Game of Danger Film Details
Overview: When a local bully is found shot to death, the police suspect a young man who had recently been seen arguing with him. When thy discover that they had been arguing over the affections of a …
Review: An on the surface idyllic woodland setting is tinged with a sinister claustrophobia in this unusually plotted movie about people on the outer. As the sensitive Detective Constable says towards the end “blame the bombs that left so many people homeless, that they were forced into places like this”. The “places like this” are the Nissan huts that made up an abandoned army barracks which became a shanty town to the many who had lost not only a roof over their heads but jobs and often self respect as well. Also there is an underlying judgement of the Americanization encroaching the country – it was an American serviceman’s negligence that led to the revolver being found and also young Cliff’s obsession with guns due to the influence of American westerns. Jack Warner is fabulous as Bonsell, Cliff’s dad whose drinking down at the local pub “The Who’d a Thot It” leaves the kid with a lot of time on his hands which he fills with imaginative play. He and friend Willie even have their own special island which they escape to on a raft – shades of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Back in the real world Hilda the bar maid has two of the town’s likely lads on a string – the amiable Bob but also the bullying Ben. But when Ben is killed on the road the police close in on Bob who had had a brawl with him at the local lumber yard and utters those famous last words “Next time I see you I’ll etc etc”. The locals close ranks around Bob – Ben’s temper and the fact that he was able to get such an easy well paid job for some reason, made him an outsider and was not accepted by the town’s people. Most of the rest of the movie focuses on Cliff – the police don’t even consider that someone other than Bob was the culprit. Cliff doesn’t even realise that his pretending to be a highwayman was responsible for the tragedy. In his “bang! you’re dead” game, people did the right thing and played along, he thought Ben was playing along but when he thinks he is responsible for Willie’s death, that’s different and his disappearance sparks a manhunt, a very atmospheric sequence over wasteground and bushland with dogs and torches. The two boys are terrific in their roles – the boy who played Cliff had a small career as a child actor and Sean Barrett as the older, dreamy Willie had a bigger one. During the 1940s Lance Comfort had a commendable track record in A films but the failure of “Portrait of Claire” in 1950 pushed him into Bs which often featured his most confidant work – the limited budgets seemed to bring out his best directorial efforts.
Duration: 88 min
Also known as: Bang! You’re Dead,A Game of Death,Game of Danger