Highly Dangerous

Highly Dangerous is a 1950 British spy film starring Margaret Lockwood. The screenplay was written by Eric Ambler.

Highly Dangerous
Directed byRoy Ward Baker (as Roy Baker)
Produced byAntony Darnborough
Earl St. John
Written byEric Ambler
StarringMargaret Lockwood
Dane Clark
Marius Goring
Naunton Wayne
Music byRichard Addinsell
CinematographyReginald H. Wyer
Edited byAlfred Roome
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors (UK)
Lippert Pictures (US)
Release date
6 December 1950 (London)
12 October 1951 (US)
Running time
88-90 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was released in the US by Lippert Pictures as Time Running Out.


Frances Gray is as a British entomologist trying to stop a biological attack with the help of an American journalist.[1]



Margaret Lockwood had not made a film in 18 months following Madness of the Heart, focusing on stage work.[2] Earl St. John wanted a comeback vehicle and commissioned Eric Ambler to write her a film specifically as a vehicle for Lockwood. Although he had recently specialised in melodramas, Highly Dangerous was a comedy thriller in the vein of Lockwood's earlier hits, The Lady Vanishes and Night Train to Munich.[3] It was directed by Roy Ward Baker, who had served with Ambler during the war.[4]

"One thing about Eric is that he presents you with a script that is beautifully finished in every detail", said Baker.[5]

"I think Margaret Lockwood wanted to play a modern woman", recalled Baker. "It was actually Eric Ambler's first or second book, although the book had a different title and its main character was a man; Eric changed it to a woman to make it more interesting."[6]

The filmmakers wanted a Hollywood leading man to play opposite Lockwood. Wendell Corey was originally sought[7] before the role was given to Dane Clark, who had recently left Warner Bros. Filming started in June 1950 and took place at Pinewood Studios.[8]


Baker later said that "Highly Dangerous wasn't a very successful picture.... It was a good idea although I don't think I did it very well."[9]


  1. "BRITISH THRILLER". The Australian Women's Weekly. 19, (4). Australia, Australia. 27 June 1951. p. 29. Retrieved 1 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. "Maggie comes back in Highly Dangerous". The Sunday Times. Perth. 7 May 1950. p. 10 Supplement: Sunday Times MAGAZINE. Retrieved 31 October 2015 via National Library of Australia.
  3. "Ambler writes a thriller-comedy". Times Pictorial. Dublin, Ireland. 15 April 1950. p. 13.
  4. STEPHEN WATTS (20 May 1951). "SUCCESS IN THE SHADOW OF FAILURE: Roy Baker Makes Mark as Director at Scene of Faded British Hopes On His Own Quick Return Army Training". New York Times. p. X5.
  5. McFarlane p 49
  6. McFarlane p 50
  7. "IN THE FILM SPOTLIGHT". The Mirror. 27 (1457). Western Australia. 22 April 1950. p. 16. Retrieved 10 April 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  8. "JUST VERY, VERY, DEAR FRIENDS". The Mirror. 27 (1463). Western Australia. 3 June 1950. p. 15. Retrieved 10 April 2016 via National Library of Australia.
  9. McFarlane p 49-50
  • McFarlane, Brian, An Autobiography of British Cinema, 1997
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.