Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reassessing "Dangerous Crossing"

I blogged about Dangerous Crossing three years or so ago. It aired again this morning on the Fox Movie Channel, and is scheduled for another airing on May 12. Since three years ago was the last time I had seen the film, I figure this would make a good chance to sit down and watch the movie again and re-examine it.

Jeanne Crain overacts here. To be fair, she's being asked to play a character who is being accused of losing her sanity, and there are a lot of movies where people are supposed to play insane and don't know how to pull it off -- I just watched Man in the Middle the other day, where a key plot point is whether or not Keenan Wynn's character is psychopathic, and he portrays his character through a lot of shouting and bluster as well. And goodness knows Bette Davis made a career out of histrionics. Also in Crain's defense, the film uses the plot device of having her give an echoic voice over of what she's thinking. That's a cliché that I don't think goes over well at all nowadays.

On second viewing, I find it difficult to believe that there would be enough of a opportunity for Crain's husband to meet her alone. On a transatlantic voyage, there would likely be entertainment and partying going on late into the night, with the result that there would almost always be somebody on the various decks. But I suppose this is a nitpick, because it's the sort of plot hole that would sink a whole lot of movies.

I'm not certain about what motivates Michael Rennie's character either. Perhaps it's just that he's got nothing else to do, and is bored out of his mind. After all, if this is a ship that's relatively quiet at night, then it's probably not going to be very exciting in general. And Crain is good-looking enough that once can see why a man would want to pursue her.

Overall, I think Dangerous Crossing is the sort of movie that, five years later, would have been more suited to the hour-long TV drama format. It's not quite as good as I remembered from three years earlier, but it is still entertaining enough.

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