Appointment with Danger

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Appointment with Danger
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Lewis Allen
Produced by Robert Fellows
Screenplay by Richard L. Breen
Warren Duff
Starring Alan Ladd
Phyllis Calvert
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by LeRoy Stone
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • May 9, 1951 (1951-05-09) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1,450,000 (US rentals)[1]

Appointment with Danger (1951) is an American crime film noir directed by Lewis Allen and written by Richard L. Breen and Warren Duff. The drama features Alan Ladd, Phyllis Calvert, Paul Stewart, among others.[2]


The film tells of Al Goddard (Alan Ladd), a U.S. Postal Inspector of the United States Postal Inspection Service. He's assigned to arrest two criminals who've allegedly murdered another U.S. Postal Inspector.

Inspector Goddard must locate the witness to the murder, an attractive young nun named Sister Augustine (Phyllis Calvert). He poses as a crook, and gains the confidence of the killers' honcho Boettiger (Paul Stewart), who has worked out a plan to steal one million dollars that is being transported by the U.S. Postal Service.

Once they discover the deception, the villains take Goddard and witness Sister Augustine prisoner. This leads to a fight in an industrial district.



The film features both Jack Webb and Harry Morgan as villains. Both would later work on the Dragnet television show as fictional police detectives for the Los Angeles Police Department. One of the co-writers of the script, Richard L. Breen had previously worked with Webb on the radio series Pat Novak for Hire, and would write at least three scripts for Dragnet, including the 1954 theatrical film and the 1966 TV-movie pilot for the revival series in which Morgan joined the cast as Detective Bill Gannon.


Critical response[edit]

Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, liked the film, especially the screenplay which Alan Ladd took full advantage of. He wrote, "[I]t's fairly obvious that it's all familiar stuff to our hero, for he evinces as much emotion over these muscular goings-on as a postal clerk counting air mail stamps. But he is fortunate in having a vehicle, which is basically a cops-and-robbers tale, tautly written by scenarists Richard Breen and Warren Duff, who also have injected humor in the modern idiom into their dialogue. And he is fortunate too in having the support of principals who handle these lines and roles as to the manner born. As a result, Appointment With Danger lives up to its title as Ladd, checking on the murder of another postal inspector in Gary, Ind., finds a visiting nun who saw the criminals."[3]

The staff at Variety magazine gave the film a positive review, writing, "Ladd is right at home as the tightlipped, tough inspector assigned to the case. There is a neat contrasting byplay in the nun character done by Phyllis Calvert as co-star, which adds an offbeat note to the meller plot.[4]


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952
  2. ^ Appointment with Danger at the Internet Movie Database.
  3. ^ Crowther, Bosley. The New York Times, film review, May 10, 1951. Last accessed: December 28, 2007.
  4. ^ Variety. Film review, May 10, 1951. Last accessed: December 28, 2007.

External links[edit]