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Dark Waters (1944) More at IMDbPro »

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Francis M. Cockrell (original story) &
Marian B. Cockrell (original story) ...
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Release Date:
1944 (UK) See more »
FEAR of a Man...FEAR of the Swamp...FEAR of MURDER! See more »
A woman returns to the USA after a German u-boat sank her ship, and finds out that someone wants to kill her for her inheritance. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Great atmosphere, great performance from Oberon and a nice bit of playing against type from Mitchell See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Merle Oberon ... Leslie Calvin

Franchot Tone ... Dr. George Grover

Thomas Mitchell ... Mr. Sydney
Fay Bainter ... Aunt Emily

Elisha Cook Jr. ... Cleeve

John Qualen ... Uncle Norbert

Rex Ingram ... Pearson Jackson

Nina Mae McKinney ... Florella
Odette Myrtil ... Mama Boudreaux (as Odette Myrtle)
Eugene Borden ... Papa Boudreaux
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leigh Whipper ... Minor Role (unconfirmed)
Rita Beery ... Nurse (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Eileen Coghlan ... Jeanette (uncredited)
Peter Miles ... (uncredited)

Alan Napier ... The Doctor (uncredited)

Gigi Perreau ... Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
André De Toth  (as Andre de Toth)
Writing credits
Francis M. Cockrell (original story) (as Frank Cockrell) &
Marian B. Cockrell (original story) (as Marian Cockrell)

Joan Harrison (screenplay) &
Marian B. Cockrell (screenplay) (as Marian Cockrell)

Arthur T. Horman (additional dialogue) (as Arthur Horman)

John Huston  uncredited

Produced by
Benedict Bogeaus .... producer
James Nasser .... executive producer
Original Music by
Miklós Rózsa (musical score) (as Miklos Rozsa)
Cinematography by
John J. Mescall  (as John Mescall)
Archie Stout 
Film Editing by
James Smith 
Art Direction by
Charles Odds 
Set Decoration by
Maurice Yates (set decorations)
Makeup Department
Ted Larsen .... makeup artist (as Edward Larsen)
Scotty Rackin .... hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph Depew .... assistant director
Sound Department
Frank Webster .... sound technician
Special Effects by
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Greta .... wardrobe
René Hubert .... costumes for Miss Oberon (as Rene Hubert)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Miklós Rózsa .... musical director (as Miklos Rozsa)
Eugene Zador .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Carley Harriman .... assistant to producer
Arthur M. Landau .... production associate
Jack Crosby .... dance director (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • Hypercube  digitally restored by (as hypercube llc New York City)
  • I.A.T.S.E.  acknowledgement

Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1949) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) | USA:Approved (MPPDA rating: certificate #10326)

Did You Know?

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 27, 1944 with Merle Oberon and Thomas Mitchell reprising their film roles.See more »
Continuity: At dinner, when Cleeve is first introduced to Leslie Calvin, he is seen standing up as he politely helps her take her seat at the table. A split-second later he is already seated himself, eating soup.See more »


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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful.
Great atmosphere, great performance from Oberon and a nice bit of playing against type from Mitchell, 1 March 2005
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Leslie Calvin is the sole survivor of a submarine sinking and, having seen other survivors die before they could be saved, her mental health has suffered and it is only the help of Dr George Grover that sees her making progress. To aid her recovery she heads out to see her relatives on their plantation but is bothered when nobody is there to collect her. Arriving at the home she meets her aunt, uncle and extended family for the first time and tries to settle in. However a series of mental triggers set Leslie's recovery back and it almost seems that her family are deliberately being insensitive.

With very few votes on this site, I decided to watch this film on the basis that very few people have seen it. Unsure of the plot I braced myself for a bland melodrama when the film opened with a hysterical Leslie but I was pleasantly surprised when the film became something much darker and more interesting. I can't go into more detail without spoiling it for you, but the plot sees a group of people trying to drive Leslie deeper into her madness; on this level it maybe doesn't work quite as well as it should have done because the plot does have holes in it but these are not that much of an issue because it does manage to do a lot of other things well enough to cover the gaps and carry the film.

The first of these is the atmosphere, created by lighting, cinematography and direction. It is as close as a real swamp and has a genuine air of tension and creepiness to it throughout. The material is a lot darker than I had expected and, once the real hearts of the characters are revealed I was quite taken by the quite moral void they seemed to inhabit. Of course without the actors this wouldn't work as well as it did but a mix of good performances and clever casting means it was pretty good. Oberon is excellent in the lead role and is convincing in the way in which she seems unsure of her own sanity while also being genuinely afraid of things around her (or herself?). Beside her Tone is far too bland and is much of a muchness but does meet the requirements on him well enough. Mitchell is a great bit of casting; much more famous for warmer, comic roles, he seems to relish the character and does well for the majority before excelling at the end. Cook Jr is as good as he often can be and plays "naïve/unhinged sidekick" pretty well. The rest of the cast are all strong enough but for me the film is worth seeing for the from Oberon and Mitchell.

Overall this is a very enjoyable little film that trades a lot on its atmosphere and main performances. The story is interesting even if it does have basic holes in it and dealing with logic problems by just ignoring them but for the reasons above I think this is well worth a wet weekend's viewing.

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