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Undertow (1930)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  March 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 20 users  
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Coast Guardsman has affair with lighthouse keeper's wife.


(as Harry Pollard)


(adaptation) (as Edward T. Lowe) , (screenplay) (as Edward T. Lowe) , 3 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Sally Blake
Paul Whalen
Robert Ellis ...
Jim Paine
Churchill Ross ...
Audrey Ferris ...


Coast Guardsman has affair with lighthouse keeper's wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance





Release Date:

March 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anemostrovilos zois  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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User Reviews

Bizarre But Fascinating
10 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watched the bizarre 1930 film UNDERTOW which starred Mary Nolan and Johnny Mack Brown. In this early talkie Brown plays a lifeguard who clunks his head on a log while saving a kid from drowning. He catches the attention of blonde Nolan who is fighting with her yucky boyfriend (Robert Ellis). They fall in love and go off together to the lighthouse Brown has been assigned to man.

Next scene is three years later with Nolan depressed and looking longingly back toward shore. They fight constantly and their kid is sick. They then have a big fight about "milk from a can" just about the time that Brown goes blind from getting clunked on the head by that log. Later, Ellis is coming to the lighthouse to pick of the records (he's the boss) and Brown tries to hide his blindness. But Ellis catches on and kidnaps the partially willing Nolan.

Back on land she realizes her mistake and steals a boat to get back to the lighthouse. Brown clunks his head on a wall and his eyesight is restored. As the couple starts to make up, Ellis returns but is surprised when Brown can see. They have a big fight.

Nolan made about a dozen talkies up through 1933. Her talkie career never took off although she has a good voice. Brown and Ellis are a tad hammy here. The sets and lighting are excellent in this Universal film. Clocking in at 56 minutes, I wonder if part of this film is missing?

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