Sudden Danger

Released Dec. 14, 1955: SUDDEN DANGER, starring Bill Elliott, Tom Drake, and Beverly Garland. Directed by Hubert Comfield (Lure of the Swamp, Plunder Road, Pressure Point). A blind man (Tom Drake) who lives with his mother, comes home to find their apartment filled with leaking gas from the stove and his mother dead of an apparent SuddenDangersuicide. The investigating detective (Bill Elliott) finds the circumstances to be suspicious, and after questioning several people who knew Drake and his mother, Elliott suspects Drake of murder. When another dead body turns up, the evidence implicating Drake becomes even more compelling. Drake, with the help of his girlfriend (Beverly Garland), strikes out on his own to prove his innocence. This is a low budget B film with production values comparable to a cheap TV crime drama. The overall story is serviceable, with decent plot development, but the presentation is decidedly pedestrian. It should also be noted this film only marginally qualifies as noir – the only noir element being the storyline of a man desperately trying to prove his innocence. The overall “feel” of the film, however, is not very noirish. This is the second of five low budget films in which Elliott, who was an established star of westerns now in the twilight of his career, plays a police detective. His blunt monotone style may have been suitable for the western genre, but he is stiff and stilted in the role of a modern detective. Drake isn’t much better, leaving Garland as the film’s lone bright spot. She comes across natural and believable, and the best scenes in the film are those that include her. If you can live with a movie that’s on par with an old TV episode, you probably won’t be disappointed with Sudden Danger. But if you’re seeking an absorbing noir experience with top-notch acting and inspired production, you should look elsewhere. We give Sudden Danger 1.5 out of 5 fedoras.

1.5 Fedoras

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