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On Dangerous Ground

On Dangerous Ground
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On Dangerous Ground

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1951 / 82min / 35mm

DIRECTOR: NICOLAS RAY, IDA LUPINO

“Why do you make me do it?” Robert Ryan’s corroded cop, choking on this line as he prepares to pummel a perp, breaks down early in On Dangerous Ground, which then follows Ryan’s hothead, city-sickened metropolitan detective as he’s assigned to a homicide case in the countryside that’s meant to cool him off for a while. Not many movies about policework address the mental health issues that come with the gig, but not many movies are as brilliant and original as On Dangerous Ground, which thrusts Ryan—the most convincingly anguished actor of his generation, if not the best—into a murder mystery in the snowy boondocks, where a blind woman (Ida Lupino) becomes his closest ally, worst enemy, and only chance at salvation.