Has anyone noted the two very scary movies Merle
Oberon did back-to-back in 1944? This and The Lodgerchilled better than
Universal monsters and got near what Val Lewton was achieving at RKO. Dark
Waters had Hitchcock associate Joan Harrison among producers and directing
Andre DeToth to see after gothic atmosphere. Writing was goosed by uncredited
John Huston, paid by the page according to a DeToth interview. Dark Waters
would play better if survivor prints were other than obvious 16mm used for the
Image DVD (this despite a UCLA logo which would suggest fuller restoration).
Merle is victimized in a Bayou house filled with are-they-or-aren't-they
relatives that include off-cast Thomas Mitchell and Fay Bainter, Water's cast
number swelled by Rex Ingram and Nina May McKinney as loyal retainers. Franchot
Tone is along for what heroism he can muster, and Elisha Cook supplies balance of
menace. Dark Waters used to show up on a local and poverty-stricken TV channel when
I was in college, another one you could call and ask them to run, that very
night, and they would.