Dead Men are Dangerous

Dead Men are Dangerous is a 1939 British crime film directed by Harold French and starring Robert Newton, Betty Lynne, John Warwick, and Peter Gawthorne. It was released in the U.S. as Dangerous Masquerade.[2] Its plot concerns an unsuccessful writer who is wrongly accused of a murder.[3]

Dead Men are Dangerous
Directed byHarold French
Produced byWarwick Ward
Screenplay byVictor Kendall
Vernon J. Clancey
Harry Hughes
Based onnovel Hidden by H.C. Armstrong[1]
StarringRobert Newton
Betty Lynne
John Warwick
Peter Gawthorne
Music byJohn Reynders (uncredited)
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Edited byE. Richards
Distributed byPathé Pictures International (UK)
Release date
  • February 1939 (1939-02) (UK)
Running time
69 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


Penniless and debt ridden writer Aylmer Franklyn (Robert Newton) happens upon a dead man lying under the branch of a tree, apparently killed during a violent storm. Swapping clothes and identities with the corpse seems like a way out of his troubles, and Franklyn even attends his own inquest; but little does he know the man had a criminal history and he soon finds the police on his trail.


Critical reception

In a contemporary review, The Leicester Daily Mercury found "Fast moving action, a goodly sequence of thrills, and some splendid acting by Robert Newton, characterises Dead Men are Dangerous, a film with a clever plot and a strong taste of the mysterious";[4] while more recently, Vintage 45 wrote, "No great acting to speak of and no real depth to the story but it’s fun to watch it all unfold. Don’t expect anything exceptional and you’ll probably like it."[5]


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