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Dangerous to Know



Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Anthony Quinn Photo
Anthony Quinn as Nicholas 'Nicki' Kusnoff
Gail Patrick Photo
Gail Patrick as Margaret Van Case
Evelyn Keyes Photo
Evelyn Keyes as Undetermined Secondary Role
Hedda Hopper Photo
Hedda Hopper as Mrs. Emily Carson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
645.82 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 10 min
P/S 14 / 48
1.17 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 10 min
P/S 26 / 103

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by a6663338 / 10

A must-see among B movies

This is about as good as a one hour B movie can get. While coming from the series of Paramount's Anna May Wong vehicles made in the late 30s, it rises above the straight formula nature of the vast majority of B movies with strong acting, various aspects of the art direction, and a final scene that is genuinely suspenseful. As usual, Wong visually dominates her scenes. The directing and editing play on that to the hilt.

For those into the subtle art of references slipped into the background, symbolism, use of numbers, etc, there is a lot to look for and see in this movie.

Reviewed by lugonian8 / 10

Against All Odds

DANGEROUS TO KNOW (Paramount, 1938),directed by Robert Florey, stars Anna May Wong in another minor crime melodrama for the studio, following her initial program production of DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI (1937),by which she was the sole figure. For DANGEROUS TO KNOW, Wong heads the cast, but plays the secondary character to Akim Tamiroff, who's the main focus here. Wong is also supported by a fine assortment of Paramount contract players normally leading characters, namely Gail Patrick and Lloyd Nolan. Anthony Quinn, who appeared but had no scenes opposite Wong in DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI, would have a couple minor ones this time around. Based on the play, "On the Spot" by Edgar Wallace, by which Anna May Wong appeared and reprises her stage role for this screen adaptation.

The story opens with Nicholai Kusnoff (Anthony Quinn) "secretary" to the rich and powerful mobster, Stephen Recka (Akim Tamiroff),at City Hall visiting with Mayor Bradley (Porter Hall) where they both overhear a conversation in the next office between Councilman Murkil (Robert Brister) and Johnny Rance (Edward Pawley) plotting against Recka. He reports the news to Recka while hosting his birthday party at his luxurious apartment, with Madam Lan Ying (Anna May Wong) his Oriental mistress greeting the guests. Among party attendees are Senator Carson (Pierre Watkin),his wife, Emily (Hedda Hopper),and Margaret Van Kase (Gail Patrick),their friend and socialite, who crashed the party to meet the notorious Recka. Her dark beauty interests Recka, much to the dismay of the jealous Lan Ying, who secretly loves him. Rhapsodizing at his huge theater organ for relaxation, Recka intends to force his advances on Margaret, regardless of her engagement to Philip Easton (Harvey Stephens),an ex-football star now working as a bonds salesman. Because of his shady deals and eight unsolved murders, including the recent one of Johnny Rance, Victor Brandon (Lloyd Nolan),inspector of the bureau of detectives in the homicide department, assisted by Duncan (Roscoe Karns),knows he's responsible but needs enough evidence to put him under arrest. Brandon and Recka happen to be on friendly terms mainly because their birthday falls on the same day. To get Easton out of the way and gain Margaret as his wife, Recka arranges to have this young man abducted so the suspicion on the missing $218 in bonds will fall on him. What further plans Recka has will be dangerous to know. Co-starring Hugh Sothern (Harvey Greggson); Donald Brian (Judge Parker) and Harvey Clark (Mr. Barnett).

Aside from Anna May Wong assuming an almost similar name of Lan Ying Lin from DAUGHTER OF SHANGHAI to just Lan Ying, the plot revolving Steve Recka is somewhat reminiscent to Peter Lorre's character from MAD LOVE (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1935),from his crazed obsession to a woman (Frances Drake) who does not love him, and organ playing. For DANGEROUS TO KNOW, it is now Tamiroff who is having his mad love and relaxes himself by rhapsodizing classical music on his huge theater organ. Recka shows his vicious qualities by having one of his victims plunging to his death from his 11th story window. Anna May Wong's jealous instincts outshines the Recka character by playing a record of Shirley Ross vocalizing "Thanks for the Memory" before doing something drastic.

Portions of DANGEROUS TO KNOW is leisurely paced but well conceived through much of its 70 minutes. Unseen on New York City television since 1972 where it was last broadcast on WPIX, Channel 11, DANGEROUS TO KNOW remains a forgotten curiosity that has never been distributed on video cassette nor shown on cable television. Availability on DVD can be purchased from a private collector of this and other long obscure programmers from the Paramount film library such as this. (**1/2)

Reviewed by rsoonsa8 / 10


Director Robert Florey, who studied under Feuillade and served beneath Sternberg and Vidor among others, is at his best in this dark work by one of the most innovative "B" film auteurs, completed during his strongest period at Paramount, a tastefully crafted film replete with Florey's trademarked strengths: crisp pacing, a realistic spirit, and creative employment of expressionistic composition through camera and lighting that establishes humours for each scene. A student of cinema in all of its artistic aspects, Florey showcases to telling effect in this affair the performing ability of classically trained Akim Tamiroff, who gives his finest performance, and of Anna May Wong, who benefits from the director's use of closeups as she fills a part that she created for her stage debut in "On the Spot", by Edgar Wallace, upon which the screenplay is based. Florey's enthusiasm for Asian art, costume, and other elements of design is in evidence throughout a film that reportedly receives little or no circulation through the medium of television, with but a single public domain archive for availability, unfortunate for cineastes since there is great worth to be found within the piece, the director's endeavours augmented well by the editing of Arthur Schmidt and creative cinematography, essentially by Karl Struss. The setting is in Los Angeles, where gangster Steve Recka (Tamiroff) dominates the workings of city politics without achieving that which he most craves: acceptance into the world of old money that of course can never look with favour upon such a man, notwithstanding his powerful influence. Scorning his loyal mistress, Lan Ying (Wong),Recka courts Margaret Van Case (Gail Patrick) as a method of scaling the societal ridge that daunts him, thereby generating in Lan Ying a desire for revenge, leading to an insightful scene of suspense that Florey swashes with melodramatic cunning. A solid supporting cast is in place, led by Lloyd Nolan's portrayal of a detective lieutenant who avidly seeks an arrest of Recka for his crimes, and by Anthony Quinn as Recka's principal henchman, and when requirements of the film's "B" nature come to the fore in the script, the players avoid condescension with their readings, yet another component of Florey's artistry.

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