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Circle of Danger (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Mystery, Thriller | 17 April 1951 (USA)
Clay Douglas an American, comes to England, to find out the truth behind his brothers death during a commando operation in occupied France. After tracking down the surviving members of the ... See full summary »




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Complete credited cast:
Marius Goring ...
Sholto Lewis
Hugh Sinclair ...
Hamish McArran
Naunton Wayne ...
Reggie Sinclair
Edward Rigby ...
Idwal Llewellyn
Marjorie Fielding ...
Margaret McArran
Pape Llewellyn
Colin Gordon ...
Col. Fairbairn
Bubbles Fitzgerald
Reginald Beckwith ...
David Hutcheson ...
Tony Wrexham
Michael Brennan ...
Bert Oakshott


Clay Douglas an American, comes to England, to find out the truth behind his brothers death during a commando operation in occupied France. After tracking down the surviving members of the raid, he confronts the killer, only to be told the truth about what really happened. Written by mike.wilson6@btinternet.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

england | based on novel | See All (2) »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Círculo de Ferro  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Buttonhole for Baby
Music by Walter Ridley
Lyrics by Hal Halifax
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User Reviews

CIRCLE OF DANGER (Jacques Tourneur, 1951) ***
7 February 2011 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Although I had not intended this current noir marathon to be a tribute to any one particular actor, this will be my fourth Ray Milland movie in a row! Originally hailing from Wales, this sees the Hollywood star making a welcome return to his homeland (and its environs) – albeit playing an American! – for a rather unusual Hitchcockian post-war thriller. The story deals with a salvage captain leaving Florida to go all over the United Kingdom (Wales, Scotland and London) – the roundabout nature of the route anticipating the Hitchcock classic NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) – to seek out the surviving members of a commando team who operated in France during WWII and unravel the mysterious events surrounding his younger brother's death.

This largely reticent and unhelpful bunch includes a wonderful turn by Marius Goring (who has now become a celebrated ballet choreographer), Hugh Sinclair (the former commando leader who is now a brooding baronet), Naunton Wayne (a clear nod toward Hitchcock right there, having acquired a reputation playing one of two cricket-crazy twits in THE LADY VANISHES [1938] – now a chatty, crooked car salesman) and Edward Rigby (playing a Welshman, thus obviously a miner!). Notable support, then, is provided by the lovely Patricia Roc (as Sinclair's intended, and whose 'meeting cute' with Milland precipitates a bumpy affair – again a' la NORTH BY NORTHWEST – but with the expected happy ending) as well as the ever-reliable Reginald Beckwith (from director Tourneur's later NIGHT OF THE DEMON [1957], as Goring's long-suffering partner).

Despite the rather glum aura of the proceedings, this is less a noir than a whodunnit and, as if to emphasize that very difference, we are regaled with celebrated cinematographer Oswald Morris (and equally notable camera operators Gilbert Taylor and Arthur Ibbetson)'s breathtaking location shooting – the downbeat revelation at the climax, taking place in an open field, is particularly masterfully handled – as opposed to the claustrophobic studio sets usually associated with the former genre. For the record, Milland himself had starred in Fritz Lang's superb wartime thriller MINISTRY OF FEAR (1944) boasting a famously inaccurate Hollywood rendition of London!

Another link to "The Master Of Suspense" is the presence of co-producer Joan Harrison (a longtime Hitchcock collaborator), even if the 'whistled tune' giveaway device immediately reminds one of Lang's child-murdering masterpiece M (1931)! In the end, one should be grateful Jacques Tourneur's first working trip to England here worked as well as it did – since, in six years' time, this would be followed by his last great (and one of his best-ever) film i.e. the afore-mentioned NIGHT OF THE DEMON.

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