To the Public Danger

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To the Public Danger
Directed by Terence Fisher
Written by
  • T.J. Morrison
  • Arthur Reid
Produced by John Croydon
Edited byGraeme Hamilton
Music by Doreen Carwithen
Highbury Productions
Distributed by General Film Distributors
Release date
  • September 1948 (1948-09)
Running time
43 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

To the Public Danger is a 1948 British drama short film directed by Terence Fisher and produced by John Croydon. It stars Dermot Walsh, Susan Shaw, Barry Letts, and Frederick Piper.


The film was made at Highbury Studios as a second feature for release by the Rank Organisation. [1] Like other Highbury productions, it offered acting opportunities for several of Rank's young contract stars. The film's sets were designed by Don Russell, although a number of the scenes were shot on location.

The screenplay, written by T.J. Morrison and Arthur Reid, was based on a 1939 radio play by Patrick Hamilton, who had been encouraged to write the story as part of a government road safety campaign. Hamilton had himself been knocked down by a drunk driver. The story was updated slightly, and represents the post-war malaise with the use of noirish sequences. [2] After making the film Fisher graduated to directing several more expensive productions for Gainsborough Pictures.


While having a quiet drink together in a road house, a young working-class couple Fred and Nancy fall into the company of two raffish motorists including the self-confident Captain Cole. After a game of billiards and a number of drinks, they drive out on the road. While speeding along in the dark they hit what they think to be a man on a bicycle.

Although Fred wants to stop, Captain Cole insists on driving on. Nancy takes Cole's side and begins taunting Fred, who eventually manages to escape and raise the alarm. A police investigation reveals that nobody had been injured in the collision with the bike, which had belonged to a poacher who didn't report the accident. In the meantime, Cole, Nancy and the other passenger have suffered a crash of their own while drunken speeding, killing all three of them.


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  1. Chibnall & MacFarlane
  2. Hutchings p.44-45