Jeopardy (1953)

68-69 mins | Drama | 27 February 1953

Director:

John Sturges

Writer:

Mel Dinelli

Producer:

Sol Baer Fielding

Cinematographer:

Victor Milner

Production Designers:

Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Riptide . According to a HR news item, portions of the film were shot on location in Dana Point, CA. Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan repeated their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 15 Mar 1954, which also featured Tony Barrett as "Lawson" and Harry Shearer as ... More Less

The working title of this film was Riptide . According to a HR news item, portions of the film were shot on location in Dana Point, CA. Barbara Stanwyck and Barry Sullivan repeated their roles in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on 15 Mar 1954, which also featured Tony Barrett as "Lawson" and Harry Shearer as "Bobby." More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 Jan 1953.
---
Daily Variety
19 Jan 53
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Jan 53
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 52
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jul 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jul 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 52
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 52
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jan 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Feb 53
p. 6.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Jan 1953.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Jan 53
p. 1693.
New York Times
31 Mar 53
p. 36.
Variety
21 Jan 53
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Stanwyck's cost des by
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Rec supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the radio play "A Question of Time" by Maurice Zimm (broadcast undetermined).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Riptide
Release Date:
27 February 1953
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 11 February 1953
Production Date:
21 July--early August 1952
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 January 1953
Copyright Number:
LP2300
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
68-69
Length(in feet):
6,194
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16100
SYNOPSIS

Looking forward to a two-week fishing vacation, Doug and Helen Stilwin and their son Bobby drive across the Mexican border and head down the coastline. On the winding, isolated road past Ensenada, they are stopped at a police roadblock, then waved on. As they drive away, Doug reveals that he has brought his old army pistol along for target practice. Eventually, the Stilwins reach the deserted beach where Doug used to fish with his buddies when he was in the Army. While Bobby is exploring the rickety jetty, his foot gets stuck between the boards, and Doug goes out to help him. Bobby makes it safely back to the beach, but a plank collapses and sends Doug crashing to the ground. Before he can move, a piling breaks and lands on his lower leg, pinning Doug to the rocks underneath. Helen and Bobby try various means of dislodging him, but the piling cannot be moved. Thinking they might be able to pull the piling off if they could tie it to the car, Doug suggests that she return to the deserted ranch where they had stopped for water earlier and look for a heavy rope. With an estimated four hours to go before the tide reaches Doug under the pier, Helen sets off for the ranch, leaving Bobby with his father. After a harrowing drive, Helen reaches the ranch. She breaks into the tool shed and has just found a rope when she notices an American man standing outside. She asks him for help and quickly drives away with him, unaware that he is leaving behind the concealed body of a murdered man. ... +


Looking forward to a two-week fishing vacation, Doug and Helen Stilwin and their son Bobby drive across the Mexican border and head down the coastline. On the winding, isolated road past Ensenada, they are stopped at a police roadblock, then waved on. As they drive away, Doug reveals that he has brought his old army pistol along for target practice. Eventually, the Stilwins reach the deserted beach where Doug used to fish with his buddies when he was in the Army. While Bobby is exploring the rickety jetty, his foot gets stuck between the boards, and Doug goes out to help him. Bobby makes it safely back to the beach, but a plank collapses and sends Doug crashing to the ground. Before he can move, a piling breaks and lands on his lower leg, pinning Doug to the rocks underneath. Helen and Bobby try various means of dislodging him, but the piling cannot be moved. Thinking they might be able to pull the piling off if they could tie it to the car, Doug suggests that she return to the deserted ranch where they had stopped for water earlier and look for a heavy rope. With an estimated four hours to go before the tide reaches Doug under the pier, Helen sets off for the ranch, leaving Bobby with his father. After a harrowing drive, Helen reaches the ranch. She breaks into the tool shed and has just found a rope when she notices an American man standing outside. She asks him for help and quickly drives away with him, unaware that he is leaving behind the concealed body of a murdered man. On the road, the taciturn stranger, Lawson, finds Doug's gun in the glove compartment and threatens to kill Helen if she does not cooperate with him. They are soon stopped by police officers, who are searching for a dangerous escaped criminal, but Helen, with the gun pressed into her side, can say nothing. When the police go, Lawson takes the wheel but refuses to take Helen to her family. They soon approach another roadblock, and when Helen tries to escape, Lawson drives through, with the police in pursuit. One of the tires blows out, and while Lawson is changing it, Helen notices the prison number on the back of his shirt. Meanwhile, at the beach, Doug and Bobby try unsuccessfully to flag down a passing ship as the tide gets higher. Back on the road, a police car approaches Helen's car and fires at the fugitive, but Lawson escapes. Aware that police cars travel in pairs, Lawson decides to lay low for a while, and they pull off the road. Helen tries to convince Lawson to go to the beach by offering him Doug's clothes and identification papers, and suggestively tells him she would do anything to save her husband. Lawson agrees, and they arrive at the beach as the tide is getting dangerously high. Lawson tries attaching a rope to the piling and towing it off with the car, but the heavy timber will not budge. Undeterred, Lawson resourcefully uses a board to get leverage, and Helen manages to free Doug just as the rope breaks. With Doug safely resting on the beach, Lawson reminds Helen of her promise to go away with him, but when she stoically agrees, he is so impressed by her spirit and dedication to her husband that he simply says goodbye. Before he gets into the car, they notice one of the tires is flat. As the sound of police sirens grows near, Helen and Lawson shake hands, and he escapes under the pier. Alone with her thoughts, Helen muses on the choices she has made. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.