On Dangerous Ground (1951)

…… On Dangerous Ground is a favourite film noir of mine, and of course it has an entry in A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir. However, its appearance as #78 in the Wonders in the Dark romantic movies countdown gave me the opportunity — thanks to kindly Sam Juliano — to write about it at considerably greater length than I had space for in the book.

Wonders in the Dark


by John Grant

US / 82 minutes / bw / RKO Dir: Nicholas Ray Pr: John Houseman Scr: A.I. Bezzerides Story:Mad with Much Heart (1946) by Gerald Butler, adapted by A.I. Bezzerides, Nicholas Ray Cine: George E. Diskant Cast: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Anthony Ross, Ed Begley, Ian Wolfe, Sumner Williams, Gus Schilling, Frank Ferguson, Cleo Moore, Olive Carey, Richard Irving, Pat Prest, Nita Talbot, Joan Taylor.

A film noir that’s in its way more of an anti-noir, in that its protagonist is rescued from the noir abyss—and from the concrete and plate glass tunnels of the crowded city—through interaction in a rural environment with a femme who’s the opposite of fatale. A fairly early outing from Nick Ray—with a few scenes directed by Ida Lupino when illness, perhaps related to his substance abuse, required that Ray take a break—this is one of those members…

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