Unlike many Europeans in the entertainment world who were displaced by the Nazis and came to America (such as Fritz Lang and Billy Wilder), Jean Gabin was handicapped as he was a leading man whose English was obviously poor. As for directors, the public would never know and with some other foreign actors, they were able to suppress their accents better. But, with his performance in "Moontide", you can see why the very talented Gabin made very few films during his exile from Nazi-occupied France. His English isn't terrible--but it isn't as good as an actor like, say, Charles Boyer. It's a shame, as his pre- and post-war films are often amazingly good.
Bobo (Gabin) is a barge operator who likes to drink and fight--and you see him doing this when the film begins. After waking up from a binge, he rescues a woman, Anna, who is trying to kill herself (Ida Lupino) he takes it upon himself to be responsible for her--which is quite touching. However, the nasty character Tiny (Thomas Mitchell) is always nearby--because he's holding some secret about Bobo--and Bobo has to put up with Tiny--even though there isn't much to like about Tiny. And, when Bobo and Anna marry, Tiny is sure to let his malevolence boil over and tragedy ensues.
This film is very much unlike a Hollywood film as far as the plot goes. It bears more similarity to some of Gabin's French-language films like "Port of Shadows" and "La Bête Humaine"--very dark films about madness and murder. So, while it's a bit like an early American example of film noir, it is more like a hybrid of this and the films than helped to make Gabin famous. Dark, brooding, very adult for the time and genuinely odd--this film is worth seeing--especially for its wonderful cinematography.
By the way, who came up with the names for the characters in this film?! You've got Bobo, Tiny and Nutsy--an interesting assortment to say the least!
Also, on the DVD is a documentary about the making of the film. It talks about the odd circumstances surrounding the film and its star. It turns out that the book on which the movie was based was MUCH more adult and never could have been brought to the screen at that time--though quite a bit of the book still made it to the film but was more implied than explicitly stated. It's well worth seeing.
Crime / Drama / Film-Noir
Crime / Drama / Film-Noir
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The lonely dock worker Bobo is a strong man that likes to drink a lot. One night, after a binge, he awakes without recollections at a barge hired to sell bait. He befriends the night watchman Nutsy; rescues the suicidal Anna from the sea and brings her to the barge to recover. Meanwhile he learns that his acquaintance Pop Kelly was found murdered strangled. Bobo and Anna fall in love with each other and decide to get married. But Bobo's former friend Tiny has always lived supported by Bobo and intends to get rid of Anna.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 13, 2022 at 10:31 AM