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Relentless postal inspector Al Goddard is set to Gary, Indiana, when another officer is murdered. He must find the nun who witnessed the murder, then infiltrate the gang by convincing them he is a postal inspector gone bad. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
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If we learn one thing about the US Post Office in Appointment With Danger is that it takes care of its own. When a postal inspector winds up a homicide victim, it's another postal inspector that does the investigation. I was surprised that the FBI wasn't called in as they usually are with crimes involving the US mail.
But their top cop in the person of Alan Ladd is called in when one of the inspectors is murdered. He's found dead in an alley in a small Indiana town. And there's a witness, a nun played by British import Phyllis Calvert who sees the victim being dumped and is given an excuse by one of the perpetrators that they're just helping a drunken pal. That guy is played by Harry Morgan and Calvert recognizes him from the mug books once Alan Ladd tracks her down. The crooks also know that Calvert's been talking to the police.
Ladd's dead colleague was working on foiling a planned heist of a mail truck that will be carrying a large sum of currency. When Morgan goes missing and later turns up dead, the lead goes cold. Ladd's only way to apprehend the crooks is to insinuate himself with them and catch them in the act of robbery.
Appointment With Danger was Alan Ladd's final noir film with Paramount and it's a good one. He's a most cynical fellow in this film and can't quite wrap his mind around Calvert's character.
The gang includes Paul Stewart as the brains and trigger happy gunman Jack Webb. Interesting to see future Dragnet partners Webb and Morgan together. But though she only has a few scenes the one you'll remember is Jan Sterling playing Stewart's moll. Sterling is Stewart's girl to be sure, but she likes a little fun on the side. Her scenes with Ladd are the best in the film and Jan has a very practical turn of mind and a knowledge of the law gained from hanging around unsavory types.
Appointment With Danger is definitely a must for Alan Ladd fans and folks who might become Alan Ladd fans after seeing this movie.
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