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Dead on Course (1952)
"Wings of Danger" (original title)

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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 139 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

When his girlfriend's brother's cargo plane is lost at sea, nagging questions arise, and pilot Richard Van Ness gets caught in a web of blackmail and smuggling.



, (novel) (as Elleston Trevor) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview:
Zachary Scott ...
Richard Van Ness
Nick Talbot
Naomi Chance ...
Avril Talbot
Kay Kendall ...
Alexia LaRoche
Colin Tapley ...
Inspector Maxwell
Arthur Lane ...
Boyd Spencer
Harold Lang ...
Snell, the blackmailer


When Richard Van Ness tries to ground dashing pilot Nick Talbot, his girlfriend's brother, from flying an unimportant cargo run in foul weather, he is blackmailed into allowing it because Nick threatens to tell airline boss Boyd Spencer about Van's intermittent blackouts. When Nick's plane apparently crashes near the Channel Islands, there are many nagging questions about the circumstances. Although he is innocent himself of wrongdoing, Van Ness is pressured by the police to aid them in uncovering some of the criminal activities associated with the operation, including blackmail, smuggling gold, and counterfeiting. In order to obtain the information he needs, Van Ness is forced into romancing Boyd's grasping girlfriend, who finds herself very attracted to the flier. Written by Gabe Taverney (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


COUNTERFEIT CARGO! ...a fortune in loot...a fabulous woman...a sinister fugitive!


Crime | Drama | Thriller





Release Date:

1 April 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead on Course  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ian Fleming was the author of the James Bond novels. Diane Cilento was once married to Sean Connery, the first actor to play James Bond in the movies. See more »


Richard Van Ness: You're wonderful! You've got a heart of pure steel!
Alexia LaRoche: My future's no dream from a bottle! I've had too much of attic rooms and runs in my stocking and ten cent bar loungers trying to paw me to death not to know what I want out of life and to recognize it when I've got it. All you have to do is hitch ypur wagon, and I'm tossing you the hook!
See more »


Featured in Trailer Cinema (1992) See more »


Music by De Paula Bana (pseudonym of Winifred Palmer)
Paxton Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

A bit bland
29 March 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"Dead on Course" is sort of like an American film noir movie but made in the UK. And, like many European films from the 1950s, they lured an American actor (Zachary Scott) to star in the film-- presumably to give the film greater international marketability. Unfortunately, it's still a relatively bland film.

Richard (Zachary Scott) is a pilot working for his small air transport company. His friend, Nick, knows Richard's secret--that he occasionally blacks out due to some old injury! So using this as leverage, Nick takes off in a plane during crappy weather---and the plane crashes. What follows is a dark story involving smugglers and Richard trying to sort out who his real friends are.

The best thing about this film is Zachary Scott and his dialog. It's pure noir--and works very well. But the rest of the cast all seem very dreary--with limp dialog and an almost complete lack of menace. Not terrible...just not all that interesting.

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