On Dangerous Ground

Director: Nicholas Ray and Ida Lupino
Year Released: 1952
Rating: 2.0

A loner detective (Robert Ryan) with fists of granite and a Code of His Own gets 'punished' by his boss for beating up one too many scumbags and is sent to investigate a murder in upstate N.Y. that involves a mental defective and his blind sister (Ida Lupino). I'm probably alone in thinking the movie loses considerable power when it moves from downtown Manhattan to the snowy, barren surroundings and the Lupino narrative therein: Ryan's shift from brute to sympathetic figure also marks the picture's shift from crime movie to Sirkian soap opera - the close-ups on Lupino's blank face take up the majority of the second act. The third act is mysteriously vacant - Ryan's narrative feels unfinished, and there's some ambiguous voice-over about loneliness that doesn't exactly fill in the blanks.