Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


 Robert Mitchum, Faith Domergue, Claude Rains
WHERE DANGER LIVES (1950). Director: John Farrow. Screenplay by Charles Bennett.

"Oh, Jeff, what's going to become of us?"

Jeff Cameron (Robert Mitchum) is a young, compassionate doctor who is called upon one evening to treat a woman who has attempted suicide. Margo Lannington (Faith Domergue of It Came from Beneath the Sea) seems to have everything to live for -- beauty, wealth, a luxurious home -- but the man she calls father (Claude Rains of The Passionate Friends) seems a little too dominating. Although Jeff already has a girlfriend in nurse Julie (Maureen O'Sullivan), he soon falls under the spell of sexy Margo, and wants to run away with her. But he discovers there's a major complication and that Margo hasn't exactly informed him of everything ... Before long they're taking a wild journey to Mexico.

Domergue and Mitchum 
Where Danger Lives, with a script by Hitchcock collaborator Charles Bennett, is unpredictable, so I won't reveal any of the plot twists that will keep the viewer completely absorbed for the film's relatively short length -- but the movie plays. Mitchum and Domergue both offer extremely competent Hollywood-style performances, meaning they are good but often perfunctory, not adding the shadings or nuances that other actors might have. Claude Rains, with only one scene, pretty much takes the acting honors, but that is to be expected. O'Sullivan, who was married to director John Farrow, has a small and thankless role. This is one of many, many movies in which  an essentially decent man (or what is at least meant to be) leaves a good woman flat to run off with a sexier female. Mitchum also appeared in the more famous film noir Out of the Past, but this is the better picture.

Verdict: Zesty film noir with sexy Domergue not having to share billing with a giant octopus. ***. 


angelman66 said...

This one looks good! I love O'Sullivan, here directed by her hubby who is Mia's dad...and Domergue is a forgotten femme fatale. I'll look for it!

William said...

I think I found this one on Filmstruck, which unfortunately is going out of business, but maybe youtube one of these days ...