Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
Not a bad black and white Oldie. But got bored towards the end
The first ten minutes of Frank Borzage's film noir are fascinating and, although the film doesn't keep up the pace, it is full of interesting ideas and camera shots.
A fine example of the film noir, with Ethel Barrymore in the cast. The protagonist is tortured by the fate of his father, who was hanged for murder. YouTube has a good print of it.
A compromised film noir, due to themes of redemption and a happy ending, the newly restored Moonrise merits attention for it visual and sound elements, particularly stylized b/w cinematography of John Russell, who in 1960 shot Hitchcock's Psycho.
A Noir film that adds a twist to the genre by creating an atmosphere of hope, even if the outcome still may be grim. Perhaps personal victory and dignity is whats important here.
This is the first Frank Borzage film I've seen and I'm told it is atypical of his usual hazy romantic fare -- but to me the gauzy romance is still here, just layered on top of a noirish plot with expressionistic effects and lighting. It's a bit of a weird mix (and as some reviewers point out, verging on a Night of the Hunter mise-en-scene, but not nearly as good). There are things to like (Rex Ingram as Mose, Allyn Joslyn as the Sheriff) and things not to like (adults playing teenagers, the sullenness of the lead). Worth a look, but there would seem to be other places to start with Borzage.
Opening with some fantastic imagery, 'Moonrise' introduces us to Danny Hawkins, a young boy who is consistently mistreated and taunted because his father was a murderer, who subsequently was hung at the gallows. Using some great silhouettes, editing, and projection backgrounds, it's a pretty frightening sequence for a young boy to experience, with Borzage setting a tone and mood from the very beginning of a man who is constantly haunted by his terrible childhood and perceived inadequacies. Part Noir, part Melodrama, 'Moonrise' is really an expertly crafted film exploring the moral repercussions for Danny Hawkins after being involved in an accident, which leaves a man dead. Danny is such a tormented character, his father's wrongs weighting him down to the degree that he himself questions whether he is in fact a rotten person at heart. Fearing the worst, he tells no one about the accidental death, leading to even more torment, re-living the event over and over, torturing himself. The relationship he begins to form with Gilly Johnson, a schoolteacher, perfectly weaves around the Noir elements, creating a film that is both tough, yet ultimately redemptive. As amazing as the intro of the film is, the rest of it manages to keep this visual standard, with stylized cinematography, great shadows, and some solid use of sound. One prime example of this being the Carousel sequence, where Danny's paranoia hits a fever pitch when he dives off the carousel because he believes he is being followed. In the end, Moonrise essentially crushes all the Noir genre conventions with a story of redemption and ultimately a happy ending for Danny and Gilly. So, I've only seen 4 of Frank Borzage's films but I am totally convinced that he was one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
A miracle of the cinematic zeitgeist, Borzage effortlessly transforms rain soaked alleyways, a tenement flophouse and police sedans siren's wails into swamps, a shogun shack and a pack of coon hounds in this overlooked country noir masterpiece.
Would have been more aptly titled Mood Rise this noirish drama is all brooding dark places and melancholy thoughts. A first rate cast convey the proper emotions, Gail Russell's liquid haunted eyes are particularly used to good effect but Dane Clark's main character's tortured actions make him frequently hard to root for. The cinematography is wonderfully evocative perhaps one of the best shot noir films out there. The opening scene is great in setting the tone for the rest of the film.
The story is certainly weaker than the cinematography, but the latter is a wonderful example of film-noir through a solid director.