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Undertow (1930)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  March 1930 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 20 users  
Reviews: 5 user

Coast Guardsman has affair with lighthouse keeper's wife.

Director:

(as Harry Pollard)

Writers:

(adaptation) (as Edward T. Lowe) , (screenplay) (as Edward T. Lowe) , 3 more credits »
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Title: Undertow (1930)

Undertow (1930) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Sally Blake
...
Paul Whalen
Robert Ellis ...
Jim Paine
Churchill Ross ...
Lindy
Audrey Ferris ...
Kitty
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Storyline

Coast Guardsman has affair with lighthouse keeper's wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

melodrama | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Anemostrovilos zois  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Highly Melodramatic Talkie With Beauteous Blonde Mary Nolan
20 May 2008 | by (California) – See all my reviews

Undertow is a 1930 film directed by Harry A. Pollard and it stars Johnny Mack Brown (Paul), Mary Nolan (Sally) and Robert Ellis (Jim) in a story about a girl named Sally who quickly falls in love with life guard Paul during a joyous and pleasurable day on the beach, leaving her incredibly jealous male companion in the process who isn't exactly hurried to let his girl relinquish their already third engagement. Therefore, Paul eventually talks Sally into sharing his life as a lighthouse keeper and in result the film leaps forward in time to an unhappily married Sally who is now a mother and seemingly confined from the exuberant life of lavish parties and dancing that she once knew. From here the film is exceedingly gloomy and filled with a plentiful of turn of events.

As for the quality of this low budget early talkie, the print I viewed was in relatively decent condition, though one must make mention that the films running time clocks in at a mere sixty minutes and in consequence of that short running time the story fails to ever truly develop. The jump forward in time from the beach to the lighthouse happens very rapidly, which assumably was the outcome of bad editing. Therefore, when the film is appearing to it's climax and abrupt ending, one is apparently just getting into the film. With that being said, the direction is expectedly flat for an early talkie, as well as the acting being horribly stilted and melodramatic, especially from Johnny Mack Brown who is hardly convincing during the times of heroic lifeguard or lighthouse keeper in sorrow.

Therefore, despite it's enormous flaws, Undertow most certainly has the ability to hold it's viewers attention and entertain quite pleasantly. However, this is hardly of any interest to anyone who isn't a fan of the films two biggest stars, Mary Nolan and Johnny Mack Brown. The fans of especially Mary Nolan will be greatly overjoyed in simply seeing the blonde beauty in something rather than Tod Browning's West of Zanzibar (1928) or Desert Nights (1929) with John Gilbert and her performance in all actuality is tolerable when compared to the vast majority of performances during the early talkie era, she displays an innumerable amount of range and diversity within the hour and in greater distance proves she could've been a huge star.


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