To the Public Danger

To the Public Danger is a 1948 British drama film directed by Terence Fisher and starring Dermot Walsh, Susan Shaw and Barry Letts.

To the Public Danger
Directed byTerence Fisher
Produced byJohn Croydon
Written byPatrick Hamilton (play)
T.J. Morrison
Arthur Reid
StarringDermot Walsh
Susan Shaw
Barry Letts
Music byDoreen Carwithen
CinematographyRoy Fogwell
Harry Waxman
Edited byGraeme Hamilton
Highbury Productions
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors
Release date
September 1948
Running time
43 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

It was made at Highbury Studios as a second feature for release by the Rank Organisation.[1] 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.[2] 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.



  1. Chibnall & MacFarlane
  2. Hutchings p.44-45


  • Chibnall, Steve & McFarlane, Brian. The British 'B' Film. Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.
  • Hutchings, Peter. Terence Fisher. Manchester University Press, 2001.
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