A religious movie?

Listen, pals, don't let my thread title scare you away from this gem of a movie. I urge all film noir and crime thriller fans to give it a try. I think you'll be glad you did.

There is a theme of miraculous redemption concerning Robert Ryan's character in this, and thus, one might not be far wrong in feelng there is a religious...but absolutely not preachy...feeling here.

Director Nicholas Ray didn't intend such a theme. RKO's studio head, Howard Hughes, meddled with the film considerably taking away Ray's original intent. This just might be for the good, because On Dangerous Ground emerges as an unique film and a quite satisfying one.
Ida Lupino's character and her effect on Ryan has much to do with the film's flavor.


I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.


Funny about your post, because Nicholas Ray directed a Biblical epic--"a picture that's real long and has LOTS of things going on!"--(King of Kings).

Yes, it is rather unfortunate that Howard Hughes tampered with the film, most obviously the ending. Had he let it be, the character of Jim Wilson still would've gone home with a newfound feeling of peace but Nicholas Ray's trademark pessimism would still be intact. Honestly, I think the film would've come out better and more honest and realistic if Ray had gotten his way.

I guess there are some coincidental things that can be interpreted as religious--for example, the name Mary, the idea of Jim being "reborn" at the film's end. It's been many moons since I've seen this movie. I'm mainly replying because your signature is one of the most poignant and quietly devastating lines in film history, and it's from my all-time favorite film noir (also directed by Ray), In a Lonely Place.

Did he train you? Did he rehearse you? Did he tell you *exactly* what to do, what to say?!


Yes, there is a small religious theme if you wanna call it that in that we get to peek into the past life of Jim when we see a crucifix on his dresser along with some rosary beads.

He also mentions in the beginning of the movie that he comes from a family of nine so if one is payin attention, we're presented with a guy who came from a big Irish Catholic family.

His religious icons along with his high school trophies he has displayed in his room humanizes the character instead of what could have been presented as a man who was always a bully and total brute.


I saw this as just a plain redemptive movie rather a religious one. It has a nice tender ending but not too overly sentimental. And there's hope for Robert Ryan's character at the end. Some noir endings are so desolate. But this was one was nicely sad in a bittersweet way.


Doesn't Scare Me. Good observation. And at one time, Hollywood kinda dug God.

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