6.6/10
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6 user 1 critic

White Fire (1953)

Three Steps to the Gallows (original title)
Approved | | Crime, Drama | 1 January 1954 (USA)
American Gregor Stevens arrives in London searching for his brother who, unknown to him, has been convicted of a murder and is within three days of being executed. He meets Yvonne Durante, ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gregor Stevens
Mary Castle ...
Yvonne Durante
Gabrielle Brune ...
Lorna Dreyhurst
...
Mario Satargo
Michael Balfour ...
Carter - boxing fan
Colin Tapley ...
Arnold Winslow
John Blythe ...
Dave Leary
Lloyd Lamble ...
James Smith - aka Charles Harris
Julian Somers ...
John Durante
Ballard Berkeley ...
Insp. Haley
Ronan O'Casey ...
Crawson
Johnnie Schofield ...
Charlie - the Doorman (as John Schofield)
Paul Erickson ...
Larry Stevens
Harcourt Curacao ...
Matt - trainer (as Harcourt Nicholls)
Hal Osmond ...
Desk Clerk
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Storyline

American Gregor Stevens arrives in London searching for his brother who, unknown to him, has been convicted of a murder and is within three days of being executed. He meets Yvonne Durante, a night-club entertainer and part-time smuggler, who aids him in his quest to prove the innocence of his brother, despite the risks she faces from her diamond-smuggling confederates. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

london england | See All (1) »

Taglines:

for a fortune in diamonds...he faced a thousand moments of deadly danger! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

They Walk Alone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Dave Leary: You will wish the kid the best of luck from me, won't you?
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Soundtracks

No Way Out
Music by Stanley Black
Lyrics by Barbara Killalee
Sung by Mary Castle
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User Reviews

 
Superior British film noir thriller
1 March 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As some other reviewers have mentioned, THREE STEPS TO THE GALLOWS is a highly superior British film noir which doesn't let up from beginning to end. A twisty turny mystery style plot line throws up some familiar tropes - it seems half of British crime films made during the 1950s consisted of criminal enterprises utilising nightclubs as their lairs - but runs away with them thanks to a fast pacing and a complete refusal to deviate from the thriller aspects of the storyline.

American actor Scott Brady plays a sailor who gets some shore leave to visit his brother, only to discover that he's disappeared. He soon uncovers a sinister, conspiracy-style mystery that will lead to his brother's imminent execution, so it's a race against time to prove his innocence. Along the way he tangles with femme fatales, dogged detectives, and various henchmen, often slugging it out with the latter in some engaging fight scenes.

Brady is a slightly boring main actor but the supporting cast make up for deficiencies, with Ferdy Mayne and Michael Balfour on particularly strong form. Ballard Berkeley plays a cop and must have been one of the most typecast actors of the era. Director John Gilling, who would later direct the likes of THE REPTILE for Hammer, does a sterling job, but the real star here is Welshman Paul Erickson, whose debut script is never less than compelling.


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