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Dark Waters (1944)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 21 November 1944 (USA)
A woman returns to the USA after a German u-boat sank her ship, and finds out that someone wants to kill her for her inheritance.

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre de Toth)

Writers:

Francis M. Cockrell (original story) (as Frank Cockrell), Marian B. Cockrell (original story) (as Marian Cockrell) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Merle Oberon ... Leslie Calvin
Franchot Tone ... Dr. George Grover
Thomas Mitchell ... Mr. Sydney
Fay Bainter ... Aunt Emily
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Cleeve
John Qualen ... Uncle Norbert
Rex Ingram ... Pearson Jackson
Nina Mae McKinney ... Florella
Odette Myrtil ... Mama Boudreaux (as Odette Myrtle)
Eugene Borden Eugene Borden ... Papa Boudreaux
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Minor Role (unconfirmed)
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Storyline

Leslie Calvin, traumatized from being the only survivor of a torpedo attack on the ship she was traveling by, eagerly accepts her aunt and uncle's invitation to go live with them on a nice quiet estate. But when she arrives at the train station, no one is there to meet her and she is unable to ignore the feeling that something is terribly off. Is she slowly going mad or is there something darker going on? Written by Sam Goldberg <sgoldberg@wesleyan.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the SATURDAY EVENING POST Thriller! (original print ad - many caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Águas Tenebrosas See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 27, 1944 with Merle Oberon and Thomas Mitchell reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

As Leslie Calvin enters the front porch area, Cleeve empties his pipe and places it in the breast pocket of his jacket with the bowl of the pipe protruding above the pocket line. Later on the tour of the plantation as Mr. Sydney passes by Cleeve, the pipe is gone, but in the next shot just seconds after Mr. Sydney has walked a few steps away, the pipe is again clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Cleeve: Must be awful drowning in quicksand. Much worse than water. Water's cleaner at least, faster.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Aweful Movies with Deadly Earnest: Dark Waters (1970) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terror In The Bayou
16 September 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

It seems too good for Merle Oberon in Dark Waters. Being one of four survivors from a ship that left Japanese occupied Dutch East Indies in a perilous voyage that took her parents, she's alone in the world. But her doctor, Alan Napier, in New Orleans where she was taken finds she has relatives in New York. But miracle of miracles they are in residence in an old family plantation in the bayou country not far from the Big Easy. She makes arrangements to go there and sends a telegram.

Merle's odyssey then takes a strange turn when no one is there to meet her at the station. She eventually gets to the plantation where uncle John Qualen and aunt Fay Bainter are pleasant enough as is another bachelor uncle, Thomas Mitchell. There's an overseer in Elisha Cook, Jr. who fancies himself a lady's man, but he hasn't got a prayer when Merle sets her sights on local doctor Franchot Tone. But a lot starts to make her more and more uncomfortable in these family surroundings.

This independent film released by United Artists veers right down the middle between Gothic horror and noir. The trappings are pretty cheap, the players are fine in their roles. As it turns out nearly all of them are cast against type, especially Mitchell. He's in a role that you'd expect Sydney Greenstreet to be doing, but Mitchell does fine with it in fact being cast against type probably works for him in terms of realism.

Franchot Tone was free from MGM and now doing roles he'd never be cast in with that Tiffany studio. He's out of dinner jacket and light comedy and gets a chance to show what he could do even in a part that's not the center of the film. Dark Waters is very much a Merle Oberon film.

The film really could have been a classic with a director like Alfred Hitchcock instead of Andre DeToth. It's not bad though, an interesting tale where a lot of the familiar players aren't doing their usual stuff.


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