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While participating in a posse to hunt down the fugitive Tom Keefer (Walter Brennan), who is accused of murdering a local inhabitant, the young Ben Ragan (Dana Andrews) loses his dog Trouble in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. He returns to the swamp to seek his dog out but he is captured by Tom. Soon he learns that Tom Keeler is innocent and has a daughter, Julie (Anne Baxter), who is raised by the local merchant Marty McCord (Russell Simpson). Ben has an argument with his father Thursday Ragan (Walter Huston) and he moves to a shanty that belongs to Marty. Then he associate to Tom Keeler to hunt animals in the swamp and he shares the profit of selling furs with Julie. Soon they fall in love with each other. One day, Ben witnesses Bud Dorson (Guinn Williams) and his brother Tim Dorson (Ward Bond) stealing Marty's pigs. There is a meeting in the village with Sheriff Jeb McKane (Eugene Palette) to find the thief and Ben's ex-girlfriend Mabel MacKenzie (Virginia Gilmore) is jealous of Ben and accuses Tom Keefer. The sheriff organizes a search party to hunt Tom down, but Ben presses Jesse Wick (John Carradine), who is harassing his stepmother Hannah (Mary Howard), and he finds who the real killers are. He wants Tom to return to the village, but Tom suspects that Ben might intend to betray him.
"Swamp Water" is an entertaining and dramatic adventure. The locations and the camera work in the swamp are impressive. The choreography of the fight and the quick sand in the swamp "swallowing" the criminal are very realistic. The direction of Jean Renoir and the cinematography are amazing. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Segredo do Pântano" ("The Secret of the Swamp")
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