On Dangerous Ground

On Dangerous Ground

DVD - 2006
Average Rating:
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City cop goes to the countryside to help solve a brutal murder and falls in love with a blind woman who's brother is a suspect.
Publisher: Burbank, Calif. : Warner Home Video, c2006
Edition: Standard version
ISBN: 9781419826566
1419826565
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (82 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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t
TravissT
May 20, 2016

Another worthy entry from the ever-interesting Nick Ray, starring America's least appreciated great leading man, Robert Ryan, as well as the incredible Ida Lupino.

Ryan is a burned out big city cop who has been warned against his penchant for beating up suspects in his custody. When it happens yet again, his big boss--in a remarkable display of deference that in our time would be reserved only for our corporate masters--exiles Ryan to the snowy countryside to work on a missing person's case. How this would work jurisdictionally is never explained, but it does give our hero a chance to lock horns with the estimable Ward Bond, playing the victim's father, a rural type disdainful of the city cop.

Ryan also meets the blind woman played by Lupino--sister of the suspect. Her scenes with Ryan are marvels of sensitivity and the subtle grace of two expert actors working in harmony.

Ryan's exposure to the blind woman affects a thorough change in the cop, into a caring, tactful fellow.

Yet he must also deal with Bond, whose murderous rage must remind him of what he is trying to escape. An interesting subtext for me was the off-screen contrast bbetween the two: Ryan a Dartmouth grad and committed liberal (and college heavyweight boxing champ); Bond an arch-conservative like his friend John Wayne, a journeyman actor, not particularly educated.

But both were pros and the personal animosity that seems apparent on the screen ultimately goes into the service of a greater cause: an excellent, surprisingly undated film.

l
lukasevansherman
Jul 07, 2015

Although this 1951 film starts out firmly in film noir territory (tough cop in the dirty city chases a fugitive to the country), it's really a melodrama disguised as a crime film, and a rather heavy-handed, sentimental one at that. Perennial tough guy Robert Ryan is good as the cop who softens when he meets the fugitive's sister, a blind woman played by Ida Lupino. Lupino, who was also in the manhunt movie "High Sierra," was a rarity in Hollywood, as she also directed (see "The Hitch-Hiker"). "Rebel Without a Cause" director Nicholas Ray is behind the camera, but this is not one of his better films. John Ford regular Ward Bond chews some scenery and Hitchcock regular Bernard Hermann does the music. Also see "They Live By Night" and "The Set-Up."

m
Monolith
Jun 21, 2015

I agree with most that's already been said by those reviewers before me about this film noir: 1.) Robert Ryan as the cop on the brink that's about to crack was an EXCELLENT choice; 2.) Ultra-talented Hitchcock film maestro Bernard Herrmann really showed off some of his chops; 3.) Ida Lupino's well polished and amazingly agile (<-?) hermit blind woman sadly didn't fly with me... Still a great movie.

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Mar 11, 2015

After watching this 1952 Crime/Thriller, I guess that blind people can be just as vain about their looks as those of us who can see.

But, with that said, I honestly found that I couldn't, for the life of me, fathom the full depth of character Mary Malden's puzzling conceitedness.

Here was a young, blind woman who lived pretty much alone in an isolated farmhouse on the farthest outskirts of a very small town. And, yet, you could always be sure to find Mary in full make-up, with her hair neatly coiffed and (get this!) her nails freshly polished.

I can't imagine a blind person ever being this concerned about their looks, especially since they rarely ever went out, nor were guests ever expected to be showing up at the door.

I'm sorry to say, but I found Ida Lupino (who played Mary) to be completely unconvincing as a blind woman. And when it came to this character roaming around inside her cluttered home, she was just too sure-footed of herself without the aid of a cane.

And, it really killed me when Mary actually ventured into the outdoors and traipsed across the open country (through shin-deep snow, no less) and she never once lost her balance or needed the help of a walking stick.

As far as I'm concerned (when you take all of what I've said above into serious consideration), I think the introduction of Mary into the story completely ruined what started out as a very effective and potentially promising 1950's tough-guy movie.

Up until Mary (and her unbelievable challenged vision and her ridiculously manicured looks) stepped into the picture, On Dangerous Ground was sailing along quite nicely. And, then "THUD!", down came cupid's blasted sledgehammer.

a
akmak5
Mar 04, 2014

On Dangerous Ground is a brilliant 'noir' gem. Beautifully sparse, dark and moving. All the pieces fit perfectly.

voisjoe1 Nov 03, 2013

“On Dangerous Ground,” directed by Nicholas Ray, stars Robert Ryan as a nearly psycho cop who beats the crap out of any suspect or person who looks at him the wrong way. The audience, thinking the rest of the film will continue to take place in the dark, violent, and dangerous wet night urban crime-infested streets, has to adjust expectations as Ryan is sent out into the mountainous boonies and rural landcapes packed with snow. The chief figured Ryan might get his head screwed back on by being sent to a new environment too cool off. The chase scenes that ensue in the open spaces give Bernard Herrmann a great opportunity to show off his great film score prowess. It is easy to see that this is quite similar to the great music that Herrmann wrote for the later great Hitchcock film, “North by Northwest.”

j
Janice21383
Apr 05, 2011

Robert Ryan has been dead since 1973, and still scares me. He is so the cop who takes you into a back room at the precinct, and beats you with a phone book. ODG takes a lot of criticism for changing tone from gritty to romantic, but that's the design: part one is the problem, and part two is the (possible) solution. Noir fans love their downbeat endings, though. Also featuring the fabulous Cleo Moore as the dame crushed in Ryan's big. strong. arms.

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Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Aug 08, 2014

"I don't get information by being careful."

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Aug 08, 2014

"Sometimes the people who are never alone are the loneliest."

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Aug 08, 2014

"Dumb cops!"

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