Step Down to Terror

Step Down to Terror (also known as The Silent Stranger) is a 1958 American film noir crime film directed by Harry Keller and starring Colleen Miller, Charles Drake and Rod Taylor. It is a remake of the 1943 Alfred Hitchcock film Shadow of a Doubt.[1]

Step Down to Terror
Directed byHarry Keller
Produced byJoseph Gershenson
Written byMel Dinelli
Czenzi Ormonde
Sy Gomberg
Based onstory Uncle Charlie by Gordon McDonnell
StarringColleen Miller
Charles Drake
Rod Taylor
CinematographyRussell Metty
Edited byFrank Gross
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 1958 (1958-09) (United States)
Running time
76 minutes
CountryUnited States


Johnny Williams (Drake), a psychotic serial killer who returns to his hometown to visit his mother (Hutchinson) and widowed sister-in-law Helen (Miller), both of whom are ignorant of his criminal past. Johnny hopes to settle down and start life anew, but Helen, her suspicions aroused by visiting detective Mike Randall (Taylor), discovers the truth about her beloved brother-in-law. Failing to talk Helen out of turning him in, Johnny methodically plots her murder. When all his plans fail he drags Helen into his car and drives off with her. Knowing Johnny is going to kill her, Helen grabs the keys, and he is forced to swerve to avoid hitting a boy riding his bike, and is killed in the resulting accident. At the memorial service, as Johnny is lauded as a model citizen, only Helen and Mike know the real truth.



At one stage Ross Hunter was going to produce and Donna Reed was going to star.[2]

See also


  1. Stephen Vagg, Rod Taylor: An Aussie in Hollywood, Bear Manor Media 2010 p. 58
  2. Kennedy, Field 'Peyton' Favorites; Big Global Group to Honor Disney Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 May 1957: 25.

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