|Index||3 reviews in total|
Jacques Tourneur begun working for TV in 1954 and made 26 TV episodes in
total during his career, for such diverse TV films as The Martyr (which was
his first one and featured Ronald Reagan in the title role), The Stopover,
Aftermath, Night Call, The Alaskans and Northwest Passage for which he
directed eight episodes during 1958-1959 and presumably the best of them was
included in the Mission of Danger montage that was made out of Northwest
Passage TV Series produced by MGM and based on the book of the same name by
Kenneth Roberts that was once already turned into film in 1939 by King
Vidor. Mission of Danger consists of three episodes the central of which was
directed by Jacques Tourneur and the other two are of the authorship of
In this new version of the film the story is quite different from the King Vidor's. Major Robert Rogers (played by Keith Larsen) and a bunch of his rangers is given a mission to enter the territory controlled by French troops and hostile Indians to find out about an English spy who disappeared a few month before while attempting to find a new passage for the English troops through the mountains. Presumably he is in the hands of the French and what is required from Major Rogers is to receive the information whether the passage was found or not, and if yes, its whereabouts.
But the luck seems to run out for the rangers when they are caught by the French soldiers and sent to a war prison camp where they are treated quite badly by a certain officer and from where they nonetheless persistently try to evade in the best tradition of prison escape movies.
Overall Mission of Danger is a pleasant and very easy film to watch, with quite an interesting story and decent acting. 7/10
Well, it is sort of...if you count two TV episodes stitched together and released as a feature film to an unsuspecting public unaware of the original source. Those who had TV sets were most likely a bit hacked when they realized they had paid money to see what they had already seen at home for free. The producers of this TV series evidently didn't think America's Good Neighbor Policy applied in countries that didn't get the TV series with Keith Larsen and Buddy Ebsen, so they shipped this out as a "real' movie. Tourneur and George Waggner were not co-directors. Each directed a different episode. Evidently, the editor who stitched this together did a good job on those who didn't notice there were two different storys. Check out Universal's 1946 "Canyon Passage" if you want to see a 'good' western directed by Jacques Tourneur.
A woman (Taina Elg) of French origin moving along the French (the troops of Nouvelle-France) and the British acts as a spy in the Canadian woods at the border of the obscure line between the French and the British. The Northwest Passage is important and a British colonel (Patrick Macnee) is to accompany Major Rogers (Keith Larsen) and his sergeant (Buddy Ebsen) for stealing maps and an important French prisoner. The uniforms and the French-speaking is correct (with a Canadian accent) as well as most of the historical details. The French are not depicted too bad and the actions and the fighting are realistic but as always French soldiers tend to be shot more easily than their American or British counterparts. The story has some weak points as Major Rogers can disguise himself and go into the French military headquarters of général marquis de Montcalm in Québec (in fact the general was killed in combat there in 1759) without being recognized.
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