Danger Route (1967)
Cast & Characters
Returning from a mission in the Caribbean, Jonas Wilde is determined it will be his last. Coaxed by his superiors into one more dirty assassination job, mid-way through this mission Wilde discovers a plot to kill agents emanating from within British Security Service itself.
"It doesn't matter what country you work for. If you're not a member of the ruling class, you're a sheep." - Brian Stern
Studio: Amicus / United Artists
Running Time: 91 minutes
Directed by: Seth Holt
Produced by: Max Rosenberg, Milton Subotsky, Ted Willis
Written by: Meade Roberts, Robert Stewart
Music by: Philip Martell
London, UK; Jersey, Channel Islands.
Released as a double feature with Lloyd Bridges' "Attack on the Iron Coast". The catchy title song was composed by Lionel Bart and performed by Anita Harris.
The title alludes to the risky game that espionage professionals play. As the title song lyrics explain: "To stay alive in this violent world a man has to have an edge. His is the edge of his hand!"
The Bond Connection
Aside from being another sixties spy flick that was able to trade on the success of the 007 franchise - which released the big budget Far East adventure, "You Only Live Twice", the summer of the same year "Danger Route" hit the screens - Richard Johnson was one of the actors considered for the role of James Bond when casting the 1962 film, "Dr. No". According to many sources Johnson turned down the opportunity to play the world's most famed British spy as he did not like the idea of being contracted into a multi-film project.
The film is an adaptation of the novel "The Eliminator", by Andrew York (one pen name of Christopher Nicole). Directed by Seth Holt, who learned his trade in the 1940s as an assistant editor before earning the opportunity to helm a handful of 1960s black and white TV spy dramas, notably "Danger Man". The studio that took up the option was Amicus, normally a horror house, but for this one time only turned to spy-fi.
Holt assembled a cast that included man-of-the-hour Richard Johnson who, the same year, starred in the first Bulldog Drummond flick, "Deadlier Than the Male". Ultimately "Deadlier" would be remembered as a cult classic whilst "Danger Route" would be left to the obscurity of time.
Despite all the odds, the cast and crew clearly knew they had an interesting spy thriller on their hands and in transcribing the source material for screen, stayed relatively true to the plot. Years later Richard Johnson remarked that Holt was one of the best directors with whom the actor had ever worked.
"'Danger Route,' with Richard Johnson as a cynical, sprinting secret agent, is one of those espionage packages where nobody, including the hero, is quite what he seems. This includes the baby-faced Carol Lynley, cast as a sleek worldling. In any case, Mr. Johnson, treacherously assigned to polish off the wrong victim, shoots and karate-chops his way from London to the countryside and the Channel Islands, stalked by some suave killers and protectors." -- NY Times
Beyond Bond Index