The Woman on the Beach
Peggy feels trapped to her husband Tod, a famed painter whose career and eyesight she destroyed during a violent quarrel. A war-traumatized sailor who wants Peggy for himself is convinced Tod feigns blindness to control her.
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- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 11 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: August 5, 2011
- Originally Released: 1947
- Label: Warner Archive Collection (MOD)
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Nan Leslie, Joan Bennett, Walter Sande, Charles Bickford & Robert Ryan|
|Directed by||Jean Renoir|
|Screenplay by||Frank Davis & Jean Renoir|
|Composition by||Hanns Eisler|
|Director of Photography:||Harry J. Wild & Leo Tover|
The filmmaker, living in California in self-imposed exile from France, cuts loose with vicious moods and creative rages that feel like the destruction of an old world and the violent birth of new possibilities.
Renoir's expert framing and intuitive direction bring out the vivid emotions of this setup. For such a thin film, the result packs a potent punch. Full Review
WOMAN introduced the sort of lacerated performances he would become known for.
Sight and Sound
Rating: B -- One can only imagine how the pic would have looked without RKO interference. Full Review
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Description by OLDIES.com:
Peggy (Joan Bennett) feels trapped, lacking the will to break free of her husband Tod (Charles Bickford), a famed painter whose career and eyesight she destroyed during a violent quarrel. A war-traumatized sailor (Robert Ryan), eager to claim Peggy for himself, is convinced Tod feigns blindness to control her. To prove it, he'll take Tod for a stroll along the seaside cliffs -- and watch as the artist nears the edge.
Filled with primal lust, bold imagery and murderous hearts, The Woman on the Beach, heavily recut by the studio prior to release, is Jean Renoir's (The Rules of the Game, The River) fever dream of a film noir.
A WWII Coast Guard veteran, Lt. Scott Burnett (Robert Ryan), is plagued by nightmares of his combat days. One day, he meets a woman, Peggy Butler (Joan Bennett), walking on a beach, picking up pieces of wood. Butler is married to a grumpy, blind painter, Ted Butler (Charles Bickford). Despite his affections for his fiancée Eve (Nan Leslie), whose father is a boat builder, Scott falls in love with Peggy and soon breaks off the engagement. Peggy reveals that she blinded her husband years earlier by throwing a glass at him during an ugly spat, ruining his career and her own ambitions to be an upper-class socialite. Scott fears that Ted is suspicious that he is having an affair with Peggy and becomes so paranoid that he begins to believe that Ted is faking his blindness -- and sets out to prove it. This was the fifth and final American film by the great French writer-director Jean Renoir.