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Woman on the Beach
     

The Woman on the Beach

Director: Jean Renoir

Cast: Joan Bennett, Robert Ryan, Charles Bickford

 
A WWII Coast Guard veteran, Lt. Scott Burnett (Robert Ryan), is plagued by nightmares of his combat days. One day, he meets a woman, Peggy Butler (Joan Bennett), walking on a beach, picking up pieces of wood. Butler is married to a grumpy, blind painter, Ted Butler (Charles Bickford). Despite his affections for his fiancée Eve (Nan Leslie), whose father is a boat

Overview

A WWII Coast Guard veteran, Lt. Scott Burnett (Robert Ryan), is plagued by nightmares of his combat days. One day, he meets a woman, Peggy Butler (Joan Bennett), walking on a beach, picking up pieces of wood. Butler is married to a grumpy, blind painter, Ted Butler (Charles Bickford). Despite his affections for his fiancée Eve (Nan Leslie), whose father is a boat builder, Scott falls in love with Peggy and soon breaks off the engagement. Peggy reveals that she blinded her husband years earlier by throwing a glass at him during an ugly spat, ruining his career and her own ambitions to be an upper-class socialite. Scott fears that Ted is suspicious that he is having an affair with Peggy and becomes so paranoid that he begins to believe that Ted is faking his blindness -- and sets out to prove it. This was the fifth and final American film by the great French writer-director Jean Renoir. ~ Michael Betzold

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
A frustrating yet fascinating film, The Woman on the Beach is one of those pictures that make one wonder intensely at what might have been rather than what is. According to legend, director Jean Renoir was forced to drastically re-cut Woman after a disastrous preview, eventually shelving about a third of the film and obviously coming up with a finished product that is far different than the one he originally envisioned. (The re-editing also accounts for some curious continuity lapses in the final version.) What is left is a moody, dream-like work that still doesn't make things easy for the audience, suggesting motivations rather than explicitly stating them and offering hints at character traits that may or may not be accurate. On top of this, there's more than a trace of film noir to the proceedings, although it doesn't fulfill the formulaic expectations it sets up as part of the genre. Ultimately, Woman is unsatisfying, and to some viewers it will simply be dull; but others will get drawn in by much of the richness that exists in the surviving version. Certainly all should agree on Joan Bennett's fatale-istic performance and should find much to appreciate in the work of Robert Ryan and Charles Bickford as well. The moody, atmospheric cinematography is also worthy of praise.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2011
UPC:
0883316317709
Original Release:
1947
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:11:00
Sales rank:
34,497

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Bennett Peggy Butler
Robert Ryan Lt. Scott Burnett
Charles Bickford Ted Butler
Nan Leslie Eve Geddes
Walter Sande Otto Wernecke
Irene Ryan Mrs. Wernecke
Glenn Vernon Kirk
Frank Darien Lars
Jay Norris Jimmy
Robert Anderson Actor
Hugh Chapman Young Fisherman
Kay Christopher Actor
Marie Dodd Nurse
John Elliott Old Workman
Carl Faulkner Old Fisherman
Harry Harvey Dr. Smith
Jackie Jackson Johnnie
Robert Manning Coast Guardsman
Charles Pawley Barton
Nancy Saunders Girls at Party
Bill Shannon Blacksmith
Harry Tyler Carter
Drew Miller Actor
Bonnie Blair Actor
Carol Donell Actor

Technical Credits
Jean Renoir Director,Screenwriter
Constantin Bakaleinikoff Musical Direction/Supervision
Lyle Boyer Editor
Russell A. Cully Special Effects
Albert S. D'Agostino Art Director
Frank Davis Screenwriter
Hanns Eisler Score Composer
Roland Gross Editor
Jack J. Gross Producer
Michael Hogan Screenwriter
Walter E. Keller Art Director
Darrell Silvera Set Decoration/Design
John Sturtevant Set Decoration/Design
Leo Tover Cinematographer
Harry J. Wild Cinematographer

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