Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

DEEP VALLEY (1947)

Forgotten convict-on-the-run thriller comes with psychological trimmings and hints of a more interesting, slightly perverse film hiding in plain sight just under the surface. (And what surface in Ted McCord’s thru-a-glass-darkly lensing!) Ida Lupino stutters in fear as the mistreated daughter of Fay Bainter & Henry Hull, a couple estranged within their rundown hillbilly home. But change is a’coming in the form a new highway, built with convict labor overseen by Wayne Morris. Lupino sets her eyes on one hardluck convict, Dane Clark, a guy who hits first and hardly regrets it. But then, he’s never had anything to strive for. So, when an avalanche at the work site sets him on the run, Lupino’s eager to help. Director Jean Negulesco might as well be auditioning for next year’s breakthrough on JOHNNY BELINDA/’48 (where the handicap is upped from stuttering to deafness*) while the plot mechanics recall Lupino’s moving work in HIGH SIERRA/’41. (Very fine here, in Hollywood tradition, she’s more beautiful than ever in deglamorized mode.) But the film keeps drawing back from its troubling issues. The parents kiss-and-make-up with indecent ease, while a stunning bit of acting between Bainter & Lupino that must have been influenced by Tennessee William’s recent THE GLASS MENAGERIE, isn’t followed up at all. Same for the strange sexual overtones that switch on between Lupino & ‘nice’ foreman Morris when he suddenly turns aggressive, pressing too hard after she brings him a beer. The pic’s a basketful of psychological open wounds just waiting to be addressed.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Second-tier stars, like Lupino & Clark, were also handy as a threats to similar, if much bigger star types. Lupino could be used to keep, say, Bette Davis ‘in line,’ while Clark did the same for (or is it to?) John Garfield. So, no accident that the studio let them go just as the bigger stars were also winding things down on the lot; no longer needed as leverage.

DOUBLE-BILL: *Lupino did play a blind girl in Nick Ray’s man-on-the-run thriller ON DANGEROUS GROUND/’51.

No comments: