Appointment with Danger Film Details
Overview: When ruthlessly dedicated postal inspector investigates the murder of a co-worker, he finds that the sole witness, a nun, has been targeted by the killers.
Tagline: ALAN LADD as the U.S. Mail’s ace agent smashes the biggest mail robbery plan in history!
Review: Just as the plot of Anthony Mann’s “T-Men” (1948) was based on a series of true incidents that were taken from the Treasury Department’s own records, so “Appointment With Danger” uses a similar approach to tell its story about the work of the “U.S. Postal Information Service” which is claimed to be “the nation’s oldest police force”. Rousing music, shots of imposing buildings and an authoritative voice-over narration provide the movie with its introduction and kicks-off its account of an investigation that had to be undertaken when the dead body of one of its inspectors (Harry Gruber) was found in a rain-soaked alley in La Porte, Indiana. Chicago Postal Inspector Al Goddard (Alan Ladd) is put in charge of the investigation and immediately searches for an unidentified nun who, on the night of the murder, told a motorcycle cop that she’d seen two guys who seemed to be acting suspiciously. After finding Sister Augustine (Phyllis Calvert) at a church in Fort Wayne, Goddard takes her to a nearby police station where, after looking through a book of mug shots, she recognises George Soderquist (Harry Morgan) as one of the men she saw on the night in question. The young nun then assists further by accompanying Goddard and one of his colleagues to Gary, Indiana where Soderquist is known to be residing and again identifies him as he leaves a pool hall. When she leaves her concealed viewpoint in a café and goes outside to hail a cab, she’s seen by Joe Regas (Jack Webb), who was with Soderquist on the night of the murder and he immediately becomes determined to kill her in case she can identify him. Goddard discovers that Gruber had been keeping a regular watch on a postal truck driver called Paul Ferrar (Stacy Harris) who was regularly employed in transferring shipments of money from a railway station in Gary and when he recognises that Ferrar was another of the men he’d seen at the pool hall, comes to the conclusion that Gruber had been killed because he’d discovered the existence of a plot to carry out a million dollar mail robbery. In an effort to sabotage the robbery, Goddard infiltrates the gang which is led by Earl Boettiger (Paul Stewart) and poses as a corrupt cop who can be bought for the right price. This plan puts him in considerable danger as his cover almost gets blown on a number of occasions. Regas never trusts him and gets involved in the main shootout that eventually brings the investigation to its conclusion. In a role that really suits his talents, Alan Ladd is excellent as the cynical, tough guy who’s recognised as being a good cop but is also disliked by his fellow officers because he doesn’t trust or like anyone else and thinks that everybody’s a “pitch-artist”. Phyllis Calvert hits all the right notes as the only person who makes him mellow a little because her character’s obvious sincerity and unselfishness are so disarming. Jack Webb is great as Regas, the psychopathic thug who features in two of the movie’s most memorable scenes (one being a brutal murder and the other being a handball game with Goddard in which all the pent-up aggression and antipathy that the two men feel towards each other is expressed in the way that the game is played). Harry Morgan is good as Regas’ simple-minded partner and there are also solid supporting performances by Paul Stewart as the gang boss and Jan Sterling as his moll. Interestingly, “Appointment With Danger” is a documentary-style noir that also features some terrific expressionistic cinematography which adds considerably to its visual appeal. The dark wet streets, flashing neon lights and deserted industrial buildings that are seen at various points in the action are beautifully filmed and complement the mood of the piece brilliantly. Possibly the movie’s most striking quality, however, is its dialogue which is peppered with tough talk and witticisms that make the accompanying action sizzle. Surprisingly, some of the best lines are delivered by the gang-leader’s girlfriend who, after discovering what Goddard is doing, decides pragmatically not to tell her boyfriend. When Goddard starts to thank her, she simply replies “Don’t bother. Earl was good to me. I hope he kills you”.
Duration: 90 min
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
Also known as: Na Boca do Lobo,Inspektor Goddard,Appointment with Danger,Échec au hold-up,Il cerchio di fuoco,Postal Inspector,Rantevou me ton kindyno,Dead Letter,Politiespionnen,Möte med faran,United States Mail,対決（1951）,Rendez-vous cu pericolul,Mislukte hold-up,Reto a la muerte,Møte med faren,Свидание с опасностью,Yo reto a la muerte,Suprema Derrota,Farligt spil,Bin Tehlike Peşinde,Powołanie w niebezpieczeństwie