Highly Dangerous 1950

 

Director: Roy Ward Baker

 

Writer: Eric Ambler

Rôle: Commandant Anton Razinski

 

Release Date: 6 December 1950

 

Synopsis: When British Intelligence discovers that an Iron Curtain country is developing insects as weapons, they persuade eminent entomologist Frances Gray (Margaret Lockwood) to get into the country to collect some specimens. On arrival, her cover is almost immediately blown and her contact murdered. The future looks grim for her and also perhaps for the world.

Reviews: On the Noirish blog it says about Marius's performance: "The movie’s standout performance is Goring’s. This may be because Goring could often be a bit of a ham; one of the most frightening personae that tyrants and their powerful minions can adopt is that of the ham—think Stalin. Here is Razinski trying to warn Frances and Bill off the bug farm:

Razinski: “You see, Miss Conway, I told you, there is nothing beautiful in Paritsa province. Nothing but pine trees.”
Frances: “And soldiers.”
Razinski: “And soldiers, yes. This is a military training area. That is why we have these barriers and precautions. A few months ago some people were shot accidentally in the woods. It was terrible.”
Frances: “What people?”
Razinski: “Tourists.”

The best scene in the movie is arguably one that occurs late on. Razinski has mounted a manhunt that has failed: his search of the countryside for Frances and Bill has gotten nowhere. His last hope is to find the couple aboard the train that nightly leaves the nightmare of the USSR for the West. He gets his goons to call everyone aboard the train out onto the platform. What confounds him is that so many of the couples look a bit like Frances and Bill, even though they aren’t. The message is of course that lovers all over the world share so much in common that it’s hard to tell them apart—a message that totalitarians have difficulty in understanding."

Behind-the-scenes Trivia: Marius talked to the Weekly Telegraph on 29 July 1950 about filming Highly Dangerous: "It is certainly fortunate that I am rather partial to a cigar" smiled Marius Goring, stopping to chat as he came off the set of "Highly Dangerous".  Marius, who plays a chief of police explained that he smokes a cigar in almost every shot, and, for continuity, each cigar must be smoked down to a certain length. He had already got through 132 when we met. "At this rate," he told me "I should get through about 900 before the shooting ends".

Wardrobe Trivia: This is the first appearance of a large signet ring (with a pink polished stone) on Marius. He would been seen wearing it in quite a few film and television roles over the years, most frequently in his role as Sir Percy Blakeney in The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel (1955) and the last time he is seen wearing it is as Emile Englander in The Old Men at the Zoo (1983).

Availability: DVD (Rank Collection) Release Date: 2012.

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