Moonrise (film)

Moonrise is a 1948 American film noir crime film directed by Frank Borzage starring Dane Clark, Gail Russell and Ethel Barrymore.[2] It is based on the novel of the same name by Theodore Strauss.[3]

Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank Borzage
Produced byCharles F. Haas
Screenplay byCharles F. Haas
Based onthe novel Moonrise
by Theodore Strauss
StarringDane Clark
Gail Russell
Ethel Barrymore
Music byWilliam Lava
CinematographyJohn L. Russell
Edited byHarry Keller
Marshall Grant
Chas. K. Feldman Group Productions
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
  • October 1, 1948 (1948-10-01)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States


In a small southern town, Danny Hawkins (Dane Clark) is the son of a murderer who was hanged for his crimes. Throughout his childhood, he is haunted by his father's past and cruelly harassed by other children, including the bully Jerry Sykes (Lloyd Bridges). As a young man, Danny's only friend is Gilly Johnson (Gail Russell), who is falling in love with him, despite the fact that her boyfriend is Danny's chief tormentor, Jerry Sykes. After a particularly intense confrontation in the woods, during a dance, Danny and Sykes fight and, in self-defense, Danny kills him. He fears the same fate as his father and his behavior grows erratic and temperamental, puzzling Gilly. When Jerry's body is found and Sheriff Clem Otis (Allyn Joslyn), who suspects Danny acted in self-defense and is sympathetic, starts closing in, Danny becomes crazed. He nearly strangles the harmless mute Billy Scripture (Harry Morgan), who found Danny's pocket knife near the murder scene, and he jumps from a Ferris Wheel when he notices Otis following Gilly and him as they try to enjoy a date at the fair. While hiding out in the swamps, Hawkins visits his grandma (Barrymore), who tells him the truth about his father's crime. Hawkins realizes he is not tainted by "bad blood" and turns himself in to the police.



The New York Times wrote that "the book towers above the picture" despite its fidelity to the source.[4]


Nomination: Moonrise received an Oscar nomination for Best Sound Recording (Daniel J. Bloomberg) in 1948.[5]

See also


  1. Flynn, Charles; McCarthy, Todd (1975). "The Economic Imperative: Why Was the B Movie Necessay?". In Flynn, Charles; McCarthy, Todd (eds.). Kings of the Bs : working within the Hollywood system : an anthology of film history and criticism. E. P. Dutton. p. 30.
  2. Moonrise at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. W., A. (March 7, 1949). "Moonrise (1948)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  4. W., A. (March 7, 1949). "Moonrise (1948)". The New York Times. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  5. "The 21st Academy Awards (1949) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-18.
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