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Deep Valley (1947)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  30 July 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 359 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 4 critic

Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents. When a work crew of San Quentin convicts arrives to put in a new road, she takes an ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Jeff Barker
Fay Bainter ...
Ellie Saul
Cliff Saul
Willard Robertson ...
Sheriff Akers


Uneducated and poor, Libby lives a sheltered life in a broken down shack with her unloving parents. When a work crew of San Quentin convicts arrives to put in a new road, she takes an interest in Barry, a wild and uncontrollable young man. Despite the advances of upstanding engineer Jeff Barker, Libby opts for Barry and helps hide him when he escapes. However, with the posse hunting she can't hide him forever. Written by Gary Jackson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 July 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das tiefe Tal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Unhappy with her situation at Warners, Lupino turned down a contract extension and ended her association with the studio. See more »

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User Reviews

Lupino at her Peak
6 August 2000 | by (Pittsburgh, PA) – See all my reviews

I caught this on Turner Classic Movies, during a showcase of movies that are not yet available on video. And what a shame, because this is a remarkably vivid, extremely well produced effort, featuring a typically marvelous performance from the so called "poor man's Bette Davis" Ida Lupino - her last as a Warner Brothers star. As well as an intense, believable turn from one of the WB's preferred non-glamour, refreshingly regular Joe's, Dane Clark.

She plays a stuttering, socially backward young woman living in a dark household where her petty, nagging father (Henry Hull) gloomily inhabits the first floor and her helpless, self-pitying mother (Fay Bainter) occupies the second one. Her only function, beyond tedious daily chores, is to be the convenient target of her parents' scorn and disappointment, the scorn and disappointment they actually intend for each other but are too weary to express - as they literally haven't spoken for years. Not helping matters is the fact that there are no other neighbors for miles, as the three of them are fenced in, both physically and now emotionally by the surrounding hills.

Lupino's only refuge is the woods, where she often blissfully roams for hours with her dog. During one of her excursions she stumbles across a work crew of convicts on a construction project, supervised by an agreeable WW2 veteran played by Wayne Morris. She is instantly captivated by one of the men (Clark, who is friendly towards her dog) despite the fact that the undoubtedly more respectable Morris soon drops by the house to get water for the crew and is clearly taken with her. But she prefers the dangerous Clark (from afar - they've only made eye contact) and is concerned that he has been placed in isolation as a result of a violent, if provoked, rage.

Soon, a terrible storm hits. Clark escapes his confinement in the mayhem, as does Lupino, deciding she can no longer withstand the unrelenting hopelessness her parents are inflicting on her. She and Clark run into each other in the woods and ... well, they fall in love.

I'd hate to give any more away but, as with all good movies, there are surprises in store and events to unfold. The characterizations are three dimensional, lived in, particularly those of Bainter and Hull as Lupino's folks. It would've been all too easy for them to have come across as simply nasty and grotesque, but they both do a wonderful job of shading their performances so that you can sense the buried humanity, the regret, the slender possibility of some kind of redemption. There's a tantalizing hint of mystery in Morris' nice guy supervisor as well. It's a relatively small role, but he seems TOO nice, TOO forgiving of and understanding of Lupino's stuttering and social backwardness. Though it's understandably left largely unexplored, you find yourself wondering about the guy's true intentions.

Wonderful film. There's a good amount of suspense too in the second half, as the authorities keep closing in and things get very tense. A colorful, cagey sheriff who appears to enjoy his work a bit too much comes out of nowhere and almost steals the show.

The director, Jean Negulesco, has put together a beautiful film. It's worth seeing for the stunning cinematography alone. Couple that with flawless performances across the board and an insightful, nuanced script ... "Deep Valley" has the richness and texture of an old hardback novel you pick off the shelves of a good used bookstore and can't put down. How do movies like this get so lost when mediocrities abound? (Didn't mean to rhyme.)

21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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