Dangerous Crossing (1953) Joseph M. Newman


    “Dangerous Crossing” is the kind of film you watch once and will have no desire to watch again. It is a decent uncluttered minor thriller with a plot that been done many times before. Think Preminger’s “Bunny Lake is Missing” and Hitchcock’s “The Lady Vanishes.” While the story keeps you interested enough there is nothing special here to hold on too. The film stars Jeanne Crain as a newlywed who is spending her honeymoon with her new husband, a man she just met a few weeks earlier, on a passenger cruise ship. No sooner are they on board, the husband (Carl Betz), disappears and surprisingly no one remembers seeing him. Does he really exist or is our heroine’s mind a little seasick?  Michael Rennie is the ship’s doctor who tries to help the poor woman deal with her illusions.  It all goes down as expected with the missing husband trying to drive his unstable wife crazy, eventually kill her and of course get hold of her fortune.  

     Like the most of the movie itself, the acting is adequate. Crain is passable and Rennie is rather bland, as is Carl Betz as the scheming husband. Some may recognize Betz from his days as Donna Reed’s husband in the “The Donna Reed Show” from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, which I remember finding most notable for a young Shelley Fabrares. Mystery fans take note the film is based on a story by mystery writer John Dickson Carr.

     The real highlight of the film are some nice touches by cinematographer Joseph La Shelles who creates some interesting and eerie fog bound scenes that lend a nice feel of mystery and suspense to the proceedings despite uninspired direction, by Joseph M. Newman that almost shipwrecks the entire story.  It would have been nice to see what Hitchcock could have done with this material, then again, he already did it and better.

     Fox has release this film on DVD as part of their Fox Film Noir series however many will find this to be a dubious selection to be included in this category.