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Shake Hands with Danger (1980)

A cautionary training film for those who operate and repair heavy equipment. We watch vignettes of men taking short cuts in their work, doing things they aren't trained for, neglecting to ... See full summary »


Herk Harvey


John Clifford
4 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Cliff Bemis ... Cliff - Foreman
Charles Oldfather Charles Oldfather ... Narrator


A cautionary training film for those who operate and repair heavy equipment. We watch vignettes of men taking short cuts in their work, doing things they aren't trained for, neglecting to warn a less experienced worker, using the wrong tool or a tool that's in disrepair, ignoring proper safety practices, trying to appear macho in front of fellow workers, thinking their reflexes are quicker than they are, working while distracted, and generally putting themselves and others at risk. The film is punctuated by the song, "Shakes Hands with Danger," the story of Three-Finger Joe. Filmed using Caterpillar equipment. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis









Release Date:

3 June 1980 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Centron Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Narrator: [opening Lyrics] Shake hands with danger/ Any guy oughta know/ I used to laugh at saftey/ But now they call me... Three Finger Joe
See more »


Edited into The Best of RiffTrax Shorts: Volume One (2009) See more »


Shake Hands with Danger
Written by Jim Stringer, John Clifford and Charles Oldfather Jr.
See more »

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User Reviews

Carnival of Danger
31 March 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Shake Hands With Danger (1970)

** (out of 4)

Director Harvey is best remembered for the now cult-classic CARNIVAL OF SOULS but outside of that film he spent most of his career doing safety films. This one here takes up 23-minutes and explains why those who work on large machines should always be extremely cautious and follow all the safety rules put in place for them. As far as safety films go, this one here is pretty well made and I say this because most people watch these for their cheese and to have a good laugh. For the most part this short plays is very straight so we don't get any of those over-the-top scenes that make us laugh. Some will certainly see this as a negative thing and I'm sure many will be turning this off before the end credits. There are a few bloody parts as accidents are shown where men have their arms and fingers cut off. The strangest thing is that this short has a title song that gets played countless times. There are some pretty funny lines in the song about becoming a "three finger Joe". To my knowledge no CD has been released yet.

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