directed by Archie Mayo + Fritz Lang (uncredited)
USA 194


A “brooding account of beachcombers and strays in a Southern California coast town” (New York Herald Tribunal) and a surprising romance that motivates a life-long drifter to settle down for good.

In his first U.S. on-screen performance, acclaimed French actor Jean Gabin plays Bobo, a free-spirited wanderer who docks in a Pacific seaside town with his buddy Tiny (Thomas Mitchell), a sponge who wants to leave. After a night of drunken debauchery, Bobo awakens on a strange barge wearing the cap of a dead man. Afraid he has committed the crime, Bobo prepares to skip town with Tiny but is delayed when he meets Anna (Ida Lupino) who he rescues from drowning herself in the surf. They fall in love and open a business together selling bait. Jealous and desperate to leave, Tiny attempts to ruin the relationship and when Anna learns that Tiny has been keeping a dark secret, it’s clear only one of them will survive.



Theatrical Release: April 29th, 1942

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DVD Review: 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution 20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:34:42 
Video 1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital mono)
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by author Foster Hirsch
• Featurette: Turning of the Tide - The Ill-Starred Making of Moontide (25:06)

• Stills galleries
• Fox Noir advert

DVD Release Date: September 2nd, 2008

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Chapters: 21



Incredibly impressive that a 65-year old film can look this good. It's obviously had some sort of restoration (probably digital) but still some minor scratches show thru (see last capture). Contrast and detail are well-above average - all things considered - and this dual-layered, progressive transfer is another good one from Fox. It's surprisingly quite clean (aside from those minor scratches) and background noise is not at all intrusive.  


Strange - it's a Fox Film Noir (as stated on the case) - yet I see no spine number (Roadhouse neither) - so perhaps they've abandoned that categorization labeling.

Supplements include another commentary - this one by throaty-voiced Foster Hirsch. It has solid information especially on Gabin (some private stuff too), but he narrates a shade and it can be somewhat dry at times. Overall though, I eat-up these Noir commentaries and it is much appreciated by Fox. Hirsch is one of the more capable at delivering these as his knowledge is so deep. There is also a 25-minute featurette - Turning of the Tide - The Ill-Starred Making of Moontide. It has clips and input from the likes of Eddie Muller, Robert Osborne and Aubrey Solomon. It does more on Gabin and touches on stuff like the, perhaps unintentional, homosexual inference of the narrative. We love Eddie and it's quite good and very much worth watching. It wraps up with a Still galleries (posters/art, behind the scenes, glamour shots, production stills.) There are no liner notes.

At this price this has incredible value and is a sure-fire no-brainer for Noir devotees just to see, the icons, Lupino and Gabin together. Strongly recommended!


Gary W. Tooze


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Light scratch damage notable in center of image...


Recommended Reading in Film Noir (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)



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Distribution 20th Century Fox Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC


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