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The survivor of a ship sunk by a submarine travels to her aunt and uncle's plantation in Louisiana to recuperate; however her relatives have other ideas or her.
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Rich heiress Leslie Calvin (Merle Oberon) survived the German bombing of a cargo ship which claimed the lives of her parents; and after a long stay in hospital, goes to live with her aunt and uncle at their Louisiana plantation. In the steamy bayous she hears dismembered voices calling her name, and other ominous things which cause her to believe she's slowly going mad. Only the reasonings of Dr. Grover (Franchot Tone) help Leslie in living at the gloomy plantation, where her aunt and uncle (Fay Bainter and John Qualen) act in strange ways which lead Leslie to believe that they are imposters.
The moonlight and magnolias of the South are replaced by quicksand and searchlights in DARK WATERS, an altogether enjoyable noir-thriller, enlivened no end by the presence of Merle Oberon. Franchot Tone, Fay Bainter, Elisa Cook Jr., and Thomas Mitchell add to the prestige of the movie.
The DVD print comes from a privately-maintained UCLA film source, in urgent need of restoration and filled with various print damage (water-marking, reel splices, running scratches); and the soundtrack is very muddy and weak in certain areas. Still, that should not deter classic movie enthusiasts from taking a dip into DARK WATERS. Highly-recommended.
(Single-sided, single-layer disc).
I wonder what Hitchcock had to say about this movie? It definitely had hints of the Hitchcock touch; the shadows, the camera angles, the revelations and that score was awesome. Even the touch of French being spoken by the Acadians? was a great addition to the otherwise dull life in the bayou. Remember, Hitchcock used the French Canadian Quebec to film his movie "I Confess," which was excellent. I won't kid you though, this is not a Hitchcock, but it could be a runner-up to one of his. Hey, didn't the Cajun/Acadians originally come from Canada? Good trivia!
The two bad guys (played by Thomas Mitchell and Elisha Cook, Jr) made this movie float along with the suspenseful music score. Mr. Cook is a favorite film noir character actor of mine. I liked him as George in the movie "The Killing (1956)."
If you do decide to watch this movie I hope the characters and story captivate you right up to its thrilling conclusion. It sure captured my interest from beginning to end.
Most recent customer reviews
the then fashionable noir style of film.Read more
The film was very good...Read more