DANGEROUS CROSSING. 1953

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I caught up with DANGEROUS CROSSING after listening to the radio drama,CABIN-B 13, on which it is based.
Starring Jeanne Crain and Michael Rennie,it ‘s interesting to see how a 30 minute episode from the Suspense radio series of the 40s was expanded to feature film length.
I guess Fox thought it would be unlucky to keep the original cabin number from which Jeanne’s new husband Carl Betz disappears just after they have boarded an ocean liner. (The cabin becomes B-16 ! )

Poor Jeanne – she has to be hysterical throughout most of the film, with Michael Rennie as the ship’s doctor trying to calm her down.
A thankless role really for Jeanne and she is in practically every scene.
Marjorie Hoshelle as a fellow passenger had a touch of Eve Arden in her delivery, “I’ve been a bride myself on occasion.”
Marjorie was married to Jeff Chandler from 1946 to 1954.

All the ingredients are there for a good mystery but it’s all in the mix ie the screenplay, and it just isn’t good enough.
I don’t think Jeanne is a strong enough performer to play this kind of role. When she has to deliver a line like,”It’s just occurred to me,I don’t really know my own husband”, it’s not just the ship’s foghorn that should be ringing.

Being in a constant state of fear and distress because everyone says her husband may be a figment of her imagination, you might expect Jeanne to stop worrying about how she looks .But oh no,she changes her outfit and jewels regularly and her hair and makeup are always perfect .
It’s not a bad thriller, it just could have been so much better,maybe,dare I say, with two other stars in the lead roles.
I like Michael Rennie but he and Jeanne seem ill-matched.
(Anyway, he will always be Klaatu!)
Very interesting to hear on the DVD extras that sets from Titanic and the swimming pool from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were used.

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2 responses »

  1. I quite like this film, but then again I’m a huge fan of John Dickson Carr’s writing anyway. Personally, I didn’t have any particular issues with the casting, but I guess the film might have been stronger considering the source of the story.
    While I’m very happy we managed to get it on DVD, I do think Fox were stretching it to label this movie as film noir.

    • Thanks for your comment, Colin.
      I agree it’s hardly noir.
      I’m not a Jeanne Crain fan so that probably coloured my view.
      John Dickson Carr wrote some cracking stories.

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