Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: Dangerous Assignment

Brian Donlevy played Steve Mitchell, some kind of agent for some kind of unnamed American government-run crime-stopping unit.

The program would always start the same way.  Mitchell would be minding his own business (say, dancing with a beautiful blonde in Miami) when he would receive a message that he must report to headquarters right away.

Once at headquarters, his boss would cram a normal three-minute soliloquy into 45 seconds and off Steve would be on an airplane to some exotic part of the world.  There he would face sabotage, traitors, killers and beautiful but dangerous women.

As rapid as the show's opening was (by the way, including the show's theme song, which featured stabbing horns and a quick beat) the show would almost ground to a halt when the "action" began. That's good because the break-neck pace at the beginning would be impossible to follow all the way through.

Brian Donlevy
The stories were all very similar.  Go find the missing agent; go do this and go do that.  None of it mattered - the show sounds the same every time you listen to it.  Yes, the locations are different and the supporting characters are different -- but it's the same push-shove beginning and always a predictable story.  The only thing unpredictable is who is good and who is bad. Though the show sets up the sides they are never as they appear.

The good thing about all of this is there are over 100 episodes available and most every one I have heard has sound that is above average.  This is an early 1950's show and like most shows in the 1950's, it still sound great.  The show, though predictable - and I might add that Donlevy is not a very good actor in my opinion - is not horrible.  It's an adequate and harmless time-killer/filler if nothing else.  For these facts alone I'll give it two and a half stars.

©Jimbo 2010/2011


  1. Dangerous Assignment is in my regular cue. It is not bad, but, as you say, it isn't great either. I like it because it provides contrast to the detective stories. However, I prefer Rocky Jordan adventures to this one. Rocky Jordan is so much better. The writing is well done in the Rocky Jordan adventures. Saying that, I will say on occasion there are some good Dangerous Assignment stories, just not that often. None the less, Dangerous Assignment is part of my regular listening. I prefer it over the Man Called X.

  2. The one thing I had written down in my notes that I accidently left off of the actual review was how similar the show is to 'A Man Called X.' But it's better than 'X' - mainly because 'X' has Pagon on there and that character is a pain...

  3. Agreed about Pagon. Also, late at night when I am listening to these shows it is easier to follow Dangerous Assignment than the Man Called X. It is less complicated.


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