Danny is being despised by his schoolmates because his father was accused to have killed another man and is condemned to the death penalty.



(screenplay) (as Charles Haas), (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Clem Otis
Billy Scripture (as Henry Morgan)
David Street ...
Selena Royle ...
Aunt Jessie
Jimmy Biff
Judd Jenkins
Jerry Sykes
Houseley Stevenson ...
Uncle Joe Jingle
Phil Brown ...
Elmer - Soda Jerk
J.B. Sykes (as Harry V. Cheshire)


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Frank Borzage's Moonrise  »

Box Office


$849,452 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Garson Kanin intended to produce the story as a vehicle for John Garfield while John Farrow wanted to produce it as a vehicle for Alan Ladd. See more »


Sheriff Clem Otis: Sure is remarkable how dying can make a saint of a man.
See more »


Referenced in Moving Pictures (2016) See more »


I'll Be Home for Christmas
Written by Walter Kent, Buck Ram and Kim Gannon
See more »

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User Reviews

The shadow on the cradle.
19 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

During all his childhood ,Danny had only known ragging.Being the son of a hanged man was not easy when your school pals kept laughing at you.We can comprehend Danny's hate for Jerry Snykes ,the boy born silver spoon in hand ,whose father is a banker .

The resentment had been building up for years.Not only Danny was an innocent victim ,but he also showed compassion for the half-wit,the town youth's punching bag.As grandma says,he is a good guy ,and so was his father,another unfortunate victim of fate .

When Danny tries to join the human race,that is to say when he falls in love with Gilly ,it's too late: "why do you always take me far from the others?" she complains.The scene at the fair could be a respite : this is a place dear to Borzage;you may remember Margaret Sullavan on a carousel in "little man what now? " and there's a similar scene in "Liliom" .But the big wheel is also a trap.

Filmed in black and white ,often in the dark,in a desperate atmosphere ,"Moonrise" is an extraordinary film noir.It nearly matched the brilliance of Borzage's precedent decade.

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