IMDb > Night Tide (1961)
Night Tide
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Night Tide (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Night Tide -- On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival...
Night Tide -- US Home Video Trailer from American International
Night Tide -- On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival...

Overview

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6.4/10   1,072 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Curtis Harrington (screenplay) and
Curtis Harrington (short story)
Contact:
View company contact information for Night Tide on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 September 1965 (Mexico) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Temptress from the sea...loving...killing! See more »
Plot:
On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(20 articles)
The Stack: Before Midnight, Much Ado About Nothing, Night Tide, And More
 (From Twitch. 22 October 2013, 3:00 PM, PDT)

Night Tide – The DVD Review
 (From WeAreMovieGeeks.com. 21 October 2013, 7:07 AM, PDT)

Night Tide | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 15 October 2013, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Literary and Occult Classic If One Scratches the Surface See more (46 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Dennis Hopper ... Johnny Drake
Linda Lawson ... Mora
Gavin Muir ... Capt. Samuel Murdock

Luana Anders ... Ellen Sands
Marjorie Eaton ... Madame Romanovitch
Tom Dillon ... Merry-Go-Round Operator (Ellen's Grandfather)
H.E. West ... Lt. Henderson
Ben Roseman ... Bruno
Marjorie Cameron ... Water Witch (as Cameron)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kirby Allan ... Bongo Player (uncredited)
Barbette ... Man Talking at Bar (uncredited)
Danny Best ... Teen on Midway (uncredited)
James Boscon ... Teen on Midway Gawking at Mermaid (uncredited)
Richard Boscon ... Teen on Midway with Glasses (uncredited)
Chaino ... Head Bongo Player (uncredited)
Paul Horn ... Jazz Flutist (uncredited)
Joyce King ... Woman at Jazz Club (uncredited)
Bruno VeSota ... Man on the Stairs (uncredited)

Directed by
Curtis Harrington 
 
Writing credits
Curtis Harrington (screenplay)

Curtis Harrington  short story

Produced by
Aram Kantarian .... producer
Jules Schwartz .... executive producer
H. Duane Weaver .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
David Raksin 
 
Cinematography by
Vilis Lapenieks 
Floyd Crosby (uncredited)
 
Film Editing by
Jodie Copelan 
 
Production Design by
Paul Mathison 
 
Makeup Department
Bruno VeSota .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
H. Duane Weaver .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Karl Romaine .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Marvin Walowitz .... sound editor
 
Music Department
Chaino .... musician: bongos
Sid Sidney .... music editor
Paul Horn .... musician: flute (uncredited)
 
Other crew
David E. Blewitt .... production assistant (as David Blewitt)
David McDonald .... production assistant
Edgar Allan Poe .... quotation
Benjamin Zemach .... choreographer
Joyce King .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Dennis Hopper insisted on not using a double for the scuba diving sequence.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Mora enters the water during the diving trip, the diving knife is strapped to her right leg. When Johnny and Mora are swimming together along the ocean floor, the knife is strapped to Mora's left leg. When Mora and Johnny arrive near the shiny object on the ocean floor, and begin digging at the reef, the knife is strapped back on Mora's right leg. The knife remains strapped on Mora's right leg until she removes it from the sheath.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in House of Harrington (2008)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Tell Tale HarpSee more »

FAQ

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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A Literary and Occult Classic If One Scratches the Surface, 12 May 2009
Author: gavin6942 from United States

This film excels both as a good narrative (though it borrows heavily from "Cat People"), but also on a deeper, symbolic level. While Dennis Hopper had small roles before this, "Night Tide" casts him as a lead, and he fares well. Reviewer Rick McGrath says, "Hopper's acting in Night Tide is, I think, ultimately suspect. It's fun to see him so young, so cute in his tight navy suit, but he plays Johnny Drake as a bumbling, nervous, fidgety, slightly stupid loner ... so much so he often seems dislocated from the action and his co-stars." I don't know that I agree. Surely he comes across as nervous and shy at times, but bumbling? Clearly his character was designed to be young and inexperienced -- this is necessary for the scene in which he confronts Captain Murdock (Gavin Muir) in his home and is told tales of the Sirens and is shown a dismembered Arab hand. A hardened sailor wouldn't be so spongelike for forbidden knowledge.

McGrath refers to this film as "a psychosexual tale of freudian camp and hilarity". I think it's deeper than that. Yes, there's more sexuality than is presented on screen, but I don't accept the absurd premises of McGrath, who goes so far as to say one scene involving a dock is "phallic". No way. Is the film campy and hilarious? To a point, sure. It's the early 1960s and the budget is low. But the writer and director, Curtis Harrington, seems to have a vision and executes it with finesse. The opening scene clues us in that Harrington is a man who cares about visuals, and we are reminded of this again alter on when we see Mora close up in the sideshow mermaid tank. He frames shots to reveal not just an object, but an emotion.

The casual viewer may overlook the literary and occult themes present in this short film, but I think the flower that is "Night Tide" cannot fully bloom without this understanding. As revealed in the closing credits, the film takes its name from a verse in Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee":

"And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling - my darling - my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea."

The poem highlight's Poe's love of a woman so strong it stretches beyond death, and also happens to be the last complete poem he ever wrote, in essence his "last words". The macabre nature of the poem underscores the hidden darkness of "Night Tide" that may not be apparent to all viewers.

Captain Murdock is a man with a rich sense of literature and philology. He is clearly familiar with Greek legends, as he relates the tale of the Sirens briefly to Drake. Presumably he is also the one who named Mora after finding her on a Greek island (assuming her origin is truthful). The name "Mora" is likely a variation of the Greek name "Moira", one of the Fates of legend. Her name translates roughly to "fate", "destiny" or "doom", a fitting moniker for a woman who is the death of her lovers. Murdock also paraphrases a notable line from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

As an aside, it is worth noting that Harrington named his main character "Drake", a male duck, which may be symbolic of Johnny's being torn between land and sea, as ducks are comfortable equally with both. This is clear from his career as a Navy man who spends his time on the ocean, but seems more at home on the shore. And, of course, it parallels his love of Mora, the creature of the sea, with the relative safety of the land where she is unable to lure him to a watery grave.

Most viewers will miss the occult connection, as it is not made overtly clear in the film. The only sign we have to go off of is Murdock's address in Venice, 777 Saabek Lane. "777" may be familiar to Biblical scholars as one of the numbers of perfection -- 7, the number of God himself, combined with 3, the unity of the trinity. It is alluded by this address that Murdock is a man of knowledge and power, both mysterious and esoteric. But also, this is a number associated with Aleister Crowley, the famed English occultist. This is no mere coincidence, as Crowley has a connection to this film.

His connection comes through the woman who plays the "water witch" that speaks the odd language, Marjorie Elizabeth Cameron (1922-1995). Cameron was the wife of rocket scientist Jack Parsons, a friend of Alesiter Crowley who was hand-chosen to lead California's Agape Lodge in 1942. Parsons, incidentally, was also a magick partner with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Cameron came to be involved with "Night Tide" as she had partied with co-star Dennis Hopper in the 1950s, and worked with Curtis Harrington and Kenneth Anger in 1954's "Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome" -- Anger was another Crowley devotee, who also knew Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil. He later associated with Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey. To say that Cameron, Hopper and Harrington had connections to Crowley and the occult would be a mere truism, and that occult symbolism figures into "Night Tide" should not be considered a stretch.

(Review considered too long by IMDb... see Killer Reviews for complete write-up.)

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The Captain or Mora (Spoilers) Mr_Don_Rickles
Of numerous DVD releases, which is best? FlickMan
A Great Movie l_grds
very good teejay6682
Captain Murdock's Address gavin6942
This may answer some questions l_grds
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