5 Steps to Danger

5 Steps to Danger

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Henry S. Kesler
Produced by Henry S. Kesler
Written by Henry S. Kesler
Donald Hamilton (novel)
Turnley Walker (story)
Starring Ruth Roman
Sterling Hayden
Music by Paul Sawtell
Bert Shefter
Cinematography Kenneth Peach
Edited by Aaron Stell
Grand Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • January 30, 1957 (1957-01-30) (New York City, New York)
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English

5 Steps to Danger is a 1957 American crime film. It was directed by Henry S. Kesler, and starred Ruth Roman and Sterling Hayden, with a cast that also included Werner Klemperer, Richard Gaines, Charles Davis, and Jeanne Cooper. It was based on the novel The Steel Mirror by Donald Hamilton.[1]


John Emmett, an American everyman, is on a fishing and hunting trip when his car breaks down. He is offered a ride by a stranger, Ann Nicholson, who is driving to Santa Fe and asks him to take turns behind the wheel.

During a stopover a woman identifying herself as a nurse takes John aside in a diner and says she has been following them because Ann is an escaped mental patient of a Dr. Frederick Simmons. And although he isn't sure what to believe, John begins to doubt Ann when two policemen attempt to arrest them, claiming to be investigating a murder in Los Angeles.

John and Ann manage to slip away. He demands the truth, whereupon Ann says she is an ex-German citizen who stumbled upon a government plot and is in possession of valuable scientific transcripts embedded on a small cosmetic mirror. In order to prevent Simmons from having Ann committed to a mental institution against her will, John asks Ann to marry him, while also declaring his love for her. They wed in a small town and then continue their journey to find the scientist who wrote the transcripts. The chase ends in a confrontation between Simmons, who is actually a Soviet spy, and his accomplices versus FBI and CIA agents, who verify Ann's story. Ann and John enjoy their honeymoon on the fishing trip John had originally planned.



  1. 6 FILMS PLANNED BY AM-PAR CORP.: $3,000,000 Will Be Invested in Medium-Budget Movies During Next Half Year Of Local Origin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 28 Jan 1957: 18.

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