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On Dangerous Ground (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 1952 (UK)
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2:11 | Trailer
Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors:

Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino (uncredited)

Writers:

A.I. Bezzerides (screen play), A.I. Bezzerides (based on an adaptation of the novel) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ida Lupino ... Mary Malden
Robert Ryan ... Jim Wilson
Ward Bond ... Walter Brent
Charles Kemper ... Pop Daly
Anthony Ross ... Pete Santos
Ed Begley ... Capt. Brawley
Ian Wolfe ... Sheriff Carrey
Sumner Williams ... Danny Malden
Gus Schilling ... Lucky
Frank Ferguson ... Willows
Cleo Moore ... Myrna Bowers
Olive Carey ... Mrs. Brent
Richard Irving Richard Irving ... Bernie Tucker
Patricia Prest Patricia Prest ... Julie Brent (as Pat Prest)
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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Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside.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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1952 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dark Highway See more »

Filming Locations:

Granby, Colorado, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lee J. Cobb, Albert Dekker and Howard Da Silva were all considered for the role eventually played by Ward Bond. See more »

Goofs

Wilson & the Sheriff are stopped on the bridge discussing the crime. When the car begins to move, a reflector known as a "Shiny Board" can be seen in the reflection of the side window. It's clear enough to see it's the "Soft Side" of the board being used. See more »

Quotes

Capt. Brawley: Make up your mind to be a cop, not a gangster with a badge.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Jumpin' 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 ccthemovieman-1See 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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