This is one of about two dozen feature films directed by Harry A. Pollard, which the American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films, in all 3 of their volumes, 1911-1920, 1921-1930 and 1931-1940, chooses to erroneously credit to comedian Harry (Snub) Pollard, who is, of course, a different person entirely. See more »
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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