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On Dangerous Ground (1951)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  20 June 1952 (France)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,720 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 35 critic

Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside. There he meets Mary Malden,... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Mary Malden
...
...
Walter Brent
Charles Kemper ...
Pop Daly
Anthony Ross ...
Pete Santos
...
Capt. Brawley
...
Sheriff Carrey
Sumner Williams ...
Danny Malden
Gus Schilling ...
Lucky
Frank Ferguson ...
Willows
Cleo Moore ...
Myrna Bowers
Olive Carey ...
Mrs. Brent
Richard Irving ...
Bernie Tucker
Patricia Prest ...
Julie Brent (as Pat Prest)
Edit

Storyline

Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside. There he meets Mary Malden, whom he finds attractive and independent. However, Mary's brother is chief suspect in the killing. And Mary herself is blind. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In One Strange Night she met both LOVE ... and MURDER!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1952 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Highway  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A hand-held camera was used in many scenes to give a "live action" feel to those sequences. This was extremely rare in feature films of the time. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the film when Ward Bond is sleeping in the chair, Robert Ryan removes the shells from his shotgun. However, minutes later Bond fires his shotgun. See more »

Quotes

Jim Wilson: Why do you make me do it? You know you're gonna talk! I'm gonna make you talk! I always make you punks talk! Why do you do it? Why?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Act of Violence: Dealing with the Devil (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Danceland Jive
(uncredited)
Music by Roy Webb and Gene Rose
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Film Noir With A Heart
3 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked this better than I thought I would. I read a number of reviews (here, but mostly elsewhere) before seeing it, so I knew the two main things to expect: a hard- hitting film noir in the first half and a melodramatic romance in the second. What I found was an interesting, fairly intense movie for all but the last 10 minutes (but I liked that part, too.) That second half was still a crime story a lot more than any romance as two guys tracked down a killer.

To digress, the first part was in the big city and it portrayed Ryan as a too-gung- ho cop who's fast getting burned out on the job. He's sick of all the punks in the world and just wants to beat the crap out of everyone. When he is one punch away from being suspended and losing his job on a police brutality charge, the boss sends him up north to snow country to find a murderer on the loose in the great outdoors.

That second half isn't some slow melodrama, as it's so often described. It's mostly more adventure as Ryan and Ward Bond track down the killer. Bond, whose daughter was the victim in this crime, is hell-bent for revenge. He makes Ryan like a calm-and-collected guy. Along the way, they meet "Mary Malden" (Ida Lupino), who is the sister of the kid on the run. She's also blind. Ryan befriends her and she pleads with him to promise to bring her brother in unharmed. Her trust in him helps bring about his personality change. You can see he's starting to soften up, become a little more caring toward his fellow man.

The ending of this film is not hokey - either in what happens in the manhunt or what happens to Ryan afterward. It's just a nice job of screen writing. I think this is a fine story, perhaps even underrated. I also think it is one of Ryan's finest acting jobs because he shows callous brutal toughness, loneliness and compassion all in the same film and he shows it convincingly.


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