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Danger Zone (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 April 1951 (USA)
Claire Underwood hires San Francisco private-detective Dennis O'Brien to purchase a saxophone case at an auction, and O'Brien is promptly slugged and the case is stolen by Larry Dunlap. ... See full summary »



(story) (as Herbert Margolis), (story) (as Louis Morheim) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Prof. Frederick Simpson Schicker
Police Lt. Bruger
Edgar Spadely (2nd Episode)
Vicki Jason (2nd Episode)
Claire Underwood (1st Episode)
Larry Dunlap (1st Episode)
Paula Drew ...
Sheila Jason (2nd Episode)
Jack Reitzen ...
Cole - the Auctioneer (1st Episode)
Edward Clark ...
Elderly Man at Auction (1st Episode)
Richard Monahan ...
Henry - the Bartender (1st Episode)
Don Garner ...
Bud Becker (1st Episode)


Claire Underwood hires San Francisco private-detective Dennis O'Brien to purchase a saxophone case at an auction, and O'Brien is promptly slugged and the case is stolen by Larry Dunlap. O'Brien snoops around and learns that Claire and Dunlap are rivals in a smuggling racket, and he seizes Claire just as she is about to leave the country with the case and its stolen jewels. O'Brien then gets involved with the murder of Vicki Jason's husband and gets slugged again and framed. With the aid of "Professor" Schickler, he proves his innocence when Vicki kills her co-conspirator lover, Edgar Spadely---another private-detective who had gotten O'Brien involved to begin with---and Vicki admits her own guilt in the murder of her husband. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warning! Soft shoulders placed her in the DANGER ZONE See more »






Release Date:

20 April 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pier of Peril  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Edited down to each of its two segments, each of them re-titled, this was sold to television in the early 1950s as two parts of a syndicated half-hour mystery show. See more »

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User Reviews

TV pilot foisted off as feature fails to fool anybody
28 June 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

Danger Zone is an odd little double-truck of a movie; it tells two entirely independent stories, one after the other, though with three recurring characters. The only plausible explanation is that the stories were pilot episodes of a television series that never got picked up, but were salvaged by packaging as a twofer and farming out as a programmer to theater chains.

A troubleshooter who earns his keep renting boats on the San Francisco waterfront, O'Brian (Hugh Beaumont) picks up spare change by taking on freelance assignments; his usual fee is $50, for which he is usually set up. He shares his nautical digs with an old souse called (of course) The Professor (Edward Brophy), a Runyonesque character with a Thesaurus instead of a voicebox -- he never says "I had the chance" if he can proclaim "The opportunity befell me." Then there's the dim-witted and antagonistic police detective (Richard Travis), always ready to clap the cuffs on Beaumont just before the truth emerges.

Neither of the stories -- the first about a woman who pays Beaumont to bid an exorbitant amount on a locked suitcase that turns out to contain a saxophone, the second about a private detective (Tom Neal, of Detour notoriety) who sets up Beaumont as correspondent, and murderer, in a society divorce case -- gets worked out in any satisfying way. The half-hour allotted to each allows little room for extra characters or unexpected bends in the road (television was to prove that the most successful mystery/detective shows thrived in a hour format). Danger Zone, viewed as early television, is perhaps a tad better than such pioneers as Martin Kane, Private Eye -- at least it's filmed, not done live in studio -- but was nonetheless passed over by the networks in 1951. Beaumont would have to wait six more years, until Leave It To Beaver, to hit his personal jackpot.

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