A family vacationing on the coast of Mexico have to cope with multiple threats to their safety.


John Sturges


Mel Dinelli (screenplay), Maurice Zimm (story)





Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Helen Stilwin
Barry Sullivan ... Doug Stilwin
Ralph Meeker ... Lawson
Lee Aaker ... Bobby Stilwin


The Stilwins are on vacation to an isolated beach in Mexico. Walking on a deserted jetty, Doug Stilwin gets his leg trapped under one of the logs. All attempts to move the log are futile and Helen Stilwin takes the car to get help. However, an escaped criminal kidnaps her. Will she be able to return to her husband before he drowns? Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


She did it...and it was bad! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 15, 1954 with Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan reprising their film roles. See more »


After Bobby makes coffee and takes the pot and cup to his father, in one scene he's holding the pot with one hand and in other scenes with both hands. See more »


Helen Stilwin: I'll do anything to save my husband... anything!
See more »


Cielito Lindo
Music by Quirino Mendoza
Arranged by Skip Martin
See more »

User Reviews

Tight, suspenseful thriller with Ralph Meeker stealing the show...
21 November 2011 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

JEOPARDY doesn't deserve the brickbats it's getting from other viewers who think of it as little more than a B-film, a quickie in the career of Barbara Stanwyck.

Nonsense. Stanwyck was still a terrific actress and uses all her skill to keep this a taut woman-in-peril kind of story that starts out innocently enough but then shifts into high gear the moment her husband is trapped under some rotten pilings from a pier.

Nor is the plot a foolish one. Clearly, it's the kind of incident that could easily have happened on an isolated beach in Mexico, with Stanwyck unable to find an English-speaking person to help her when she and her small son are unable to free Sullivan as the tide rises.

It just so happens the only person able to understand her predicament is an escaped convict running from a murder charge (Ralph Meeker). The moment Meeker appears he lifts the film into a new realm of suspense, so convincing is his portrayal of a Stanley Kowalski-type of character without anything but self-preservation (and sex) on his mind. Meeker never had a better showcase for his machismo appeal.

Because of production code rules, the film fails to make more of the sex angle including Stanwyck's decision to be more cooperative with the man who clearly might do her a favor if she does him one. By glossing over this angle and merely showing Meeker grab her in a couple of tight clinches, the film loses some of its impact when she returns with him to help her husband.

Nevertheless, it's a brisk, tightly constructed story around a simple theme and it works beautifully. John Sturges doesn't waste a moment of the film on any sub-plots but stays firmly fixed on the woman's dire predicament and all of the tension the viewer must feel watching Stanwyck's distress mount, knowing that her husband is in even more peril than she is.

It's a much better film than cited here--definitely worth a look.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

1 May 1953 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

A Woman in Jeopardy See more »

Filming Locations:

Dana Point, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$589,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed