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5 Steps to Danger (1956)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 5 November 1956 (UK)
During the 1950s, a man's car trip from L.A. to Texas turns into a Cold-War espionage drama when his car breaks down and he accepts a lift from a stranger.


Henry S. Kesler


Henry S. Kesler (screenplay), Donald Hamilton (story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
Ruth Roman ... Ann Nicholson
Sterling Hayden ... John Emmett
Werner Klemperer ... Dr. Simmons
Richard Gaines ... Dean Brant
Charles Davis Charles Davis ... Kirk
Jeanne Cooper ... Helen Bethke
Peter Hansen ... Karl Plesser
Karl Ludwig Lindt Karl Ludwig Lindt ... Kissel (as Karl Lindt)
John Mitchum ... Deputy
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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Released in the UK in November 1956 as the support film for Robert Aldrich's Attack. See more »


It is true that the towed car ARrives before Ruth Romans Lincoln, it's quite obvious that Hayden's car comes in from the left while Romans car enters from the right, indicating she passed the service station then drove back. That is why Hayden's car enters first even thought Romans car passed him on the highway. See more »

User Reviews

sometimes I think I must be going insane
1 January 2015 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Five Steps to Danger" is a decent film from 1957, directed by Henry Kesler and starring Ruth Roman and Sterling Hayden.

Why do I think I must be going insane? All these comparisons to Hitchcock. Okay, the basic story is similar, but so are lots of stories. This movie was as much like a Hitchcock film as "The Sound of Music." Two people handcuffed together does not mean you can make a viable comparison.

The story is interesting, but awkward. Ann (Roman) approaches John (Hayden) in a restaurant. He has just sold his car, which can't be fixed easily, and her car is being serviced. She is in a hurry to get to New Mexico and asks if, for a ride, he will help with the driving so she can get there faster by having him drive at night. He agrees. Well, we live in different times today, but I wouldn't have even talked to this guy much less offer him a ride. Too many true crime shows, I guess.

At one point Hayden is approached by a nurse, who explains that Roman has just been discharged from a mental facility and is being monitored by her and her doctor. The nurse is played by the late Jeanne Cooper, Mrs. Chancellor on The Young and the Restless. She is nearly unrecognizable, she's so young.

Eventually it's revealed that Roman, who was in Berlin and lost family during the war, is supposed to deliver a transcript to a family friend working in the U.S., Dr. Fritz Kissel. She has just located him at a university. The university denies he's ever been there, and Everyone wants to stop her from finding him.

I found this film talky, low on action, low on suspense, and the dialogue and pace awkward. Ruth Roman was very good. I've never been a fan of Sterling Hayden's, but he was okay here.


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Release Date:

5 November 1956 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Steel Mirror See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Ryder Sound Services)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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