Moontide (1942) film thoughts… A drifter named Bobo (played by French actor Jean Gabin) comes to a sleepy Southern California town with a “friend” named Tiny. The man likes to drink and after a night of partying, Bobo wakes up likes nothing happened. The thing is though, a old local has been strangled to death and the killer is at large. While making preparations to leave the town, Bobo rescues a young woman (played by Ida Lupino) from drowning herself in the ocean. They soon have a an attraction to each other and in like most films of this era, they plan to marry immediately. Tiny though, has other plans, as he has a secret to blackmail Bobo into continuing their journey for making money on the road. He see Ida character as a threat to his small future fortunes. How will this pan out for our future lovebirds?
Moontide, as a film, is a pretty OK affair but I wasn’t feeling it too strongly. It felt a little dated and it’s low budget shows through. The main point to watch this though is Jean Gabin, one actor I have never seen before in a film. It doesn’t feel like the man is acting at all, like this is his true personally and it is infectious to see. His character of Bobo is not some hardboiled bad ass as you find in some of these films. He is just a very regular guy, not too bright who just likes living life each day, come what may. You can’t hate him, he is too lovable. That aside, the other players are stock characters that you have seen many times before and the story is generic.
I wouldn’t be in a rush to grab this title off the shelf though if you are a fan of Gabin, you will want to see Moontide for sure.