Despite this being French star Gabin's American film debut, MOONTIDE is a routine drama featuring him as a tough sailor who wakes up one morning after a long drunk to find that he has been accused of murder. Unable to remember if he has done the deed, Gabin depends on his derelict friend
Mitchell for support. But Mitchell blackmails Gabin into taking care of him in exchange for his silence. When Gabin saves lovely-but-distressed greasy-spoon waitress Lupino from suicide, he finds love has given him a new out-look on life. Lupino learns that Mitchell committed the murder about
which Gabin feels guilt. When she threatens to tell Gabin, Mitchell nearly kills her. The ending has all the standard cliches including Mitchell meeting his doom in the sea. Fritz Lang worked as director for four days before Archie Mayo took over. Lang received no credit--or blame. The film earned
an Oscar nomination for its cinematography.
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