A man tinkering on the piano with one hand – "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" – is murdered by an unseen gunman. A woman, whom we also do not see, happens upon the site, screams, and runs before the killer can plug her too. The next set shows a New York City backdrop with Johnny Yonkers and two men in a room discussing the necessity of tracking down and killing the female witness, who is in hiding. Although the gunman is present we still do not see him. The very next scene is at the visitor's entrance to Glacier National Park in northern Montana, where Matt Hallett (Victor Mature) has just driven. He packs a pistol. The Park will be the setting – a most attractive one – for the remainder of the movie.
Louise Graham (Piper Laurie), originally from the east, runs a gift shop at the Visitors' Center. Converging there are amateur photographer Paul Adams (Vincent Price), Hallett, and chief ranger Joe Parker (William Bendix). Parker reminds Hallett that he needs to disclose to park authorities that he has a .38-caliber pistol on the grounds, even though it is legally registered. Hallett says he is an ex-marine. But is he a policeman or the killer hired by Yonkers? For it is obvious that either Adams or Hallett is the gunman. Louise is unaware that both Adams and Hallett are after her for different reasons. Neither of the two men knows her likeness.
This formerly 3D movie features an avalanche, forest fire, Indian dance/ceremony, and live wires (downed electrical power line), none of which is related to the plot. Katoonai Tiller (Steve Darrell), at large in the distant part of the National Park, is wanted for murder. His state of affairs also has nothing to do with the plot. Tiller's daughter Mary (Betta St. John) is the sexy Indian girl in love with Adams, who is much older. Dennis Weaver ("Gunsmoke," 1955-1964) has a small role as a park ranger. As of this writing Piper Laurie is still acting; she had silver screen parts in "The Hustler" (1961) and "Carrie" (1978). Victor Mature, who was decent enough, had good roles in "My Darling Clementine" (1946), "Cry of the City" (1948), and "The Robe" (1953). Also, Mature played such diverse historical figures like Sampson (Jewish), Hannibal (Carthaginian/North African), and Chief Crazy Horse (American Indian).
The editing of "Dangerous Mission" is quite choppy, and the character development is rather weak. For instance, at movie's end we still know very little about Louise Graham and Matt Hallett. And what is the story on Katoonai Tiller? Was he really guilty of murder? Then again there is the Cave of the Winds shootout and an exciting chase along the park glacier (even though it's a sound stage). The park setting, lovely ladies, and ending save the movie.
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