Review: Moonrise (1948)

Having grown up with the stigma of a father hung for murder, a man finds history repeating itself. Standard B-grade film noir competently done.

Strictly Film Noir-lite about a young man who lives under the shadow of his convicted murder father, only to follow in dad’s footsteps when he accidentally kills the town bully (Lloyd Bridges) in a drunken brawl. Set in rural Virginia, the film looks like it was shot on the cheap in a set built in an afternoon.

As tortured soul Danny Hawkins, Dane Clark pushes his acting to just this side of over-the-top. Danny finds respite in his love for school teacher Gail Russell (yawn.) Ethel Barrymore makes little more than a cameo appearance near the end, to dispense words of wisdom as Danny’s stone-faced grandmother, and a young Harry Morgan does his best Boo Radley impersonation as the deaf and dumb man whom Danny protects from Bridges. [**1/2 out of 5]

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