2 December 2010 | new_market41
Routine 'Cops and Robbers' British B film
The plot of DANGEROUS CARGO has most of the basic ingredients of a standard mid-fifties British B film. Tom Matthews is a trusted precious-cargo handler at a main airport. He has a chance meeting with an old wartime colleague Harry who takes Tom and his wife Janie to the dog track and they gratefully win some money. However Harry is chauffeur to a gang leader who intends to mount a raid on the airport secure vault but they need inside information about when precious cargos arrive. So Harry takes Tom to the dog track again and encourages him to bet but Tom ends up heavily in debt to a bookmaker, money that he cannot pay. This leaves him open to blackmail by Luigi, one the gang leaders, who forces Tom to reveal when the next precious cargo is due.
The film offers a fairly rare leading role for easy-going actor Jack Watling but his acting abilities are barely tested with this one. Susan Stephen who looks and sounds uncannily like Haley Mills plays Janie his wife. The villains try to be classic 1950s B film stereotypes complete with foreign accents (genuine in the case of Karel Stepanek who plays the gang leader Pliny and phoney in the case of second-in-command Luigi played by John Le Mesurier). In fact the latter's 'foreign' accent cannot be sustained and he frequently lapses into 'home counties'. Pliny preserves his anonymity from the other motley gang members by addressing them from an adjoining room with the aid of a microphone, speaker and two-way mirror. It's hilarious stuff and a novel system similar to that used by villain 'The Voice' in the early 1960s British TV serial 'Gary Halliday '. It's a bit of a shock though to see popular actor Terence Alexander playing the two-timing Harry but he is smooth and convincing.
As a British B film aficionado I found it mildly entertaining but not a lot.