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Moontide (1942)

 -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  29 May 1942 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 699 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 13 critic

After a drunken binge on the San Pablo waterfront, longshoreman Bobo fears he may have killed a man. In his uncertainty, he takes a job on an isolated bait barge. That night, he rescues ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (from the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Moontide (1942)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bobo
...
Anna
...
Tiny
...
Nutsy
Jerome Cowan ...
Dr. Frank Brothers
Helene Reynolds ...
Woman on boat
Ralph Byrd ...
Rev. Wilson
William Halligan ...
Bartender
Victor Sen Yung ...
Takeo (as Sen Yung)
Chester Gan ...
Henry Hirota
Robin Raymond ...
Mildred
Arthur Aylesworth ...
Pop Kelly
Arthur Hohl ...
Jennings
John Kelly ...
Mac
Ralph Dunn ...
Policeman
Edit

Storyline

After a drunken binge on the San Pablo waterfront, longshoreman Bobo fears he may have killed a man. In his uncertainty, he takes a job on an isolated bait barge. That night, he rescues lovely Anna from a watery suicide attempt and installs her on the barge. But Tiny, Bobo's longtime pal and parasite, hopes to drive Anna away before domestic bliss tears Bobo away from him; the still unsolved murder may be just the wedge Tiny needs. There's fog on the water and evil brewing... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 May 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacht im Hafen  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Archie Mayo replaced Fritz Lang as director. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Choose Me (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Runnin' Wild
(uncredited)
Music by A.H. Gibbs and Joe Grey
Played during early barroom scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Warm, offbeat, professional...a just a bit unexceptional.
21 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Moontide (1942)

What a surprise, and with some well known actors in little known roles. And one little known actor in the U.S., the great French star Jean Gabin. All put together in an elegant, fast, and sympathetic way.

The story is rather sweet, a love story between two unlikely loners, the charming and volatile hard drinking Bobo, played by Gabin, and the young and troubled Anna, played by Ida Lupino. Each of their pasts looms and interferes in the romance, mainly through the maliciousness of Bobo's old friend, another violent man played by Thomas Mitchell. And then there is the incomparable Claude Rains (you won't recognize him in the first scenes with his beard), who plays a truly good friend. All of this takes place in a little fishing shack at a big stone breakwater on the California Coast somewhere, and most of it takes place at night.

Archie Mayo, who made a lot of really good films and few if any masterpieces ("Petrified Forest" is his most famous, from 1936), really does show mastery of storytelling here. And with cinematography by Charles Clarke good enough to get an Oscar nomination (with some help by the more famous Lucien Ballard), you can see why this is better than most. Fritz Lang is shown as a co-director behind the scenes, and you get suspicious that the visual strength of all this is partly his doing.

But it is the story itself that might be the achilles heel here--it progresses with some twists that are suggested in the first few minutes, and that don't turn and surprise us later. The end is the end you expect, all neatly packaged.

Not that you don't mind so much--the leading characters are, if nothing else, very likable. But along those same lines, I think every scene is filmed by-the-book. Very likable, and competent, and rather beautiful all along, but lacking the edges of uncertainty, of emotional depths you would expect from these kinds of characters, even of drama in the few scenes of violence. "Moontide," with its poetic title, insists somehow that it is a just a performance and an entertainment, a light romance, even though it's just an inch from tipping into something much bigger.


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