On Dangerous Ground (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Robert Ryan
as Jim Wilson
Ida Lupino
as Mary Malden
Ward Bond
as Walter Brent
Charles Kemper
as Pop Daly
Anthony Ross
as Pete Santos
Ed Begley Sr.
as Capt. Brawley
Ian Wolfe
as Carrey
Sumner Williams
as Danny Malden
Frank Ferguson
as Willows
Cleo Moore
as Myrna
Olive Carey
as Mrs. Brent
Pat Prest
as Julie
Ruth Lee
as Helen
Kate Lawson
as Woman
Ken Terrell
as Crook
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
Vera Stokes
as Mother
Nestor Paiva
as Gabini, Newsdealer
Robert Leslie Bennett
as Sgt. Wendell
Jimmy Conlin
as Doc Hyman
Joan Taylor
as Hazel
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Critic Reviews for On Dangerous Ground

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

One of the loveliest of Nick Ray's movies.

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

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

Full Review… | December 1, 2013

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

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
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.

Full Review… | July 2, 2009

Nicholas Ray's classic noir starring Ryan and Lupino.

March 2, 2008

A realistic and often gripping crime yarn.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for On Dangerous Ground

This film is an amazing work of art. This film was based on the book Mad with Much Heart by Gerald Butler. The cinematography was beautiful. I loved the flow of the story. The telling of a harden cop who falls for an independent blind girl while searching for her brother was astonishing. It's film noir at it's best. www.what-to-watch.com

Laura Rachel
Laura Rachel

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

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