34 user 17 critic

Moontide (1942)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 29 May 1942 (USA)
In California, Bobo and his mooching 'pal' Tiny are doing odd jobs and getting drunk and they hide a secret about the unsolved murder of sailor Pop Kelly but suicidal waitress Anna, saved by Bobo, unravels the mystery.


Archie Mayo, Fritz Lang (uncredited)


John O'Hara (screen play), Willard Robertson (from the novel by)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Gabin ... Bobo
Ida Lupino ... Anna
Thomas Mitchell ... Tiny
Claude Rains ... Nutsy
Jerome Cowan ... Dr. Frank Brothers
Helene Reynolds ... Woman on boat
Ralph Byrd ... Rev. Wilson
William Halligan William Halligan ... Bartender
Victor Sen Yung ... Takeo (as Sen Yung)
Chester Gan ... Henry Hirota
Robin Raymond ... Mildred
Arthur Aylesworth ... Pop Kelly
Arthur Hohl ... Jennings
John Kelly ... Mac
Ralph Dunn ... Policeman


After a drunken binge on the San Pablo waterfront, longshoreman Bobo fears he may have killed a man. In his uncertainty, he takes a job on an isolated bait barge. That night, he rescues lovely Anna from a watery suicide attempt and installs her on the barge. But Tiny, Bobo's longtime pal and parasite, hopes to drive Anna away before domestic bliss tears Bobo away from him; the still unsolved murder may be just the wedge Tiny needs. There's fog on the water and evil brewing... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Great New Star to thrill you ! Strange romance to intrigue you !


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Rock Island IL Friday 19 February 1960 on WHBF (Channel 4), in Scranton/Wilkes Barre PA Thursday 3 March 1960 on WDAU (Channel 22), in Madison WI Sunday 6 March 1960 on WISC (Channel 3), and in Atlanta GA Saturday 19 March 1960 on WSB (Channel 2). See more »


Takeo: Pop was an awful pest, especially when he was drunk, but to choke an old guy like that, gee whiz.
Bobo: Choke?
Takeo: Yep, that's the way he done it, choked him to death. Just got him by the throat and hung on until it was all over.
See more »


Remade as Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (2000) See more »


Runnin' Wild
Music by A.H. Gibbs and Joe Grey
Played during early barroom scenes
See more »

User Reviews

Pilot Fish
15 December 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of two American made films that Jean Gabin did in Hollywood while in exile from his beloved France is this item Moontide. It's not anywhere in the class of The Grand Illusion, Pepe LeMoko, or La Bete Humaine in fact it goes over into melodrama. Still it's a good showcase for his talent and appeal.

Gabin is a happy go lucky sailor who is beached with his pal Thomas Mitchell in the small coast town of San Pablo in California. He's a nasty drunk however who can be provoked to violence and has been. Another waterfront denizen Arthur Aylesworth is killed and Gabin is tormented by the fact that he was on one big bender the night of the homicide and it could be him.

But that doesn't stop him from saving the life of Ida Lupino who tries to drown herself because of her own relationship problems. These two fall for each other and they plan to settle in San Pablo and marry. And of course there's no room for Mitchell in the new setup.

Which doesn't please Mitchell at all. He's basically a leech who's attached himself to Gabin and he doesn't want to give up his meal ticket. Claude Rains who is a droll waterfront philosopher calls him a pilot fish which is a fish that hangs around sharks and lives off the scraps they leave. Time for Mitchell to find another shark.

Given that this is the Code era and that a major studio 20th Century Fox produced Moontide the rather obvious homosexual attachment of Mitchell to Gabin is hard to miss. Perhaps that is something that the original director Fritz Lang might have explored a bit more. In fact the film could have been a classic had Lang stayed with it.

Still the cast acquit themselves well in Moontide and a film with Jean Gabin is always something special.

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Release Date:

29 May 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nacht im Hafen See more »

Filming Locations:

Malibu, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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