Monday, March 25, 2013

Five Steps to Danger sounds familiar

March 26 is the birth anniversary of Sterling Hayden, so TCM is spending a good portion of the day with him. On the schedule at 3:00 PM is Five Steps to Danger. I noticed this movie when I was looking through the satellite box guide, as that gave an interesting description for its one-sentence synopsis of the film: Soviet spies follow a stranded motorist and the code-carrying woman who gives him a ride. Now, that sounds like something I'd want to watch. But, for whatever reason, the title didn't sound familiar.

So, I surfed over to IMDb, and looked up the movie there. Reading the reviews made it sound more familiar, although I think it's one of those movies that I saw ages ago and don't remember all that much of because a lot of movies tend to flow together once you've watched enough of them. (That's a comment I would make about a lot of those late 1940s/early 1950s RKO movies, including today's airing of A Woman's Secret. But that's a topic for another post.)

The TCMDb description, which is also the one used for the printed schedule, is a bit more cryptic than what I saw on the box guide: A couple attempts to keep important secrets from Communist spies. Reading the full synopsis, that's also not quite as accurate as what the box guide. Sterling Hayden plays a motorist whose car breaks down, at which point he's picked up by Ruth Roman. They make it to Santa Fe, which is the point at which the Communists come in. At this point from reading the full synopsis, I became pretty certain that I have in fact seen the movie. The IMDb reviews are not terribly kind, and I suppose I might have to agree if it's a movie that I've kind of forgotten. Yet it's still the genre of movie that I know I enjoy watching. So when did I see it? A search through TCM's printed schedules shows that the last time it aired was August 22, 2009, which was part of a Summer Under the Stars day of movies dedicated to Sterling Hayden. That's the only other airing I've got in the monthly schedules I have, which go back to July of 2007. I'd presume that's the airing I saw, since it's the sort of movie I think I would have blogged about had I already seen it. Then again, my actual choice for that day was The Asphalt Jungle, which kicks off the Sterling Hayden birthday salute at 6:00 AM.

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