Swamp Water

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"The Swamp! Sinister - mysterious - it shaped the lives and loves and hates of the people who lived around its edges!!"
  • NR
  • 1941
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 7.0  (2,037)

Swamp Water is a 1941 American movie directed by Jean Renoir based on the novel "Carolina Conte" by Vereen Bell. The movie tells the story of Ben Ragan, a young man wrongly accused of murder, who escapes from jail and takes refuge in the Okefenokee Swamp. In the midst of alligators, snakes, and swarms of mosquitoes, he meets Tom Keefer, a crusty old trapper, who helps him survive by employing him as his apprentice.

Set in Georgia during the 1940s, Swamp Water is a powerful and haunting masterpiece of film noir that explores the themes of guilt, redemption, and nature. Walter Brennan, who plays Tom Keefer, delivers a remarkable performance as a rustic, weather-beaten man, who knows the ways of the swamp like the back of his hand. He befriends Ben, played by Dana Andrews, and teaches him how to survive in the wild, trapping animals to sell their pelts.

The movie's cinematography captures the beauty of the swamp, its wildlife, and its eerie atmosphere. The lush vegetation, the murky waters, and the sounds of the wilderness create a sense of mystery and danger that permeates the entire film. The use of shadows and light in the scenes gives a sense of foreboding that something sinister is lurking in the swamp.

The plot is well-paced, building up to a suspenseful climax that involves a manhunt and a confrontation between two hunters, which will determine Ben's fate. The supporting cast is excellent, especially Walter Huston, who plays Sheriff Jeb McKane, determined to bring Ben to justice, and Anne Baxter who plays Julie, Tom's daughter, who falls in love with Ben.

Swamp Water is more than just a thriller. Its underlying theme about the relationship between humans and nature, and how the exploitation of the environment can have dire consequences, is still relevant today. Tom Keefer's respect for the swamp, and his understanding of how to live in harmony with the wildlife, contrasts with the Sheriff's exploitation of the swamp's resources for his own gain. The movie shows how the swamp can be a haven of freedom and redemption for those who seek it.

In conclusion, Swamp Water is a beautifully crafted movie that combines elements of film noir, drama, and adventure. Its powerful performances, stunning cinematography, and thought-provoking themes make it a classic of its time. Jean Renoir's skillful direction, the outstanding cast, and the haunting musical score by David Buttolph make this movie a must-see for anyone who loves film. Swamp Water is a timeless masterpiece that still captivates and mesmerizes audiences after almost 80 years.

Swamp Water
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (2,037)