To the Public Danger
|To the Public Danger|
|Directed by||Terence Fisher|
|Produced by||John Croydon|
|Written by||Patrick Hamilton (play) |
|Starring||Dermot Walsh |
|Music by||Doreen Carwithen|
|Cinematography||Roy Fogwell |
|Edited by||Graeme Hamilton|
|Distributed by||General Film Distributors|
It was made at Highbury Studios as a second feature for release by the Rank Organisation. Like other Highbury productions, it offered acting opportunities for several of Rank's young contract stars. The film's sets were designed by Don Russell, although a number of the scenes were shot on location.
It was based on a 1939 radio play by the writer Patrick Hamilton, who had been encouraged to write the story as part of a government road safety campaign. Hamilton had himself been knocked down by a drunk driver. The story was updated slightly, and represents the post-war malaise with the use of noirish sequences. After making the film Fisher graduated to directing several more expensive productions for Gainsborough Pictures.
While having a quiet drink together in a road house, a young working-class couple Fred and Nancy fall into the company of two raffish motorists including the self-confident Captain Cole. After a game of billiards and a number of drinks, they drive out on the road. While spreeding along in the dark they hit what they think to be a man on a bicycle.
Although Fred wants to stop, Captain Cole insists on driving on. Nancy takes Cole's side and begins taunting Fred, who eventually manages to escape and raise the alarm. A police investigation reveals that nobody had been injured in the collision with the bike, which had belonged to a poacher who didn't report the accident. In the meantime, Cole, Nancy and the other passenger have suffered a crash of their own while drunken speeding, killing all three of them.
- Dermot Walsh as Captain Cole
- Susan Shaw as Nancy Bedford
- Barry Letts as Fred Lane
- Roy Plomley as Reggie
- Betty Ann Davies as Barmaid
- Sydney Bromley as Bar patron
- John Lorrell as Police Sergeant
- Sam Kydd as Police Driver
- Patricia Hayes as Postmistress
- Frederick Piper as Labourer
- Patience Rentoul as Labourer's Wife
- Cliff Weir as Pub Landlord
- Arthur Mullard as Man Standing Near Bar
- Barbara Murray as Bit Role
- Philip Saville as Man in pub watching billiards game
- Constance Smith as Girl in pub watching billiards game
- Chibnall & MacFarlane
- Hutchings p.44-45
- Chibnall, Steve & McFarlane, Brian. The British 'B' Film. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
- Hutchings, Peter. Terence Fisher. Manchester University Press, 2001.