Written by / 8/03/2016 / No comments / , , , ,

DANA ANDREWS AND CAESAR ROMERO WORK IN 'DEEP WATERS'

Future Joker from BATMAN meets the Old Guy from QUANTUM LEAP
How very easily DEEP WATERS could have been a sappy childhood melodrama, ripping the tears straight from the eye-sockets, but thanks to both leading men... or rather, one man and one boy... it's anything but contrived or melodramatic...

Dana w/ Jean Peters
Dana Andrews stars as former potential big-time architect turned full-time blood-and-sweat lobsterman Hod Stillwell, as true as a man could be during the post-war 1940's, yet he's still determined and stubborn i.e. imperfect and realistic. Meanwhile, Dean Stockwell's Donny Mitchell, turning in one of the most natural kid performances, is the real main character i.e. our buried lead...

First seen being dropped off by subtle-beauty social worker Jean Peters to a nice yet strict older woman, Anne Revere as Mary in a strong performance wedged between her Oscar-winning NATIONAL VELVET turn and blacklisting in the 1950's, living in Maine where Donny, having grown-up with a local hero sailor dad, who, like a lot of men in the town, had died in one of many formidable storms. But no matter what the risk, Billy yearns for the ocean, and nothing more.

Mary Revere, Dean Stockwell & Dana Andrews YEAR: 1948
Andrews and Stockwell have a easygoing chemistry that builds slowly, and is genuine enough for their ultimate plot-necessary problem/roadblock to be a near heartbreak for both the boy and the audience. And yet Stockwell's narrow-eyed determination keeps himself and the film going headstrong... Not much whining with this kid...

On the adult side, Peters, always a terrific method actress, is more or less a potential ingenue, being she was formerly engaged to Andrews' character. Because of the history of deadly storms, she fears the sea, and doesn't want Billy near the water...

But not Dana and especially our zesty fifth banana/comic relief in Caesar Romero as his smiling Spanish business partner: Romero's Joe Sanger yearns to become a farmer of anything, from turkeys to minks, instead of building those lobsters traps, day in and day out. As the polar opposite of Billy, these two have more of a cool uncle to nephew inside-chemistry, .

Deep Waters Review Scores: ****
A pleasant motion picture that has dated but very effective special effects when the ship hits a storm that was begging to happen, and it's no surprise who's life gets put in jeopardy.

Sure, it's all rather predictable during the 10th and 11th hour. But when things turn-out just how you want, enough last-minute suspense occurs to where it might just may not fit together after-all, making DEEP WATERS an idyllic yet suspenseful excursion into a town that's as part of the sea as the sea is to the town. The performances are as natural as the actual location, outside and in. One particular sequence has Andrews searching for a bottle of wine as Revere's Mary cleans up the kitchen. It's mesmerizing how both move around in a contained space while the shot continues for about three-minutes. In a way this Henry King programmer has more than a touch of "foreign film" going for it. At one point you  may even imagine subtitles splashed across the screen. This picture sure doesn't seem created to make bundles on an opening weekend, but to exist for the long-run.
Caesar Romero shows Dean Stockwell the advantages of not fishing but trying to get rich quick: not Plastics, Mink!

Dana Andrews with Mary Revere in this movie and Otto Preminger's FALLEN ANGEL: She has his number in both
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