This Woman Is Dangerous

This Woman Is Dangerous is a 1952 American film noir and crime drama by Warner Bros. starring Joan Crawford, David Brian, and Dennis Morgan in a story about a gun moll's romances with two different men. The screenplay by Geoffrey Homes and George Worthing Yates was based on a story by Bernard Girard. The film was directed by Felix E. Feist and produced by Robert Sisk.

This Woman Is Dangerous
Original theatrical poster
Directed byFelix E. Feist
Produced byRobert Sisk
Written byStory:
Bernard Girard
Geoffrey Homes
George Worthing Yates
StarringJoan Crawford
Dennis Morgan
David Brian
Music byDavid Buttolph
CinematographyTed McCord
Edited byJames C. Moore
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • February 28, 1952 (1952-02-28) (U.S.)
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States


Beth Austin (Joan Crawford) is the leader of a hold-up gang and the mistress of its most cold-blooded killer Matt Jackson (David Brian). In New Orleans, the group robs a casino by impersonating police officers. After taking in a haul of $90,000 ($853,244 in 2019 dollars),[1], she tells Matt that she has suffered from failing eyesight and needs to travel to an eye clinic in Indiana to have an advanced operation. While initially mad that she is leaving the group, he promises to lie low until she returns.

At the hospital, Beth and her eye surgeon Ben Halleck (Dennis Morgan) fall in love. Meanwhile, Jackson becomes suspicious of his mistress' lengthy recovery period and sends a private investigator to snoop. Beth breaks off her relationship with the doctor, hoping to dissuade Jackson from committing any harm against him. Jackson travels to the hospital planning to wipe out the man who has displaced him in Beth's affections, but the FBI shoots and kills Matt. Beth is promised leniency, and looks forward to a life with the doctor after a short prison sentence.



Because the script of a gangster who saw the light had become trite by the 1950s, some sources suggest that studio head Jack L. Warner offered Crawford the role hoping the expensive star would turn it down so he could put her on suspension. That could also be the reason he offered the eye surgeon's role to Dennis Morgan, whose box-office appeal had diminished since World War II. To Warner's surprise, both stars accepted the film. Crawford later instructed her agents to negotiate an end to her contract at Warner Bros., and she went on to make the independently produced hit Sudden Fear.[2]


Bosley Crowther in the New York Times called the film "junk", and Otis Guernsey, Jr. of the New York Herald Tribune described it as "a long, windy, tiresome story."[3]

DVD release

This Woman Is Dangerous was released on Region 1 DVD on March 23, 2009 (crawford's birthday) from the online Warner Bros. Archive Collection.

Radio adaptation

This Woman Is Dangerous was presented on Lux Radio Theatre on March 16, 1953. The one-hour adaptation starred Virginia Mayo, with Morgan reprising his role from the film.[4]


  1. "CPI Inflation Calculator".
  2. "This Woman is Dangerous". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
  3. Quirk, Lawrence J. The Films of Joan Crawford. The Citadel Press, 1968.
  4. Kirby, Walter (March 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 25, 2015 via
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