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  • This well-done espionage thriller from the early days of the Cold War has one of the best openings of any TV series. US agent Steve Mitchell (Brian Donlevy) wearing a top hat and smoking a cigarette ambles down a foggy desolate waterfront back street (a ship whistle is blowing in the background). He stops momentarily to take a drag off his cigarette. Just as he takes a puff, from out of nowhere a dagger wisps past his face and sticks in the post next to him. He looks up with an expression half fright, half anger. Bold letters pop up reading, "Dangerous Assignment." The intro is brief and to the point. I was ten when I first watched the series. I don't remember much else about the show, but I do remember the speeding dagger.

    I recently watched the episode "The Missing Diplomat Story" on DVD and was pleasantly surprised that the program has held up so well with passing time. The acting is tops with many familiar faces in the cast, especially Lyle Talbot as the Commissioner who gives Steve his dangerous assignment. The story involves Steve being sent to Spain to find a missing diplomat, code name Gelba, and his daughter Ketti. His contact Majak is waiting for him at the Hotel Granada in Barcelona and so is danger.

    A cool jazz pianist named Xavier who plays boogie woogie on the ivory is an added bonus. He not only advises Steve but uses all the hep-cat talk popular at the time. At the end of the show Xavier even has Steve speaking the vernacular, calling the Commissioner "Jack" over the phone and telling him he is going to make a cat out of a dog.
  • This is the best show I never heard of. I watched one show on a compilation DVD, and then went looking for more. What's surprising is that there are plenty of episodes out there on DVD -- including Dangerous Assignment Collection I and II. The show is about an international spy Steve Mitchell. He gets sent off to a different country every episode to do some impossible task. He usually accomplishes it, but I didn't say I love the show for its realism or the quality acting...it's just fun. And Craig Stevens must have taken his "cool" lessons from Brian Donlevy in order to play Peter Gunn. It's fun to watch. And the quality is much higher than I expected.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm happy I discovered "Dangerous Assignment" through my endless cross reference searches on the web using Google, Wikipedia, Youtube and of course IMDb.com. By now you know what the show's premise is about. What I like about the show is it was done on film and a decent enough budget by NBC so it holds up a lot better then most TV programs from 1953. I also think that its a show that an old person could show to his middle aged kid and younger grand kids. The older person would like it for the nostalgia and the younger generations would be entertained mostly because it's pretty campy. The show was made pretty seriously as there is murder every episode (usually a high body count), but it doesn't take itself too seriously so it's kind of Roger Moore James Bond'sh with some wise talk by our Agent played by Brian Donlevy. I am actually a Brian Donlevy fan, and in this series he shows an lot more range then he does in many of his movies (many people reviewing his work here on IMDb.com consider him "wooden"). So if your older and remember the show you will enjoy re-watching it, if you are younger and never heard of the show before but like older films for the "camp" factor, you will really like this, and if you are a Brian Donlevy fan and like campy stuff you will really really like this! So what do I mean by this show being campy, well if the "Commissioner" said I was to be working with Agent Steve Mitchell, I'd turn in my Secret Agent badge and gun, because they all die! The 30 minute long show is sped up by the brief mission summary at the beginning which has a lot of the same elements as Mission Impossible along with plot summary's given by Steve thinking to himself. The intro always has Steve walking in with a smile on his face "Hello Commissioner" "Hello Steve.... ever heard of?" Well your flight leaves in one hour.... Then Steve's Lockheed takes off (probably the same stock footage every episode) and Steve is looking all bummed out saying boy what a mess they sent me to clean up! LOL. 7 of 10 for decent production values and a good performance by the Star. It's affordable as a complete set on DVD and I'm glad I picked it up.
  • When it comes to danger and intrigue - as well as cliches and the same set being used in fifteen different ways - you've got 'Dangerous Assignment!' This is really great early TV fun. Hats off to star Brian Donlevy who produced the series himself. It becomes obvious through occasional improvised lines and slip-ups that the star and cast are having as much fun as we are.

    Sewers, caves, yachts, speeding trains there's no end to exotic cheap soundstage locations. Not to mention the same cafe and apartment hideout redecorated again and again. Government agent Steve Mitchell is really rather incompetent; as he never figures out his assignment and the true cause of the 'trouble' until he gets conked on the head several times and most of his co-stars are murdered. Mitchell gets knocked out so often it's a wonder he has any brain left at all. Not to mention all of those countless flesh wounds!

    Brian Donlevy, with his stout build and frumpy clothes, makes an unlikely James Bond, but all the women find him irresistible and immediately fall for him. True to form; he is too busy saving the interests of the free world against an unspecified unfriendly power to allow much time for dilly-dally with the ladies. Brian Donlevy is so much fun if you know anything of his backstory. He was quite an adventurer and dashing character in real life and a central figure and witness to much of Hollywood's early history.

    'Dangerous Assignment' is simply great in it's generous helpings of corny plots, contrived characters and (cough) riveting action. Watch it with friends as an assignment in early television history... and you'll all soon be rooting for Steve Mitchell- government agent!

    * originally a radio show - all 91 episodes are available at 'Internet Archive'
  • A radio spot series that began in 1949 and became a tv series in 1952. Granted the show only ran for 39 episodes it had left a mark as one full of intrigue and interesting cases. Both the radio and tv series starred Brian Donlevy. Donlevy formed a production company to convert the radio show to a television show - but, no TV network would invest in the series, so, instead, he produced thirty-nine episodes with his own cash and sold them to individual stations nationwide in First-Run Syndication (though NBC did aid in the distribution.