High Tide (1947)

Lee Tracy, Don Castle, Julie Bishop, Anabel Shaw,
A fast-moving automobile fails to make a sharp turn of the highway from Malibu to Los Angeles. It overturns and its occupants, Tim Slade, Newspaper man turned private investigator, and Hugh Fresney, managing editor of the Los Ange...
  • 6.4 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Robert Presnell Sr., Raoul Whitfield, Peter Milne, Writer:
  • John Reinhardt, Director:
  • Jack Wrather, Producer:

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0Englishsubtitle High Tide download
6 / 10

Some Great Moments, But Doesn't Hang Together

Lee Tracy and Don Castle are trapped, dying in a crashed car at the beach. Flashback. Castle has just been hired as a PI by Tracy, playing a newspaper editor, to figure out who's been threatening him. Trouble is, Tracy's boss doesn't like Castle, because Castle and Julie Bishop, the boss' wife, had been a hot item, and she still wants him. So when the boss is shot and Tracy is wounded, things get even more confused....

The trouble with HIGH TIDE is this: there's a good story in there, and all the actors are good and make their lines sound real. The problem is those lines are trite. It looks as if some one saw one of the defining 'tec film noirs, like MURDER MY SWEET and said "Write in a scene where he gets worked over, and then shows up at the girl's house and cracks wise," so the writer does, and "Make the older woman jealous of the younger one." Unfortunately, by the time all these scenes had been written in, there was no way to write in the bits to connect them and make sense of them and keep things moving along at a tight 72 minutes. The result is a very watchable flick, with great moments, that doesn't, alas, bear much thought

8 / 10

Moody, watchable little gem

"High Tide" is a totally obscure but wonderful B-movie film noir from the Monogram mill. It opens with a car careening off a desolate seaside cliff -- its two occupants (Lee Tracy and Don Castle) injured and trapped in the wreckage. As the turbulent tide quickly threatens to engulf them, the events leading up to their predicament are recounted -- a twisty tale of a cynical, crusading newspaper editor (Tracy, naturally) taking on the mob while the high-living owner frets. The latter has even more problems when Tracy hires his jaded wife's ex-lover (Castle) as a private investigator.

Solidly directed by John Reinhardt (who also triumphed with another seedy, minimally-budgeted Monogram noir called "The Guilty"), the dialog is snappy but eloquent, there are plenty of venetian-blind shadows, silhouetted figures and moody low-key lighting, and the plot is nicely unraveled. Only the annoying library-style music lets the side down (lending it that inevitable "B" quality, of course). Tracy was playing out the string on poverty row at the time, but his wry staccato readings and weary-but-steadfast demeanor are a perfect fit here.

6 / 10

Poverty row film with abbreviated dialogue that is as unruly as the ocean...

...but then I always love watching Lee Tracy at work, so that does make up for the lackluster execution of what could have been a good little mystery.

The film opens in an interesting manner with two guys at the site of a wrecked car with the tide coming in. They are both injured and sure to drown if something or someone does not intervene. It is obvious from the conversation that one of them is the bad guy but which one? This is to get your interest, then the film cuts to the back story which amounts to the entire movie.

Lee Tracy plays Hugh Fresney, editor of a Los Angeles newspaper. Somebody takes a couple of shots at him and the owner of the paper, Clinton Vaughn, one night, and Fresney is not sure whether the shots were meant for him or for Vaughn, so he calls up an ex-employee of the paper (Don Castle as Tim Slade) to investigate the situation. However, the reason for Slade being an ex-employee is that he was in love with Clinton Vaughn's wife, and in fact, still seems to be so. There are lots of side spats and odd goings on that keep you guessing until the entire thing is unraveled in a monologue that is delivered at such a machine gun pace that you will have to rewind a couple of times to catch everything.

Another problem is that just about every player in this film is so anonymous that it is hard to keep track of who is who, plus a couple of the players are so physically similar to one another that you won't be able to tell which character is actually on screen at the time. Then there are characters that show up, do or say something odd, and are never mentioned again. There is the question as to why Slade is so vital to solving this case when he was just a reporter before, not a P.I., and why the investigating police detective, played by the not so anonymous character actor Regis Toomey, seems so impotent and pig headed about everything. He's a great cartoon of a cop, but not much of a problem solver. Finally there is Julie Bishop as Julie, a secretary who only shares a couple of scenes and a couple of sentences with Slade, yet she seems to gather from him saying "You should see the lights of San Francisco some time" - Slade's new hometown - as a proposal...and she is right? Usually they have a name for girls who make such assumptions and that name is stalker, but here it is fiancée! I'd watch it for the weirdness of it all and for Lee Tracy, who gave every role his all. It's just too bad he blacklisted himself from A list productions back in 1934.

10 / 10

a little gem worth 10 big films

this is another nice lesson of the imaginative inspiring little movie,done away the assembly-line. it must be mentioned that part of the success really must be attributed to the author of the novel - Raoul Whitefield' a forgotten name' but a good artist of the tough-guy school. he was one of the stable-of-talents on a wonderful magazine,IT the 30th, called "the black mask" among them the legendary dash Hammett and Raymond chandler' but also wonderful talents like Whitefield and Horace McCoy(famous later for his masterpiece "they shoot horses don't they"). what a pity that all this is gone by now, in a world of cooperates and brainless big lush productions. its our loss and lets pray for some brave creative producer to save us...

9 / 10

Hardcore noir on the double

What strikes you in this film is the amazingly efficient dialog, that keeps the film rolling on in a constantly more furious tempo, as if both the writer and the director had been in a hurry to reach the end before the high tide comes to engulf them. The sharp curt dialog and the constantly bolting action makes it a little confusing, so this is a film you need to see several times, and even if you watch it again and again, you will still have some difficulty in sorting things out. Usually in noir thrillers like this there is a dame behind it all, knitting it all together, and there is a dame here of course, but she is not knitting it together but rather becomes more of an outsider excluded from the game. The introductory scene is a masterpiece in itself, two hard gamblers in journalism stuck in a wrecked car after an accident driven off the road next to the sea, while the tide Is rising, certain to drown both of them, while they have a few moments to discuss their situation - then follows the long flashback, which is almost the entire film, while you all the time will be waiting for the moment of the accident, what caused it, and the end of it. Since the film is not very long, only 70 minutes, and since the action is constantly racing, you will have no problem waiting for it.