Danger Signal (1945): Florey’s Film Noir, Starring Faye Emerson and Zachary Scott

Danger Signal
Danger Signal Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Prolific filmmaker Robert Florey directed Danger Signal, a film noir, starring Faye Emerson and Zachary Scott.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Phyllis Bottome, Danger Signal centers on a mysterious artist–and psychopath–Ronnie Mason, who steals a dead woman’s wedding ring and money and leaves a fake suicide note.

The woman’s husband, Thomas Turner, when questioned by the local police, believes his dead wife might have been seeing Mason behind his back. He also believes his wife was murdered, but in the absence of other evidence, the police list it as a suicide and drop the case.

Mason leaves town, changes his name to Marsh and, using a limp he acquired jumping from the dead woman’s bedroom window and a veteran’s pin he steals from a fellow passenger on the L.A. bus, passes himself off as a wounded soldier and rents a room in the house of public stenographer Hilda Fenchurch and her younger sister Anne. Both young women are extremely gullible and to the consternation of professor Andrew Lang, who secretly loves Hilda, she, and Anne, fall for Marsh.

The scheming Marsh learns that Anne might inherit a great deal of money, so he switches his affections toward her. Hilda, jealous and suspicious, plots to lure Marsh to a beach house and poison him, but she is unable to go through with it.

In the abrupt and unsatisfying ending, Marsh runs off, and surprised by Thomas Turner, he plunges off a steep cliff to his death.

Greeted with mixed to negative reviews, Signal Danger was moderately popular at the box-office.

Faye Emerson as Hilda Fenchurch
Zachary Scott as Ronnie Mason
Richard Erdman as Bunkie Taylor (as Dick Erdman)
Rosemary DeCamp as Dr. Jane Silla
Bruce Bennett as Dr. Andrew Lang
Mona Freeman as Anne Fenchurch
John Ridgely as Thomas Turner
Mary Servoss as Mrs. Fenchurch
Joyce Compton as Kate
Virginia Sale as Mrs. Crockett


Directed by Robert Florey
Produced by William Jacobs
Screenplay by C. Graham Baker and Adele Comandini, based on Danger Signal
1939 novel by Phyllis Bottome
Music by Adolph Deutsch
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Frank Magee
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date: November 14, 1945

Running time: 78 minutes
Budget $471,000
Box office $1,110,000


TCM showed the movie on Sep 13, 2020.

Films directed by Robert Florey

One Hour of Love (1927)

The Romantic Age (1927)

Face Value (1927)

The Life and Death of 9413: a Hollywood Extra (1928)

The Hole in the Wall (1929)

The Cocoanuts (1929)

The Battle of Paris (1929)

The Road Is Fine (1930)

My Wife’s Teacher (1930)

Love Songs (1930)

Black and White (1931)

Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

The Man Called Back (1932)

Those We Love (1932)

Girl Missing (1933)

Ex-Lady (1933)

The House on 56th Street (1933)

Bedside (1934)

Registered Nurse (1934)

Smarty (1934)

I Sell Anything (1934)

I Am a Thief (1934)

The Woman in Red (1935)

The Florentine Dagger (1935)

Going Highbrow (1935)Don’t Bet on Blondes (1935)Ship Cafe (1935)The Payoff (1935)The Preview Murder Mystery (1936)Till We Meet Again (1936)Hollywood Boulevard (1936)Outcast (1937)King of Gamblers (1937)Mountain Music (1937)This Way Please (1937)Daughter of Shanghai (1937)Dangerous to Know (1938)King of Alcatraz (1938)Disbarred (1939)Hotel Imperial (1939)The Magnificent Fraud (1939)Death of a Champion (1939)Parole Fixer (1940)Women Without Names (1940)The Face Behind the Mask (1941)Meet Boston Blackie (1941)Two in a Taxi (1941)Dangerously They Live (1941)Lady Gangster (1942)The Desert Song (1943)Roger Touhy, Gangster (1944)Man from Frisco (1944)God Is My Co-Pilot (1945)Danger Signal (1945)The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948)Rogues’ Regiment (1948)Outpost in Morocco (1949)

The Crooked Way (1949)

The Vicious Years (1950)

Johnny One-Eye (1950)

Adventures of Captain Fabian (1951)