Moonrise 1948 Criterion Collection
Frank Borzage, one of the greatest and sadly one of the most underappreciated directors to work in Hollywood during its early days, left a remarkable legacy of films, but over the years many of them have been quite difficult to track down and see. Moonrise is arguably his best post-war project and one of the jewels in Republic Pictures' catalog.

Set in a swampy backwater town in the deep South, Moonrise is a tale of revenge and redemption that begins and ends with Danny Hawkins (Dane Clark), the black sheep and ne'er-do-well of the village. Haunted by the memory of his father who was hung for murdering the town doctor, Danny has grown up to become a tormented, conflicted man, seething with anger and hatred for those who oppress him. But his worst enemy is himself and, despite a deep need for love and acceptance, his violent, impulsive temper often dictates his fate. When he gets into a fight with Jerry Sykes (Lloyd Bridges), the town rich kid who taunts him about his dead father, the outcome is tragic; Jerry is killed and his body is hidden in the swamp by Danny. Though racked with guilt over what he's done, Danny still pursues Gilly Johnson (Gail Russell), a local schoolteacher who was engaged to marry Jerry. Their tumultuous relationship gives Danny a reason to live but he soon finds himself a major suspect as the manhunt for Jerry's killer closes in on him.

Frank Borzage's Moonrise doesn't revel in individual actualization for its own sake, which distinguishes it from much of modern American cinema. Instead, Borzage is concerned with the intricate symbiotic relationships between individuals and society at large, refuting the self-absorption that typically governs a modern hero's quest. Moonrise is less a violent film than a film about violence—one that's occupied, in particular, with the lingering aftereffects of capital punishment. The film's violent acts are intricately linked, each perpetuating the next in an expansive chain reaction.

Director: Frank Borzage
Cast: Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore, Allyn Joslyn, Rex Ingram
Country: USA
Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir, Romance, Thriller

BD50 + DVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:30:39 | 29.4 Gb + 5.61 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English

Herve Dumont and Peter Cowie - in this brand new video program, Herve Dumont, former director of the Cinematheque suisse and author of Frank Borzage: The Life and Films of a Hollywood Romantic, and critic Peter Cowie discuss the life and legacy of Frank Borzage, the evolution of his style, and some of the key themes and qualities that define Moonshine. The program was filmed in Lausanne, Switzerland, in January 2018. In English, not subtitled. (18 min, 1080p).