Deep Waters (1948)

85-86 or 88 mins | Drama | 22 July 1948

Director:

Henry King

Writer:

Richard Murphy

Producer:

Samuel G. Engel

Cinematographer:

Joseph La Shelle

Editor:

Barbara McLean

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, George Davis

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

This film's working titles were Fisherman Takes a Wife and Deep Water . The following statement appears after the opening credits: "All the out-door scenes in this motion picture were photographed in the State of Maine, in the locale associated with the story." Studio production notes pinpoint the locations as the island of Vinalhaven on Penobscot Bay and the nearby city of Rockland. Twentieth-Century Fox purchased Ruth Moore's novel in late Dec 1946, according to an HR news item. At that time, Louis de Rochemont was to produce and Mark Stevens was announced as the probable star. The same item noted that Rochemont intended to produce the picture in the original Massachusetts setting of the novel. The DV review notes that the release print was in sepia. Deep Waters received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects. Dana Andrews, Jean Peters and Dean Stockwell appeared in a Screen Guild Players radio presentation of the story on 17 Feb 1949. On 12 Sep 1949, Dana Andrews, Donna Reed and Jeffrey Silver starred in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the ... More Less

This film's working titles were Fisherman Takes a Wife and Deep Water . The following statement appears after the opening credits: "All the out-door scenes in this motion picture were photographed in the State of Maine, in the locale associated with the story." Studio production notes pinpoint the locations as the island of Vinalhaven on Penobscot Bay and the nearby city of Rockland. Twentieth-Century Fox purchased Ruth Moore's novel in late Dec 1946, according to an HR news item. At that time, Louis de Rochemont was to produce and Mark Stevens was announced as the probable star. The same item noted that Rochemont intended to produce the picture in the original Massachusetts setting of the novel. The DV review notes that the release print was in sepia. Deep Waters received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects. Dana Andrews, Jean Peters and Dean Stockwell appeared in a Screen Guild Players radio presentation of the story on 17 Feb 1949. On 12 Sep 1949, Dana Andrews, Donna Reed and Jeffrey Silver starred in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Jul 1948.
---
Cue
24 Jul 1948.
---
Daily Variety
30 Jun 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
7 Jul 48
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Dec 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 47
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 47
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 47
pp. 1-2.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Oct 47
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Oct 47
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 49
p. 9.
Los Angeles Examiner
17 Jul 1948.
---
Los Angeles Times
17 Jul 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 Jan 48
p. 4039.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Jul 48
p. 4225.
New York Times
23 Jul 48
p. 12.
Variety
30 Jun 48
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Pub dir
STAND INS
Stand-in for Dean Stockwell
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Spoonhandle by Ruth Moore (New York, 1946).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Deep Water
Fisherman Takes a Wife
Release Date:
22 July 1948
Production Date:
late September--late November 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
7 July 1948
Copyright Number:
LP2059
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
sepia
Duration(in mins):
85-86 or 88
Length(in feet):
7,900
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12669
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Maine, welfare worker Ann Freeman breaks her engagement to lobster fisherman Hod Stillwell when he refuses to give up his seagoing profession. She then delivers fourteen-year-old orphan Donny Mitchell to his new foster mother, the stern but kindhearted Mary McKay. Donny's father and uncle were both lost at sea, and since then, he has lived as a ward of the state, but longing for the sea, has run away three times. In the morning, Ann offers a ride to her neighbor, Molly Thatcher, whose fisherman husband has yet to return from a stormy night at sea. Ann tries to lift her spirits by pointing out that Mr. Thatcher is an experienced waterman and has probably taken shelter somewhere from the storm. Later Hod and his Portuguese partner, Joe Sangor, a farmer at heart, encounter Ann, and Hod persuades her to have dinner with him. At the restaurant, Hod proposes again and even agrees to take a job in Bangor. Although touched by his offer, Ann admits that it was unfair of her to ask him to leave the job he loves, but adds that she could not be happy, wondering if he would come home from the sea. The following day, Hod watches Donny trying to shoot a duck with a rifle that is too large for him. Hod, who knew Donny's father and uncle, befriends the boy and offers him two ducks to take home so that Mary will not be angry with him for neglecting his chores. At sea one day, Hod and Joe spot a drifting skiff and retrieve it. Inside, they find Donny hiding among some ... +


In Maine, welfare worker Ann Freeman breaks her engagement to lobster fisherman Hod Stillwell when he refuses to give up his seagoing profession. She then delivers fourteen-year-old orphan Donny Mitchell to his new foster mother, the stern but kindhearted Mary McKay. Donny's father and uncle were both lost at sea, and since then, he has lived as a ward of the state, but longing for the sea, has run away three times. In the morning, Ann offers a ride to her neighbor, Molly Thatcher, whose fisherman husband has yet to return from a stormy night at sea. Ann tries to lift her spirits by pointing out that Mr. Thatcher is an experienced waterman and has probably taken shelter somewhere from the storm. Later Hod and his Portuguese partner, Joe Sangor, a farmer at heart, encounter Ann, and Hod persuades her to have dinner with him. At the restaurant, Hod proposes again and even agrees to take a job in Bangor. Although touched by his offer, Ann admits that it was unfair of her to ask him to leave the job he loves, but adds that she could not be happy, wondering if he would come home from the sea. The following day, Hod watches Donny trying to shoot a duck with a rifle that is too large for him. Hod, who knew Donny's father and uncle, befriends the boy and offers him two ducks to take home so that Mary will not be angry with him for neglecting his chores. At sea one day, Hod and Joe spot a drifting skiff and retrieve it. Inside, they find Donny hiding among some lobster barrels. Hod returns Donny to Mary, and explains that the boy feared her anger after he broke a saw. Hod then suggests that he hire Donny to work on the boat on Saturdays. After the first Saturday, however, Ann, who has just watched Thatcher's funeral, scolds Hod for taking Donny to sea and threatens to move the boy to an inland family if Hod insists on sailing with him. Hod is forced to coldly turn Donny away the next time he appears at the boat. A desperate Donny then steals a camera from a drugstore and pawns it to get enough money to run away. When he is unable to get enough money, he steals a boat and puts to sea as a storm is blowing up. By chance, Hod and Joe see Donny leaving and just manage to save him after his boat capsizes. Meanwhile, Mary and Ann have been arranging a surprise birthday party for Donny. Hod again brings Donny home and tells Ann what has transpired. Realizing that she cannot keep the boy from something that he loves, Ann arranges with the state for Donny to work with Hod. After delivering the good news to Hod, Donny returns home to find the sheriff and the druggist waiting. Donny admits that he stole the camera and begs Mary and Ann to keep his crime a secret from Hod. When Donny does not appear on his next scheduled day with Hod, Hod goes looking for him and learns that Mary has moved to Portland. Ann, keeping her promise to Donny, refuses to tell Hod where he is now living. When Donny sends Hod a letter, saying that the state has sent him to live on a farm, Hod suspects that he is not telling the truth, and with the aid of judge Josh Hovey, learns that Donny is in reform school. He then asks to adopt the boy. During a hearing, Hod lists his reasons for wanting to adopt Donny. Mary testifies that adoption would be the best thing for Donny, and Ann also weighs in on Hod's side. To Hod's astonishment, however, Donny does not want Hod to adopt him. Mary demands that he explain his reasons, and he admits that he feels bad about stealing and about his stay in reform school. When Hod tells him that he knows all about the boy's crimes, Donny happily agrees to the adoption, and he, Hod and Ann all return home in Hod's boat. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.