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On Dangerous Ground
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On Dangerous Ground

1951
Drama
Crime
1h 22m
Hard, withdrawn city cop Jim Wilson roughs up one too many suspects and is sent upstate to help investigate the murder of a young girl in the winter countryside. There he meets Mary Malden, whom he finds attractive and independent. However, Mary's brother is chief suspect in the killing. And Mary herself is blind. (imdb)
Your probable score
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On Dangerous Ground

1951
Drama
Crime
1h 22m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 62.43% from 358 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(357)
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Rated 27 Feb 2019
80
79th
An anti-noir as it exposes the dependency of noir on the alienation and loneliness of the urban life. What makes a film "noir" is the darkness of crime, dirt, and isolation of the city life. Once you take the camera to the natural goodness of the countryside, even though you don't have a clear sight (hence blindness), you have anti-noir, a film-blanc (snow, youth, innocence, and care) if you will. Ray's originality lies in his conscious and reflexive storytelling. Another great Ray movie.
Rated 03 Jul 2011
84
77th
Robert Ryan's performance is understated but really good. As the film was developing it didn't feel all that special, tough cop chases some criminals and deals with various lowlifes, then gets sent off to the wilderness. It wasn't until the very end that the contrast between the film's two halves really hit me, the first being a descent into inhumanity, and the second a return to humanity. I wish it were less disjointed but any given part is strong enough to hold its own.
Rated 27 Oct 2008
3
38th
It's a pretty good movie, but if it's noir, I'm Harvey the rabbit. The first half sets up a nice premise with Ryan as an aggressive cop with a volatile temper, and then essentially abandons the character in the second half. He abandons his aggression and becomes a caring, level-headed sort, which is fine, but it feels like his conversion is really rushed and it totally changes the tone of the movie. It's still solid, but could've been much more interesting.
Rated 13 Nov 2007
89
63rd
"Well, the weather outside is frightful / And my blind noir dame is so insightful / No more human-garbage dog show / Let it snow let it snow let it snow."
Rated 15 Sep 2008
3
45th
A film with almost split personalities. The first half is a pretty hardcore film noir, with Robert Ryan playing a dirty cop in a New York City that pretty much never sees the light of day. While the film doesn't completely lose its noir sensibilities in the second half, Ryan's character doesn't have the edge he did in the beginning, and there are some hammed-up themes of redemption. Even if it trips up a bit as a noir, it's still a pretty good movie though.
Rated 09 Dec 2009
40
19th
The setup, Ryan playing a rogue policeman who takes a liking to beating up suspects, is fine, even if the character revelation is a bit obvious. Things take a wrong turn to the pathetically dramatic, though, when he is transfered to a rural location and takes an interest in Lupino's blind lady. Both performances are acceptable, I guess, but definitely on the theatrical side.
Rated 15 Feb 2010
87
89th
Starts out gangbusters: hardened cops, rain-slicked streets, cheap floozies and snappy dialogue. And then it turns into a tense manhunt. And then... kind of a sappy melodrama. Noir purists may complain about the Ida Lupino segments of the film, but she's important to the redemptive arc. They weren't my favorite parts of the film, but I didn't really mind them so much. The most impressive aspect of the film is Herrmann's stellar score, which sounds much like his later work on North By Northwesst.
Rated 17 Jan 2020
47
21st
At a quick 82 minutes, I could still partially recommend it for its amazing cinematography and a strong first act in the city, but ultimately this a slight, lightweight movie that was trying to be much more. Ryan's brutal, justice by any means character is turned IN THE VERY SECOND he meets another man like himself out in the rural country and from there it's a boring slog through snow, relieved only by the always amazing Ida Lupino
Rated 14 Mar 2019
84
23rd
84.00
Rated 20 Jan 2024
72
61st
Puzzler as so unusual but well played. Maverick, completely disillisioned, hard nose city cop (in 1st part) is sent bush till (a) he cools it (b) the heat dies down from his latest beating of a suspect (2nd part). Tho plot becomes somewhat hokum from here (tho remainder completely watchable), he's redeemed by blind sister of bush perp and relentlessly vindictive pa of the victim (perhaps seeing his city-side doppelganger in him, thanks ribcage, member here). Some allowances needed for it's age.
Rated 28 Nov 2023
70
96th
Besides being a ruthless crime buster, it's also a unglamorous romance story. The best thing about On Dangerous Ground (1951) is the way it's shot. Always up-close and intimate, packing them like sardines to get them all in the shot. Becomes a very expressive film. One that doesn't bullshit around.
Rated 25 Jul 2023
73
27th
Didn't get into the mood for this; a common problem with films that don't succeed in their attempts at being powerful.
Rated 25 Nov 2020
78
70th
The first half is an amazing depiction of the hard-boiled life of cops in inner city America in the 50s, the second half shift gears completely into a slower character study in a rural landscape. The movie works because of the contrast between the two halves and how Robert Ryan's protagonist has to adopt to this different kind of environment. Next to a great Ryan, Ida Lupino shines
Rated 04 Sep 2020
7
61st
Moody manhunt undermined by misleading police noir intro. Simply told and beautifully shot.
Rated 27 Feb 2016
9
42nd
Star Rating: ★★★
Rated 05 Jul 2019
75
69th
The intricate lighting in the indoor scenes is beautifully contrasted with vast sweeping shots of the countryside. Would have liked to explore that setting more over the first 30 minutes in the city. Herrmann delivers another excellent score, as always.
Rated 08 Apr 2019
30
15th
Need a rewatch. Cliched beginning but then does a 180 and sends him out to the countryside when he suddenly becomes more caring. Neat to see a noir take place outside the city. 2nd "cop chases murderer who's the brother of love interest" movie I recently watched (Rose Marie). Fav scene: outdoor chase in the snow.
Rated 25 Jan 2009
85
75th
I don't like the plot's conclusion, but the rest of the movie is wonderful.
Rated 16 Apr 2018
94
74th
Lupino did a solid job playing blind. Good parts for Ryan and Ward Bond as well. Fast moving drama.
Rated 09 Dec 2014
79
71st
Bu haliyle bir film noir olarak değerlendirmek ne kadar doğru olur bilmiyorum ama tipik bir noir gibi başlayıp, yaptığı keskin dönüşle şaşırtıcı, gerçekçi, hatırda kalıcı ve orijinal olduğu kesin.
Rated 03 Aug 2015
26
9th
"I suppose you have to be pretty tough in your line of work, don't you?" Cue sentimental music.
Rated 18 Oct 2011
100
96th
watched: 2011, 2017, 2023
Rated 08 Apr 2023
7
94th
germanic allegory which starts out indebted to lang and murnau but eventually reveals its muse was borzage all along. schrader was taking notes and cribbed it for bickle in TAXI DRIVER and the climactic scene of FIRST REFORMED, but he could never sell a leap of faith as well as ray does here, helped by a herrmann score so intensely expressive it trembles (wish ray had worked with the GOAT more often). nowadays i think this beats out IN A LONELY PLACE as my favourite of his B&W films.
Rated 22 Jun 2012
85
59th
The contrast between the city and upstate, the way the city is tight and closed in while the shots in the country tend to focus on wide-open expanses, is interesting. I've never found Robert Ryan to be the most interesting actor but his anger can be downright frightening. There's a great scene in here that displays that. Ida Lupino is pretty good as the blind woman. I do wish the story had a darker conclusion but Howard Hughes wouldn't allow it. Great Bernard Herrmann score.
Rated 14 Jan 2013
85
90th
Most notable for the striking contrast between the dark, rain-slicked city streets of the opening 30 minutes and the bright snow-covered plains once Ryan gets sent to "Siberia". The film's themes are not handled with any great subtlety, but I dunno, I found the connection between Ryan and Lupino oddly affecting.

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