What a strange and wonderful discovery—a shot-on-location-in-Maine Hollywood film from the 1940s—and a pretty darn good one! In that era, Hollywood very rarely shot films on location, using studio and Southern California settings for the far corners of the earth. Yet, 20th Century Fox sent stars Dana Andrews and Jean Peters, director Henry King and company Down East to shoot all of the many exterior scenes for Deep Waters, and the result looks, not surprisingly, like Maine of 70 years ago! Based on Maine writer Ruth Moore’s novel Spoonhandle, Deep Waters centers on Hod Stillwell, a lobsterman who was trained as an architect, but prefers to be on the ocean, though his fiancée, Ana Freeman, so fears for his life on dangerous seas that she breaks off their engagement as the film opens. Ana, who works for the state welfare department, finds a home in town for Donny (Dean Stockwell), a 12-year-old orphan who also loves the sea and becomes great friends with the like-minded Hod. This becomes a double problem for Ana, since she also fears for Donny when Hod finally accepts Donny’s undauntable will to become part of his crew. Stormy waters—both literal and emotional—beckon. 35mm rare archive print!
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U.S.A. 1949 – 35mm – 85 Minutes
Director: Henry King
Screenplay: Richard Murphy; Based on the novel “Spoonhandle” by: Ruth Moore
Producer: Samuel G. Engel
Cast: Dana Andrews, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Dean Stockwell