Highly Dangerous

August 15, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In an Eastern European police state, rumors of a new weapon in germ warfare have gotten frequent. A team of scientists is believed to have unlocked a way to deliver biological weapons via insect carriers, which could be devastating if implemented on a global scale. British Secret Service plans to investigate the claims and uncover the truth, so they enlist well known entomologist Frances Gray (Margaret Lockwood). The group ventures into the tense area, but Margaret soon discovers her contact has been killed and she is captured so the local police can learn about her visit. She is given twenty-four hours to leave, but she is dedicated to completing her mission. She manages to forge an alliance with an American journalist, but even with assistance, the task will not be a simple one. He agrees to help her so that he can break this incredible story, but with the secret police swarming the area, can the truth be discovered?

With a title like Highly Dangerous, you just know this movie is going to a good time. The synopsis sounds like it came from a SyFy Original, instead but this is a 1950 espionage thriller. I love the plot of this movie, with biological weapons carried by insects, a truth serum overdose, and delusions of grandeur. This seems to be a satire on the spy genre, but the film is straight faced enough to make you second guess, which just adds to the fun. The performances are enjoyable to watch, with Marius Goring as the stand out in the role of the main villain. Margaret Lockwood is also quite good here, with her dazed performance and most of the supporting cast is solid as well. I also appreciate the film’s brisk pace, as it never lingers and moves ahead when it needs to. So even when things don’t work that well, the pace is fast enough to not drag on. I had a lot of fun with Highly Dangerous and if you’re a fan of spy movies, it is well worth a look.

Video: How does it look?

Highly Dangerous is presented in full frame, as intended. This movie is over six decades old, but it looks terrific in this presentation. The print looks much cleaner than expected, which lets detail shine through. The level of detail is more than solid, so the visuals look quite refined here. This is a black & white movie, so contrast is crucial and thankfully, it performs at a consistently high level. I found black levels to be accurate and detail never looks obscured or washed out. So fans can breathe easy, as the movie looks great in this treatment.

Audio: How does it sound?

The soundtrack here is passable, but isn’t going to light up your home theater. I was pleased to find that age hasn’t hampered the elements much, which is always great news. That means the audio isn’t riddled with hiss or what not and doesn’t have a thin sound. The music sounds clean and adds to the film’s positives, while the other sound effects are reserved, but still come through well enough. I found dialogue to be clear and well handled, so no vocals are hard to hear or understand. This disc also includes English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The lone supplement is a gallery of still photos.

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