IMDb > The Woman on the Beach (1947)
The Woman on the Beach
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The Woman on the Beach (1947) More at IMDbPro »


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6.6/10   1,228 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank Davis (screenplay) and
Jean Renoir (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Woman on the Beach on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 June 1947 (USA) See more »
Go ahead and say it...I'm no good!
A Coast Guardsman suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress becomes involved with a beautiful and enigmatic seductress married to a blind painter. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(7 articles)
User Reviews:
Even hacked down, Renoir's haunting noir falls just short of a masterpiece See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Bennett ... Peggy

Robert Ryan ... Scott

Charles Bickford ... Tod
Nan Leslie ... Eve

Walter Sande ... Otto Wernecke

Irene Ryan ... Mrs. Wernecke
Glen Vernon ... Kirk (as Glenn Vernon)
Frank Darien ... Lars
Jay Norris ... Jimmy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Anderson ... Coast Guardsman (uncredited)
Carl Armstrong ... Lenny (uncredited)
Bonnie Blair ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Hugh Chapman ... Young Fisherman (uncredited)
Kay Christopher ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Maria Dodd ... Nurse Jennings (uncredited)
Carol Donell ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
John Elliott ... Old Workman (uncredited)
Carl Faulkner ... Old Fisherman (uncredited)
Donald Gordon ... Donnie (uncredited)

Harry Harvey ... Dr. Smith (uncredited)

Martha Hyer ... Mrs. Barton (uncredited)
Jackie Jackson ... Johnnie (uncredited)
Drew Miller ... Coast Guardsman (uncredited)
Nancy Saunders ... Girl at Party (uncredited)
Robert Seiter ... Coast Guardsman (uncredited)
Bill Shannon ... Blacksmith (uncredited)

Directed by
Jean Renoir 
Writing credits
Frank Davis (screenplay) and
Jean Renoir (screenplay)

J.R. Michael Hogan (adaptation) (as Michael Hogan)

Mitchell Wilson (novel "None So Blind")

Produced by
Jack J. Gross .... executive producer
Will Price .... associate producer
Original Music by
Hanns Eisler 
Cinematography by
Leo Tover (director of photography)
Harry J. Wild (director of photography) (as Harry Wild)
Film Editing by
Lyle Boyer 
Roland Gross 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Walter E. Keller 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
John Sturtevant (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Edward Stevenson (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James E. Casey .... assistant director (as James Casey)
John Pommer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
Jean L. Speak .... sound
Special Effects by
Russell A. Cully .... special effects
Editorial Department
Harold Palmer .... montage
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Gil Grau .... orchestral arrangements
Other crew
Charles H. Gardiner .... technical advisor (as Lt. Comdr. Charles H. Gardiner U.S.C.G.R.)
Paula Walling .... dialogue director
Leonard Shannon .... unit publicity writer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
71 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Finland:K-12 (1971) | Finland:K-16 (1948) | Iceland:L | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #11450, Adult Audience)

Did You Know?

Factual errors: Peggy says her husband's "optic nerve was cut," which is why he's blind. But, although she refers to the optic nerve in the singular, people have two optic nerves, one for each eye.See more »
Tod:Peggy, did it ever occur to you that to me you'll always be beautiful no matter how old you grow? I'll always remember you as you were the last day I saw you - young, beautiful, bright, excitimg. No one who can see can say that to you. Peg, you're so beautiful... so beautiful outside... so rotten inside.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Val Lewton: The Man in the Shadows (2007) (TV)See more »


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42 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
Even hacked down, Renoir's haunting noir falls just short of a masterpiece, 2 September 2002
Author: bmacv from Western New York

Auteur of one of the supremely great works of world cinema, La Regle du jeu (Rules of the Game), Jean Renoir, like so many other European masters, found less than a stellar career in Hollywood. Though several of his French films were remade as American noirs, he directed but one installment of the cycle himself: The Woman on the Beach. And, though routinely butchered by the studio before release, the movie soon establishes itself as something quite out of the ordinary – in fact, something close to extraordinary.

After recuperation from physical and psychological trauma during the war, Robert Ryan finds himself stationed at a sleepy Coast Guard outpost on the California coast. He's restless and diffident about his upcoming marriage to a local girl. One day on the fog-shrouded strand he encounters a beautiful woman (Joan Bennett) gathering driftwood. He walks her back to her beach shack where a two-edged friction starts to develop. Suddenly in walks her husband (Charles Bickford), who was blinded by Bennett in a drunken accident years before; though no longer able to work, he's still reckoned the greatest painter in the world. (Renoir's father, of course, was the impressionist painter Auguste Renoir.)

Ostensibly glad to have a guest, Bickford insists on Ryan's promising a return visit. But as the flickers of attraction he feels toward Bennett kindle into lust, Ryan begins to wonder if Bickford is really blind, or as blind as he claims; he also starts to chafe at being drawn into the murky and perverse games the couple seems to enjoy playing. Determined to prove once and for all that Bickford is sighted, he one day leads him nearer and nearer the edge of a bluff....

Like Fritz Lang's Clash by Night (which also starred Ryan), The Woman on the Beach deserves its noir label more from disturbing mood and freighted ambiguity than from its storyline (it's by no means a conventional suspense drama). He inspires his principal cast to superlative performances, especially Bickford (in a role reminiscent of Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark). Bennett, one of the early icons of the noir cycle, attracted the attention of two other illustrious European movie-makers, Lang and Max Ophuls. But Renoir may have directed her in the finest work of her career as this self-described "tramp" embroiled in a marriage kept together by hate as much as love. And there's Ryan's signature blend of short-sightedness and roiling anger, which he has done elsewhere, but nobody save maybe Brando did more convincingly.

The unusual score, too – by the German Communist `serious' composer Hanns Eisler – betokens that this production's ambitions are very high indeed. If The Woman on the Beach falls just short of `masterpiece' status, blame must fall on RKO for meddling with what Renoir delivered, fretful that situations and innuendos that Europeans regularly took in their stride might be too naughty for Americans – those Americans who had, after all, just fought and won a war. Even hacked down to a measly 71 minutes, Renoir's vision keeps its haunting, incantatory power.

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