Film Review – ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1951)

ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1951, USA) ***½
Drama, Film-Noir
dist. RKO Radio Pictures; pr co. RKO Radio Pictures; d. Nicholas Ray; w. A.I. Bezzerides, Nicholas Ray (based on the novel “Mad with Much Heart” by Gerald Butler); pr. John Houseman; ph. George E. Diskant (B&W. 35mm. Spherical. 1.37:1); m. Bernard Herrmann; ed. Roland Gross; ad. Ralph Berger, Albert S. D’Agostino; rel. 12 December 1951 (USA), 14 November 1951 (UK); BBFC cert: PG; r/t. 82m.
cast: Ida Lupino (Mary Malden), Robert Ryan (Jim Wilson), Ward Bond (Walter Brent), Charles Kemper (Pop Daly), Anthony Ross (Pete Santos), Ed Begley (Capt. Brawley), Ian Wolfe (Sheriff Carrey), Sumner Williams (Danny Malden), Gus Schilling (Lucky), Frank Ferguson (Willows), Cleo Moore (Myrna Bowers), Olive Carey (Mrs. Brent), Richard Irving (Bernie Tucker), Patricia Prest (Julie Brent).
Interesting and intense character drama sees Ryan play a rough city cop who is disciplined by his captain and sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case. There he questions his own approach during a murder manhunt which brings him into contact with the fugitive’s blind sister, played by Lupino. The key theme is of redemption plays out a little awkwardly as what made Ryan the way he was in the big city is only hinted at and never fully explored. Ray directs his actors well and the film is constantly moving, with the director’s frequent use of the hand-held camera during action sequences adding a level of urgency. With the help of Diskant’s striking photography (particularly using the Colorado Rockies location) and Herrmann’s evocative score, Ray elevates the film above the level of its script, producing an often-engrossing tale. Lupino directed the film for several days when Nicholas Ray fell ill.

Film Review – JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (1963)

Related imageJason and the Argonauts (1963; UK/USA; Eastmancolor; 104m) ****  d. Don Chaffey; w. Jan Read, Beverley Cross; ph. Wilkie Cooper; m. Bernard Herrmann.  Cast: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith, Niall MacGinnis, Michael Gwynn, Douglas Wilmer, Jack Gwillim, Honor Blackman, John Cairney, Patrick Troughton, Andrew Faulds, Nigel Green. The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece. Rousing fantasy adventure with memorable special effects design by Ray Harryhausen – including the giant bronze statue Talos and the army of skeletons. A game cast and resonant score by Herrmann add significantly. It took Harryhausen four months to produce the skeleton scene, a massive amount of time for a scene which lasts, at the most, three minutes. Remade for TV in 2000. [U]