Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 4. March 25, 1953

Highly Dangerous..

Highly Dangerous...

"Highly Dangerous" is highly entertaining; and for the most part well made. Eric Ambler wrote the script and it la to him that we must give most of the credit. Cashing in on the current talk of germ warfare, he gives us a story of a female scientist who, in spite of a sinister chief of police, obtains some specimens of a very special basteria which a ruthless power is preparing to use as a weapon of war That in a few words la the plot is it corny, la it conventional? I think most of us would say "Yes" and Eric Ambler realises this. With a clever twist, he turns his film into a satife, a parody of the type of film it could have been. The young heroine has a habit of listening to radio serials ("Will Conway be Saved?" "Tune in next week!") and, in the course of her secret mission, begins to have the same illusions as the serials heroes. "Rusty, we must get through. Everything depends on us?" So she prepares a most fantastic plan and of course, is successful. An ingenious script from a clever writer, but if the film is not entirely successful it is because it sometimes forgets that it is being satirical it is often in danger of taking itself too seriously.

Margaret Lockwood and Dane Clark are adequate as the single-minded heroine and the "humorous" (of the "dry" variety) hero, while the chief of police, Marius Goring ("Rumour has it that that chap had a mother") obviously knows his radio and screen villains backwards. The director, Roy Baker, also plays his part well, in spite of his use of such a trick as the camera slowly sweeping the whole length of a man's body, only to reveal that, after all he is merely holding a revolver. But he did save the humour of the last sequence from straining to breaking point.

"Highly Dangerous" is superficial, but it did manage to entertain me. And as I was sitting in the second-to-front row that is indeed praise.

Grading: ***(*).