Moonrise (1948)

90 mins | Film noir | 1 October 1948

Full page view
HISTORY

According to information contained in the file for this film at the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, as of 17 Dec 1945, Theodore Strauss's story had not yet been published in novel form, but was being prepared for serialization in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan . It appeared in that magazine in Aug and Sep 1946. According to a 3 Dec 1945 LAT news item, Paramount Pictures originally purchased Strauss's story in hope of casting "one of the younger men emerging from the service" in the male lead and hired Strauss to write the screenplay. On 6 Nov 1946, LAT reported that Garson Kanin had intended to purchase the story as a vehicle for John Garfield, but that he had been out-bid by John Farrow, who wanted to produce it as a vehicle for Alan Ladd. According to a 9 Feb 1947 NYT news item, Marshall Grant Pictures then acquired the property and hired Vladimir Pozner to write a treatment. The news item also noted that Burt Lancaster was being considered for the male lead. The contribution of Pozner to the completed film has not been confirmed. On 24 Feb 1947, LAT reported that Grant had assigned William A. Wellman to direct the film and was seeking James Stewart for the lead. Var noted on the same day that Stewart, if signed to star, would cast and direct the film as well. On 15 Oct 1947, HR reported that the property had been sold to Charles K. Feldman, who planned to produce it with Frank Borzage for Republic Studios. Lillian Gish was announced ... More Less

According to information contained in the file for this film at the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, as of 17 Dec 1945, Theodore Strauss's story had not yet been published in novel form, but was being prepared for serialization in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan . It appeared in that magazine in Aug and Sep 1946. According to a 3 Dec 1945 LAT news item, Paramount Pictures originally purchased Strauss's story in hope of casting "one of the younger men emerging from the service" in the male lead and hired Strauss to write the screenplay. On 6 Nov 1946, LAT reported that Garson Kanin had intended to purchase the story as a vehicle for John Garfield, but that he had been out-bid by John Farrow, who wanted to produce it as a vehicle for Alan Ladd. According to a 9 Feb 1947 NYT news item, Marshall Grant Pictures then acquired the property and hired Vladimir Pozner to write a treatment. The news item also noted that Burt Lancaster was being considered for the male lead. The contribution of Pozner to the completed film has not been confirmed. On 24 Feb 1947, LAT reported that Grant had assigned William A. Wellman to direct the film and was seeking James Stewart for the lead. Var noted on the same day that Stewart, if signed to star, would cast and direct the film as well. On 15 Oct 1947, HR reported that the property had been sold to Charles K. Feldman, who planned to produce it with Frank Borzage for Republic Studios. Lillian Gish was announced as one of the film's stars in Jan 1948, but she did not appear in the final film. HR production charts include Art Smith in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.
       According to copyright information, "The Moonrise Song" was popularized by radio star David Street. According to memos in the MPAA/PCA Collection, the PCA objected to a scene in which a group of children tar-and-feather another child. This scene was excluded from the final print. Republic's sound department, headed by Daniel J. Bloomberg, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
18 Sep 1948.
---
Daily Variety
9 Sep 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
10 Sep 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Aug 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Dec 47
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 48
p. 21.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 48
p. 3, 10
Los Angeles Examiner
29 Oct 1946.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
1 Feb 1947.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Dec 1945.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Feb 1947.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Jan 1948.
---
Motion Picture Daily
24 Sep 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Jun 48
p. 4219.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
18 Sep 48
p. 4317.
New York Times
7 Mar 49
p. 17.
Variety
15 Sep 48
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
Grip
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Moonrise by Theodore Strauss (New York, 1946).
SONGS
"The Moonrise Song (It Just Dawned on Me)," music by William Lava, lyrics by Harry Tobias
"Lonesome," music and lyrics by Theodore Strauss and William Lava
"Work, for the Night Is Coming," music and lyrics by Al Coghill and Lowell Mason.
DETAILS
Release Date:
1 October 1948
Production Date:
late December 1947--late January 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Chas. K. Feldman Group Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
9 September 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1852
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90
Length(in feet):
8,123
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13064
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

When his wife becomes ill, Virginian Jeb Hawkins phones a doctor, but the doctor refuses to visit her, saying that her condition is not serious. Shortly thereafter, she dies, causing Jeb to lose control and kill the doctor. One evening, many years after Jeb has been hanged for murder, his son Danny decides to visit a dance hall near a swamp called Brother's Pond. When another young man, Jerry Sykes, a banker's son, teases Danny for being a murderer's son, Danny grabs a rock and smashes his skull. Realizing that he has killed Jerry, Danny quickly departs the scene, leaving an important clue, his pocketknife, behind. When Danny remembers that he stuck his knife in a tree before killing Jerry, he decides to return to the scene with his only friend, a mentally handicapped deaf-mute named Billy Scripture. Unable to find the knife, Danny goes to the dance hall to dance with Jerry's unsuspecting sweetheart, schoolteacher Gilly Johnson. Danny convinces her to come for a drive with another couple, but nearly crashes when he thinks he sees Jerry's corpse in the road. Danny later confesses his love to Gilly, and she apologizes for misleading him, saying that she is engaged to Jerry. Later, Danny visits his black friend, Mose Johnson, at his home, a shack near Brother's Pond. As he watches Mose's bloodhounds chase and kill a raccoon, Danny begins to fear his own capture. Later, Gilly tells Danny that she is worried because Jerry has not phoned her since the dance. After Mose finds Jerry's decomposing body, Sheriff Clem Otis decides to question Danny about his feelings for ... +


When his wife becomes ill, Virginian Jeb Hawkins phones a doctor, but the doctor refuses to visit her, saying that her condition is not serious. Shortly thereafter, she dies, causing Jeb to lose control and kill the doctor. One evening, many years after Jeb has been hanged for murder, his son Danny decides to visit a dance hall near a swamp called Brother's Pond. When another young man, Jerry Sykes, a banker's son, teases Danny for being a murderer's son, Danny grabs a rock and smashes his skull. Realizing that he has killed Jerry, Danny quickly departs the scene, leaving an important clue, his pocketknife, behind. When Danny remembers that he stuck his knife in a tree before killing Jerry, he decides to return to the scene with his only friend, a mentally handicapped deaf-mute named Billy Scripture. Unable to find the knife, Danny goes to the dance hall to dance with Jerry's unsuspecting sweetheart, schoolteacher Gilly Johnson. Danny convinces her to come for a drive with another couple, but nearly crashes when he thinks he sees Jerry's corpse in the road. Danny later confesses his love to Gilly, and she apologizes for misleading him, saying that she is engaged to Jerry. Later, Danny visits his black friend, Mose Johnson, at his home, a shack near Brother's Pond. As he watches Mose's bloodhounds chase and kill a raccoon, Danny begins to fear his own capture. Later, Gilly tells Danny that she is worried because Jerry has not phoned her since the dance. After Mose finds Jerry's decomposing body, Sheriff Clem Otis decides to question Danny about his feelings for Gilly. From the shop across the street, Danny fondles a knife similar to the one he left in Brother's Pond while watching Jerry's corpse being carried into the coroner's office. After a bank examiner tells J. B. Sykes that his son Jerry stole $2,000 from his cash box, Clem learns that Jerry owed some money to Ken Williams, the drummer for the dance hall band. Later, Clem asks Danny if he saw Ken leave the bandstand during the dance on the night that Jerry was killed, and he says no. The next day, Clem and his wife Martha see Danny and Gilly at the county fair. Gilly tells Danny that after his missing knife was found by Billy, Clem came to ask her some questions. As Danny boards the ferris wheel with Gilly, he notices Clem and his wife also boarding the ride. After Danny panics and falls from his seat, he limps to Brother's Pond on a badly injured leg. Inside Mose's shack, Danny sees Billy resting peacefully and, in a fit of desperation, nearly strangles him. When Clem and his deputies arrive at the swamp, Danny limps to the home of his grandmother, who lives nearby. There, Danny takes up his father's rifle, but after a reflective moment at his mother's and father's graves, decides to turn himself in. When Clem sees that Danny is willing to cooperate, he forgoes the handcuffs and allows him to walk to jail "like a man." +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.