Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Crain Mutiny

One of the movies the Fox Movie Channel has pulled out of its vault after not showing it for years is Dangerous Crossing, which is scheduled for 10:30 AM ET tomorrow.

Jeanne Crain stars as a woman who's gotten married after a whirlwind romance, and is about to go on her honeymoon -- a transatlantic voyage. However, just before the ship is set to leave port, her husband disappears. Not only that, but there's no evidence that he had booked passage on the ship, or that she was even married; apparently, nobody even saw the man (except for one maid who's lying). Naturally, everybody begins to think that Crain is perhaps going a bit off her rocker, something that's not helped by her having had psychological problems in the past.

Eventually, though, Crain does hear from her husband. He's on board the ship, but in hiding, claiming that he's in danger, and that she shouldn't tell anybody about the danger he's in. Of course, by now we're beginning to expect that Crain is the one who's really in danger....

Dangerous Crossing comes toward the end of the mystery and noir cycle of movies popular from the beginning of the 1940s through the early to mid-1950s. As such, it comes across as being a bit formulaic at times. This is a repeat of a 1932 movie, and just a few years earlier, the late Jean Simmons had made a similar movie in So Long at the Fair. Still, a boat is a good place to set one of these mysteries, as there surely can't be any place for the man to hide -- or can there? Also, by the early 1950s, Fox was making most of these mysteries and noirs as slightly shorter movies, clocking in at under 90 minutes (Dangerous Crossing is, in fact, a brief 75 minutes). So, there's not really time for them to run out of steam. Crain is fairly good, helped out somewhat by an eventually sympathetic doctor played by Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still).

Fox has been releasing a lot of their noirs to DVD, and Dangerous Crossing has already gotten the DVD treatment. So, you don't have to wait for it to show up on the Fox Movie Channel.

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