7 mars 1949. Lundi. Le début d’une nouvelle semaine. Direction le Globe pour le Passant Cinéphile. Moonrise devrait être parfait pour passer une bonne soirée. Malgré l’avis en demi-teinte de l’obscur A.W., pigiste au New York Times en l’absence de Bosley Crowther.
Critique d’époque :
« The ancient argument as to which medium tells a story best, written words or pictorial images, is again brought into focus by Moonrise. And, using this adaptation of Theodore Strauss’ novel, which opened at the Globe on Saturday, as a case in point, the book towers above the picture. Not because the film makers have tampered with their source material. Rather, it’s because the author, snugly fitting each word and idea into an intricate mosaic, developed three-dimensional people experiencing genuine mounting tensions, hates and passions in a genuine, if cruel, society.
But the terrible weight of persecution, guilt and loneliness felt by Danny Hawkins, the hunted hero, is indicated obliquely in the film, and, except for a few characters, the cast of Moonrise is only a shadowy society moving lethargically towards an inexorable, climax.
As in the novel, Danny Hawkins, the Southerner, who has been tormented from childhood because his father died on the gallows, kills his most persistent persecutor in a fight. And, though his loneliness and fear of being discovered the murderer are lessened when he falls in love with the town’s school teacher, Danny’s tortured mind gives him no peace until he finds the inner strength to give himself up.
Frank Borzage directed the melodrama at a leisurely pace in keeping with the yarn’s sombre mood, a pace which is unrelieved except for a pair of pulse-quickening sequences in which Danny drives wildly through the night after the murder, and one in which he is tracked through a swamp by baying hounds.
Except for an occasional bit of forced play acting, Dane Clark’s Danny Hawkins is a restrained but haunted youth plagued by memories and desperately striving for a latent manhood. Gail Russell makes a convincingly compassionate heroine and Allyn Joslyn a thoroughly human, if unlettered, sheriff. Adding constructive characterizations are Ethel Barrymore, who appears briefly as Clark’s understanding grandmother, and Rex Ingram, as his philosophical confidant. But « Moonrise » is a clouded tale filled largely with pallid people« . Par A.W. pour le New York Times.
A.W. semble préférer le roman de Theodore Strauss à son adaptation signée Frank Borzage. Il reproche à sa réalisation d’être trop plan-plan, trop sage. Même les personnages ne sont pas à son goût. Trop pâles. Si ça se trouve Moonrise aurait plu à Bosley Crowther.
Ma critique de Le Fils du Pendu est juste après les marais, par là.
Le dvd est disponible directement auprès de Artus Films ici.