On Dangerous Ground (1952) - Rotten Tomatoes

On Dangerous Ground (1952)

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Movie Info

Robert Ryan plays Jim Wilson, a tough police detective embittered by years of dealing with low-life urban scum, in Nicholas Ray's moving film noir. After severely beating several suspects, Jim is assigned to a case far from the city to find the killer of a young girl. Joining the manhunt, in snow-covered terrain, Wilson finds himself paired with the victim's father, Walter Brent (Ward Bond), who plans to shoot the killer himself. When the two men come upon a cabin occupied by Mary Malden (Ida Lupino), a blind woman who is also the killer's sister, Wilson's life is changed forever. Mary, a generous and loving person who has cared for her mentally ill brother Danny (Sumner Williams) since the death of their parents, convinces Wilson to protect Danny from Brent. Wilson also promises to get help for Danny if he surrenders to him. Inspired by Mary's courage and recognizing Brent's rage as the mirror image of his own, Wilson gains the insight to free himself from his own blindness. The film includes a memorable score by Alfred Hitchcock favorite Bernard Herrmann. ~ Rovi

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Cast

Robert Ryan
as Jim Wilson
Ida Lupino
as Mary Malden
Ward Bond
as Walter Brent
Anthony Ross
as Pete Santos
Ed Begley Sr.
as Capt. Brawley
Ian Wolfe
as Carrey
Sumner Williams
as Danny Malden
Olive Carey
as Mrs. Brent
Pat Prest
as Julie
Ruth Lee
as Helen
W.J. O'Brien
as Hotel Clerk
Nita Talbot
as Woman in Bar
Joe Devlin
as Bartender
Jim Drum
as Stretcher Bearer
Tracey Roberts
as Peggy Santos
Nestor Paiva
as Gabini, Newsdealer
Jimmy Conlin
as Doc Hyman
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Critic Reviews for On Dangerous Ground

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (1)

One of the loveliest of Nick Ray's movies.

October 23, 2007 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The performances are potent, the direction by Nicholas Ray is suitably moody, and the score by Bernard Herrmann is terrific.

October 29, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Creative Loafing

An exalted modulation from harsh to lyrical and back, the culmination of Nicholas Ray's Borzagean side

December 2, 2013 | Full Review…
CinePassion

Haunting mix of police story, romance and tale of regeneration.

January 30, 2012 | Full Review…
Classic Film and Television

What succeeds in On Dangerous Ground is the raw emotionalism that bleeds out from the screen, unmatched in any of Ray's other films.

July 2, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
Filmcritic.com

Nicholas Ray's classic noir starring Ryan and Lupino.

March 2, 2008 | Rating: 5/5
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Audience Reviews for On Dangerous Ground

½

Atmospheric noir mood piece with excellent work by greats Robert Ryan and Ida Lupino with an evocative score by Bernard Hermann, reportedly his favorite of all his work.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Really interesting Noir from Nicholas Ray. It's sort of the Dusk till Dawn of it's day. It's a picture of two distinct halves. The first a police film. The second a chase. It's easy to see why this film, with it's early use of hand held camera was an inspiration for the French new wave. As Godard said "Nicholas Ray is cinema"

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

A great psychological noir. Completely changes tone in the middle which almost makes watching this film like a double feature.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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