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Danger Zone (1951)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 April 1951 (USA)
Claire Underwood hires San Francisco private-detective Dennis O'Brien to purchase a saxophone case at an auction, and O'Brien is promptly slugged and the case is stolen by Larry Dunlap. ... See full summary »


William Berke


Herb Margolis (story) (as Herbert Margolis), Lou Morheim (story) (as Louis Morheim) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Hugh Beaumont ... Dennis O'Brien
Edward Brophy ... Prof. Frederick Simpson Schicker
Richard Travis ... Police Lt. Bruger
Tom Neal ... Edgar Spadely (2nd Episode)
Pamela Blake ... Vicki Jason (2nd Episode)
Virginia Dale ... Claire Underwood (1st Episode)
Ralph Sanford ... Larry Dunlap (1st Episode)
Paula Drew Paula Drew ... Sheila Jason (2nd Episode)
Jack Reitzen ... Cole - the Auctioneer (1st Episode)
Edward Clark ... Elderly Man at Auction (1st Episode)
Richard Monahan Richard Monahan ... Henry - the Bartender (1st Episode)
Don Garner ... Bud Becker (1st Episode)


Claire Underwood hires San Francisco private-detective Dennis O'Brien to purchase a saxophone case at an auction, and O'Brien is promptly slugged and the case is stolen by Larry Dunlap. O'Brien snoops around and learns that Claire and Dunlap are rivals in a smuggling racket, and he seizes Claire just as she is about to leave the country with the case and its stolen jewels. O'Brien then gets involved with the murder of Vicki Jason's husband and gets slugged again and framed. With the aid of "Professor" Schickler, he proves his innocence when Vicki kills her co-conspirator lover, Edgar Spadely---another private-detective who had gotten O'Brien involved to begin with---and Vicki admits her own guilt in the murder of her husband. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Warning! Soft shoulders placed her in the DANGER ZONE See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

20 April 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pier of Peril See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Virtually identical plot used on 6/26/1947 "Johnny Madero, Pier 23" radio show episode entitled "Fatal Auction." Johnny Madero was a wise-cracking, sardonic PI played by Jack Webb. See more »


Followed by Roaring City (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

Philip Marlowe Lite
14 May 2017 | by Henchman_Number1See all my reviews

Hugh Beaumont makes his contribution to the Gumshoe Genre as wise cracking Charter Boat Operator / Private Investigator Dennis O'Brien. When the Charter Boat business is a little slow, O'brien likes to pick up a few extra bucks as a PI. Showing a greater penchant for witty repartee than character judgment and well grounded decision making, O'Brien finds himself at odds with an assortment of characters he meets during the course of the day.

Danger Zone is filmed as two separate stories combined into a feature length film. In Part One O'Brien is duped by a mysterious woman (Virginia Dale) into bidding on her behalf at auction for a suitcase. As it turns out she isn't the only one interested in the suitcase and it's contents. O'Brien is soon up to the lapels of his overcoat in larceny and murder. Part Two finds O'Brien, apparently none the wiser from his previous experience in Part One, bamboozled by a fellow detective (Tom Neal) into escorting a rich socialite to a party. O'Brien is offered a quick fifty bucks to play tag-along to a rich society dame for the evening. So what could go wrong here you ask? As it turns out plenty.The situation goes sideways when O'Brien is accused of murder by the obligatory hard-nosed police Lieutenant (Richard Travis). Fortunately there to assist O'Brien in his travails is his sidekick Prof. Frederick Simpson Schicker (Edward Brophy). Schicker a Runyonesque type character, given to drink and sesquipedalian lingo, keeps an ear out for the word on the street.

Released by Lippert Pictures, this was the first part of a three picture package, each filmed as two separate stories. Lippert was a creative organization, more so financially than artistically, that was able to assimilate name talent that had been cut from their contracts at major studios. Here Lippert filmed two stories that were to be later released as stand alone television episodes. However nothing beyond the original three movies were ever made and as fate would have it, Beaumont never became one of television's legendary detectives.

Danger Zone is a low budget double bill programmer and an oddly constructed one at that. As such it's easy to say "keep moving, nothing to see here" but despite the fact that it lacks the gravitas to be a feature film, it might have made a decent television series given the chance.

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