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5 Steps to Danger (1957)

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When his car breaks down during a trip from Los Angeles to Texas John Emmett meets another motorist, Ann Nicholson, who offers him a lift. He learns that she is running away from her ... See full summary »



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Title: 5 Steps to Danger (1957)

5 Steps to Danger (1957) on IMDb 6.1/10

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Cast overview:
Ann Nicholson
John Emmett
Dr. Simmons
Richard Gaines ...
Dean Brant
Charles Davis ...
Helen Bethke
Karl Plesser
Karl Ludwig Lindt ...
Kissel (as Karl Lindt)
John Frederick ...
Sheriff (as John Merrick)


When his car breaks down during a trip from Los Angeles to Texas John Emmett meets another motorist, Ann Nicholson, who offers him a lift. He learns that she is running away from her physician, Dr. Simmons, and the police, who want to question her about a murdered Central Intelligence Agent in Los Angeles. Anne, as it also turns out, is a native of Berlin, Germany. She had come into possession of a valuable secret formula for a 4000-mile-per-hour rocket, which is written on the reverse side of a small pocket mirror she carries. She wants to deliver this to a scientist in the United States. But, the scientist is an enemy agent as is her doctor and they, and the F.B.I are after her. Written by Les Adams <>

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Across ten thousand miles they raced with a hell-bomb horror...NOW THEY ONLY HAD FIVE MORE STEPS TO GO! (original poster) See more »


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Release Date:

10 May 1957 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

5 Steps to Danger  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1957, United Artists distributed this film on a double bill with 12 Angry Men (1957) starring Henry Fonda. See more »


In the opening scene, we see Mrs Nicholson's car passing the towed car. Yet, the towed car gets to the garage before Mrs Nicholson. See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining for what it is
27 August 2012 | by (california) – See all my reviews

Poorly directed, poorly staged, and veers into propagandist self-parody, it nevertheless works because of the two leads. Sterling Hayden is fantastic as the everyman drifter, and manages to make the occasionally ham-handed script sound authentic. This is a kind of American-character type study that sets the American everyman as more of a puzzle-solver than an ass-kicker, though both are in evidence. Ruth Roman is somewhat off-putting and passionless, but it's the kind of performance that keeps you guessing and makes you wonder about her. Whether or not that was intentional is debatable. Their relationship is also off-putting, but has a strange resonance, if only because of Hayden's droopy-lipped deadpan.

The somewhat stiff supporting cast, except maybe for Cooper, gives the impression that this is army-issue "What To Do" type stuff for a Cold War audience. And I'm sure there was some of that kind of thinking behind it. The all-seeing Deus-Ex-Machina of the espionage machine is very heavy.

I wonder about people who think that the absence of suspense in a movie like this is a weakness. I suppose if you were expecting thrilling suspense or some kind of a mindless noir-caper style of movie you would be sorely disappointed. The at-times blocky and then wildly uncontrolled staging make it very difficult to sustain a consistent tone, and the director doesn't appear to want to pay attention to any kind of thematic imagery. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this makes the threat posed by the story seem more artlessly plausible, and the tension created revolves around psychological issues rather than mortal ones. If any attention had been paid to the implications of this idea, it might be a better movie. As it is, it's mostly entertaining and highly watchable.

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