, opens up a photographic studio that serves as a front for erotic photography and blackmail activities. He runs into trouble with a rival gangster, and bitter warfare erupts. Scotland Yard track down Cortona by employing an undercover female model Mildred Eyde (Hazel Court) to infiltrate the ex-con's set-up. However, Midred Eyde and Augie Cortona begin a romantic affair which complicates the operation. Eventually one of Augie Cortona's blackmail victims John Arnold (John Salew) is blackmailed too far and shoots Cortona several times until he is very close to death. As Cortona lays dying, he realizes that Mildred is an undercover policewoman. Miidred kneels down to comfort him but with his last breath Cortona says the word "Bitch" to her. The film ends with Mildred slowly walking away visibly upset. [2]


Critical reception

TV Guide wrote: "the performances are all strong and believable, and fast-paced direction helps to gloss over some of the inadequacies in the predictable script."[2]


  1. "The Shakedown | BFI | BFI". Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  2. "The Shakedown Review". Retrieved 10 May 2014.

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