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On Dangerous Ground (1951)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir | 1952 (UK)
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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:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
... Mary Malden
... Jim Wilson
... Walter Brent
... Pop Daly
... Pete Santos
... Capt. Brawley
... Sheriff Carrey
... Danny Malden
Gus Schilling ... Lucky
... Willows
... Myrna Bowers
... Mrs. Brent
Richard Irving ... Bernie Tucker
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Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside.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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Highway  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A hand-held camera was used in many scenes to give a "live action" feel to those sequences. This was extremely rare in feature films of the time. See more »

Goofs

After Ward Bond knocks the lamp over, starting a fire, Ida Lupino brings a lantern from the kitchen and places it on the end table where the lamp had been. A few minutes later however, when she brings the tea tray, the table is on its side and Robert Ryan hurries to right it before she trips on it. See more »

Quotes

Myrna Bowers: I like to stink myself up. 'Noo-it duh Joy.' It means 'Night of Joy.'
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Connections

Referenced in Cinemania (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Jumpin' Jive
(uncredited)
Music by Roy Webb and Gene Rose
See more »

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User Reviews

Poignant study of loneliness ,pain and redemption is a neglected masterpiece
26 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

Ignored at the time of it's release and still criminally underrated, On Dangerous Ground is a masterpiece from director Nicholas Ray, and maybe his best film {yes, better than Rebel Without A Cause}, a powerful yet poignant study of loneliness, urban alienation and finally redemption. It's both tough and tender, both thrilling and thoughtful, both sad and uplifting. In fact, the film itself is comprised of two halves, and both are simply brilliantly handled.

The first half is classic hard boiled film noir. Set almost entirely at night, Robert Ryan's policeman patrols the streets, getting so sickened by the filth he deals with that he has become dehumanised. As he deals with the gangsters ,the tramps and the thieves, the film has an almost documentary style, but it's also an extremely powerful study of a man caught in limbo, perhaps not that many stages away from Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle.

By contrast, the second half takes place mainly in daylight and forgoes the forbidding city scapes for snowy countryside. Ray gives us two terrific outdoor chase sequences, but just as striking are the beautifully written and played scenes between Ryan and the blind Ida Lupino, this tentative almost-romance between two lonely souls being so incredibly poignant. The last reel is somewhat rushed, due partially to pre-release cutting, and maybe the happy ending is un realistic. However, the final embrace has a tremendous sense of release.

Ryan superbly portrays his character's sickness and gradual melting while the gorgeous Ida Lupino has never looked more vulnerable. Bernard Herrmann's score is one of his best ever, ranging from thrilling hunt music for the chase scenes to music of almost unbearable beauty for Lupino. The score alone is a work of art ,but so is this wonderfully compact {at around 80 mins!}and excellent film.


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