Danny Hawkins, who lives in a psychological shadow because his father died by a hangman's noose, accidentally kills a man in a fight over a girl, Gilly Johnson, and is afraid to notify the police. He wins the love of the girl but when she tries to influence him to admit his guilt, he runs away. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
MOONRISE shines. Borzage brings expressionist silent movie technique to bear on what is really more a melodrama than a film noir, a tale of guilt and redemption ultimately close to his romantic concerns. The difference is the degree of psychological angst we have to go through with the protagonist in order to reach it. Borzage's technique brings us into the hero's mind, from the stunning opening (flashbacks within flashbacks) to the hero's guilty visions. That opening is one of the finest I've ever seen, building up an unbelievable pressure in the first couple of minutes of the picture, leading to a thirst for revenge which the hero, and the audience, can spend the rest of the film regretting.
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