Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Eric Portman and Ann Todd
DAYBREAK (1948). Director: Compton Bennett.

"That's what I feel like with you. Like a river that's stopped winding and found the sea."

Eddie (Eric Portman) works in a barber shop with his friend, Ron (Bill Owen), when he discovers he's got a small inheritance, including a barge on the river. Adding to his contentment is a lovely young lady named "Frankie" (Ann Todd), who agrees to become his wife and live with him on the barge. Eddie makes extra money in an unusual occupation that he keeps from his wife, and while he's away she grows closer to an unconventionally attractive hired worker named Olaf (Maxwell Reed), which leads to a major misunderstanding and a highly dramatic resolution that ties in with Eddie's secret occupation. The movie is told as a flashback leading up to these dramatic events. Todd [So Evil, My Love], Portman and Reed give wonderful performances, the film is moody and absorbing, and there's an evocative and memorable score by Benjamin Frankel [The End of the Affair]. Bill Owen [The Comeback] is also notable as Ron.

Verdict: Unusual, compelling, and beautifully acted. ***.

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