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Author Topic: On Dangerous Ground (1951)  (Read 1261 times)
cigar joe
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« on: June 18, 2014, 01:27:24 PM »

Needs a proper thread

titoli January 26, 2011, 07:49:17 AM
On Dangerous Ground (1951) The first part is very good, with the night city dirty side depiction. The second part suffers from too much melodrama: I can't stand the Lupino charcter, it woud be good otherwise. The Hermann's score is on a level with Marnie's or Psycho's. 6\10


old thread Continued here....... : http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=1822.msg145559#msg145559

dave Jenkins Quote from: titoli on January 26, 2011, 07:49:17 AM
On Dangerous Ground (1951) The first part is very good, with the night city dirty side depiction. The second part suffers from too much melodrama: I can't stand the Lupino charcter, it woud be good otherwise. The Hermann's score is on a level with Marnie's or Psycho's. 6\10 Yup.

cigar joe On Dangerous Ground (1952) dir: Nicholas Ray, with Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Anthony Ross, Ed Begley, Ian Wolfe, Sumner Williams, and Nita Talbot.

Just about every time I've caught this its been from the manhunt in the country sequence to the end. One time I saw the very beginning and never knew how it segued from the city to the countryside, I always assumed Ryan was chasing a crook.

Now I finally know the story, brutal cop with inner turmoil, get shipped to the rurales to help with a manhunt. Ends up seeing himself reflected in Ward Bond's revenge filled father character. Woman, Ida Lupino, soothes the savage beast. A pretty good noir with a nice juxtaposition of city/country images. Watch Nita Talbot's prostitute character in the bar as she looks Ryan up and down. 8.5/10.



« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 01:29:31 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 05:48:51 PM »

Re-watched this today from the Warner Film Noir collection #3, it needs a proper topic.

1951 film noir directed by Nicholas Ray and produced by John Houseman. The screenplay by A. I. Bezzerides based on the novel Mad with Much Heart, by Gerald Butler. The drama features Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond, Charles Kemper, Anthony Ross, Ed Begley, Cleo Moore, Olive Carey, and Nita Talbot.



synopsis: Brutal cop boiling with inner turmoil, blasts off steam beating the crap out of suspects, he exists in a sewer cleaning up the human garbage. His prowl car partners have family life, wives, and kids for safety valves. They can shed the job and sympathize with  "there but for the grace of god go I" crowd, the  i.e. the rest of us poor schmucks, but not Detective Jim Wilson a high school jock whose faded glory days are reduced to cheap plastic trophies. Wilson is both alienated from humanity and obsessed with his job to the point where his partners become concerned. Wilson not only gets his man he puts him in the hospital.



His chief gets him shipped to the rurales to help with a manhunt. Ends up seeing himself reflected in Ward Bond's revenge filled father character. Woman, Ida Lupino, soothes the savage beast.

Dark:



Light:



The film is a study of contrasting worlds the dark of the city against the light of the country, the vertical good-bad against horizontal conservative-liberal, Williams is skewed, way off center, to survive he must become centered, Lupino shows him the way back.

Light & Symbolism:





As titoli mentioned "The first part is very good, with the night city dirty side depiction."

I'll up that to the first part is great, Diskant's beautiful camerawork of a squad car bound prowl POV, through rain slick LA city streets. Great characters pop up in vignettes and sequences, watch for screenwriter A.I. Bezzerides as slimy bar owner/pimp offering bribes, hooker Nita Talbot and her whore gaze as she sizes up Willson's package and nympho/masochist Cleo Moore putting the hooks in Ryan.
A.I. Bezzerides:



Nita Talbot her whore gaze proving she's "old enough"



Cleo Moore - cleavage hook "I'm a big girl"



Cleo Moore - oral hook



Cleo Moore - flashing inner thigh hook



The second half of the film is set in rural California, the snow cover blankets everything in a clean white patina. Underneath though, there are noir similarities to the city. A child killer is on the loose and Ward Bond is the dead girls father seeing vigilante justice at any cost, and Ryan comes off sane comparatively. Its a bit melodramatic but not overwhelming. The original screenplay was not as dichotomous as the filmed product, in the script Ryan returns to the city after being rejected  the second time by Lupino, a much more down & noir-ish ending. The changes are attributed to Howard Hughes' meddiling.  The film now seems a bit unbalanced, its original structure bouncing back and forth between dark and light would feel more harmonious.

The film can boast an outstanding score by the brilliant Bernard Herrmann. Great performances all around 9/10

« Last Edit: June 19, 2014, 06:40:33 AM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 07:54:15 PM »

Good analysis, CJ! You make the best case for the film I've seen, but I'm still not persuaded that the second half is any good. You've reminded me, though, of just how seedy life in the city is supposed to be--it's strongly suggested that Nita Talbot is underage, and not only is Cleo Moore a tramp, she goes in for some pretty rough trade (and it's even apparent that her masochism appeals to Ryan). Pretty racy for a movie made under the production code!

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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 09:00:17 PM »

I saw this a while ago and don't have very strong memories about how much I liked it (and I can't find any previous posts I made about it). But this thread has interested me enough that I will check it out again, next time it plays on TCM. It shows up there every once in a while.

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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 12:48:39 PM »

Robert Ryan's biographer is interviewed here: http://www.filmnoirfoundation.org/video.html

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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 04:50:35 PM »

Haven't seen a date for this Blu yet, but man-o-man!
Quote
NEW 2016 HD REMASTER DERIVED FROM NEW 4K SCAN FROM ORIGINAL NITRATE CAMERA NEGATIVE

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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 05:26:26 PM »

Haven't seen a date for this Blu yet, but man-o-man!
amazon is now saying it's out Oct. 11: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LTHLG1O/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2016, 01:15:29 PM »

I'll double dip for this if the transfer is legit.

This is one of those movies that I think more highly of on repeated viewings. I think it's basically some type of masterwork at this point.

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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2016, 02:36:36 PM »

Terrific review of the film and the new blu: http://trailersfromhell.com/on-dangerous-ground/#.V_lVOaYVBjp

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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2016, 01:28:49 PM »

Blu in da house! Cleo Moore in--heh, heh--High Definition. I can't wait!

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« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 06:09:23 PM »

Amazing film!

Robert Ryan is spot-on as a cop who's having issues with his job ("Garbage! That's all we handle, garbage!" "Cops have no friends. Nobody likes a cop, on either side of the law. Nobody.")

Ida Lupino is charming, as always. What an underrated actress!

Kind of ironic that Ryan's character is so eager to catch criminals in the first part of the film, but when he falls for the blind woman, he does what he can to help her brother (a criminal). Suddenly he's also very opposed to the actions of the victim's father (who just want to kill his daughter's murderer), even though he, the cop, would have done the same thing (other cases) before arriving at that village.

The movie is almost perfect except for one thing: why did the cop and the victim's father have to steal someone's car to chase the killer? The cop had his car there and he should have used it.

Very haunting soundtrack, too.

By the way, another terrific film by Nicholas Ray is In a Lonely Place. Highly recommended.

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