Tonight’s treat is as old as me, and no it’s not silent.
On Dangerous Ground features Ida Lupino, Nicholas Ray, Robert Ryan, and a raging Ward Bond; strong ingredients in this noir that ranges from the alleys of New York City to the snowy hilltops of Upstate New York.
Have you ever played the game where you imagine the all-time guest list of the perfectly fascinating dinner party? I do constantly. For many of those rosters I include Ida Lupino. She’s smart, strong, smart, pretty, and pretty damn smart. I’m bettin’ she has some tales to tell. I understand she directed (uncredited) this film for several days when Nicholas Ray was ill.
In this film, Ms. Lupino plays a blind person. In spite of a script that calls for the other characters to be oblivious to her lack of vision for ludicrous lengths of time, she’s just fine. And when she huskily rebuffs sympathy from Robert Ryan near the end of the flick, tears are near at hand.
I’m a fan.
For me, Robert Ryan can be intense and effective (The Racket and The Battle of the Bulge) or dreadfully unengaged (The Longest Day). This is pretty good Robert Ryan. He’s scary as a hardened NYC detective, and confused and vulnerable with a brave lady in distress.
I’m buyin’ it.
Ward Bond is a vector of vengeance in the snow. I hope he doesn’t find me.
For me, film noir works best when the ammunition is live.
The pound of flesh must be paid.
Redemption comes, but there are consequences.
Check, check, and check.
This film’s a good’un.