Hell is a City (Val Guest, 1960) | Research into film

1hr 38mins
Dir: Val Guest
Starring: Stanley Baker and Maxine Audley

A police inspector searches for a local criminal in Manchester and is soon investigating a murder committed during a violent street robbery

This Hammer Film noir shows to very good effect that railways do not necessarily need to be at the forefront of the scene. The majority of the railway scenes in this film merely form part of the background but in doing so they provide a valuable glimpse of the past in views that have invariably changed beyond recognition. There are scenes filmed on the concourse of the old Manchester Central station, and some later scenes filmed from the roof of the Palace Hotel overlooking Manchester Oxford Road station and its approach viaducts. No trains are visible in either location. Finally, a trio of Manchester stations is provided with a glimpse of the roof of Exchange station in the background of one shot. The film is based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Maurice Proctor.

Behind the car is the roof of the now vanished Manchester Exchange station. A couple of BR signs on the fence help further identify the scene.
The concourse of Manchester Central station, now converted into an exhibition and conference centre.
On the roof of the Palace Hotel and the viaducts on the approach to Manchester Oxford Road are visible down on the right
Stanley Baker on the roof of the hotel with Manchester Oxford Road station visible below. The familiar and utterly unique curved timber facade is Grade II listed. (All shots courtesy of reelstreets).