Moontide

Moontide

Director: Fritz Lang, Archie Mayo

Cast: Fritz Lang, Archie Mayo, Jean Gabin, Ida Lupino

     
 
Forced to flee Paris during the Occupation, the great French leading man Jean Gabin starred in a brace of Hollywood films, the best of which was the first, 20th Century-Fox's Moontide. Cast to type, Gabin plays Bobo, a brooding itinerant dock-worker who gets mixed up in a drunken brawl. Upon awakening, Bobo is convinced that he has killed a man by his mercenary

Overview

Forced to flee Paris during the Occupation, the great French leading man Jean Gabin starred in a brace of Hollywood films, the best of which was the first, 20th Century-Fox's Moontide. Cast to type, Gabin plays Bobo, a brooding itinerant dock-worker who gets mixed up in a drunken brawl. Upon awakening, Bobo is convinced that he has killed a man by his mercenary "pal" Tiny (Thomas Mitchell). Despairing at the thought of having committed murder, not to mentioned being blackmailed for the rest of his life by the treacherous Tiny, Bobo is able to find a few fleeting moments of happiness with Anna (Ida Lupino), a suicidal young girl whom he has saved from a watery grave (The intensity of the love scenes may well be due to the allegedly real-life romance between Jean Gabin and Ida Lupino). Novelist John O'Hara adapted the screenplay from a book by actor Willard Robertson.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Perhaps if original director Fritz Lang had remained on the film, Moontide might have been something other than a standard by-the-numbers thriller. Certainly France's great actor Jean Gabin deserved a better vehicle for his Hollywood debut. It's not that Moontide is a bad film, for it's more than watchable; it's just that the screenplay settles for the mundane and predictable instead of surprising the viewer with anything unexpected. Again, perhaps Lang could have worked a little magic on the material; all that replacement Archie Mayo can muster is to make it professional but workmanlike and impersonal - although, admittedly, he does add some interesting visual touches. But he brings no passion to the story, and without that, there's a big hole in it. Gabin does the best he can under the circumstances and fortunately that is saying a great deal. He imbues the role with both vigor and weariness and by sheer strength of his unique star power pulls the film together. Ida Lupino also scores solidly, and the two stars have a chemistry that is palpable, helping to flesh out the relationship beyond what is written. Thomas Mitchell overplays somewhat, but a hard-to-recognize Claude Rains is a surprising treat. On the whole, Moontide disappoints, but its cast deserves credit for succeeding so well.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/02/2008
UPC:
0024543528593
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:35:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by Foster Hirsch, author of The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir; Turning the Tide: The Ill-Starred Making of Moontide featurette; Still Photo galleries

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jean Gabin Bobo
Ida Lupino Anna
Thomas Mitchell Tiny
Claude Rains Nutsy
Jerome Cowan Dr. Frank Brothers
Helene Reynolds Woman on boat
Ralph Byrd Reverend Wilson
William Halligan Bartender
Chester Gan Henry Hirota
Robin Raymond Mildred
Arthur Aylesworth Pop Kelly
Arthur Hohl Flophouse clerk
John Kelly Mac
Ralph Dunn Policeman
Tully Marshall Mr. Simpson
Tom Dugan lst Waiter
Victor Sen Yung Takeo
Gertrude Astor Woman
Bruce Edwards Man
Vera Lewis Mrs. Simpson
Roseanne Murray Girl on beach
Marion Rosamond Girl on beach

Technical Credits
Fritz Lang Director
Archie Mayo Director
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
James Basevi Art Director
David Buttolph Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Richard Day Art Director
Mark Hellinger Producer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
John O'Hara Screenwriter
William H. Reynolds Editor
Gwen Wakeling Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Moontide
1. Main Titles/Saturday Night
2. The Morning After
3. Seeking Reassurance
4. Attempted Suicide
5. The Sunny Side
6. Flaring Temper
7. Bobo the Gypsy
8. Home, Sweet Home
9. Veiled Threat
10. Strong Hands
11. Pilot Fish
12. Wedding Day
13. Marital Advice
14. Our Little Secret
15. Moontide
16. Tradition

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