Dangerous Crossing (1953)

 Run Time: 73 min. | colour
Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: w. Jeanne Crain, Michael Rennie, Max Showalter, Carl Betz
 Genres: Drama | Film Noir | Mystery
A mystery set on an ocean liner. Crain is a bride whose husband disappears during the first few hours after they sail. Suspense heightens.


  1. IMDBReviewer

    August 2, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This movie is a nice, tense little b/w thriller, set aboard a transatlantic passenger liner headed to England. Jeanne Crain plays a new bride; her husband immediately goes missing after boarding the ship in New York, leaving her in a state of panic as she can not convince the ship’s crew or passengers that he even exists. Suspicions rise as a hint of her mental unstability comes to light, and bits of her past are made known. Questionable characters lurk around every dark corner of the ship during the fog-enshrouded crossing, offering an atmosphere of doubt and danger. Jeanne Crain portrays the sheltered, distressed young woman with an ideal sensitivity, and Britsh actor Michael Rennie is especially effective as the ship’s doctor who treats her with thoughtful compassion. I enjoyed the shipbound suspense of this movie, particularly the scenes where the young lady tries to conduct her own investigation, searching the darkened decks in spite of her overwhelming fear and despair. The cast is good, the direction tight, and the mystery unravels without any dead spots to cool your interest. As a side note, did any actor ever look better in uniform than tall Michael Rennie?

  2. tfsadmin

    August 2, 2017 at 8:35 am

    This taut atmospheric mystery-at-sea gets great performances by Jeanne Crain, Michael Rennie, Max Showalter, and Carl Betz. The pacing is fast, and the characterizations are well-crafted. I have seen this movie six times, and I never tire of it. Everything is handled so professionally. I highly recommend it.

  3. tfsadmin

    August 2, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Before I even saw the first scene of this very good mystery I was pretty sure that I would like it because it was adapted from a story by John Dickson Carr. In my opinion, he was the dean of mystery writers, specializing in the genre that gives us the stylish murder in the sealed room and similar types of "impossible" crimes.

    This time, Ms. Crane is a woman who has been married for only a few hours. Her and her new husband are taking an ocean voyage for their honeymoon. But, the husband goes to see the purser, telling his wife that he will meet her in the ships’ dining room. Since this is a Carr story the husband, naturally, disappears and most of the rest of the movie finds Ms. Crane trying to convince the ships’ crew that her husband did indeed board the ship with her and has vanished. Of course, everyone claims to have not seen her husband board with her and she is thought of as a mental case. But, as the movie unfolds, the ships’ doctor, played by Michael Rennie, begins to think that there may be truth to her story. From the start, it’s obvious that at least one crew member is part of a nefarious plot and that Ms. Crane is in grave danger. But, which crew member, or members, are part of the plot? The movie is well paced and comes to a satisfying conclusion.

    All in all, I found it to be most enjoyable.

  4. tfsadmin

    August 2, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Using a formula that’s tried and true, this ship-bound mystery is a tidy little movie with a reasonably satisfying conclusion. Crain plays a newlywed who boards a luxury liner with her husband of less than 24 hours Betz. They are just off a whirlwind courtship and elopement and happily board the ship, heading directly to their state room. Betz goes to the purser’s office to stow some money, asking Crain to meet him in the bar in 15 minutes, but then seemingly vanishes into thin air. Furthermore, none of the crew can recall ever having seen him to begin with, including a stewardess (Anderson) who clearly did! Crain, who has already recovered from some emotional problems just prior to marrying Betz, begins to unravel as she struggles to prove that not only is her husband missing, but that he ever existed in the first place! An assortment of crew members and fellow passengers act as red herrings, alternately helping and hampering her in her quest. Chief aid comes from a kindly doctor played by Rennie, who can’t be sure how much of what Crain is telling him is based on fact. Crain is lovely in the film, though her acting limitations are demonstrated at times. Her opening sequences are especially bad as she affects all sorts of forced expressions and twitchy head movements, over indicating everything she says, does and thinks. However, as her character calms down and as the tension heightens, her work fits into the movie better. Rennie is appealing, but maintains the appropriate amount of mysteriousness in order to keep his own potential as a suspect in place. Hoshelle (perhaps best known as a decade-long wife to Jeff Chandler) is interesting as a friendly, but somewhat severe acquaintance of Crain’s. The film kicks off with an impressive tracking shot and maintains a decent amount of atmosphere throughout. It’s always frustrating (intentionally so) to go along on a journey like this with a character, but the film manages a few less stressful interludes along the way. It benefits greatly from the impressive shipboard interiors left from the studio’s version of "Titanic". It’s highly doubtful that such sets would have been made specifically for a smaller film such as this (and likely that this film was green-lighted in order to take advantage of them.) The concept of someone suddenly disappearing without a trace has been a staple of stories and, later, films since at least the late 1800’s and has appeared in movies as recent as "The Forgotten" in 2004. One memorable episode of TV’s "The Big Valley" had Victoria Barkley frantically trying to find out what happened to her daughter Audra when she woke up in a hotel without a shred of evidence that her daughter had shared the adjoining room. If the film has any significant faults, it is that a) it makes it clear that Anderson has seen Betz and so there is never any doubt that she’s lying (the others can honestly say they don’t recall him) and that b) the villain would rather do away with Crain and end up with an accomplice rather than settle for what he/she has, which appears to be pretty good! Still, at a trim 75 minutes and with a nicely appointed veneer over it, this is not a bad way to kill some time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *