Night Tide

Movie Information

In Brief: Curtis Harrington is one of the most overlooked talents of the mid-century cinema, and Night Tide (1961) may well be his masterpiece of movie marginalia. And though it has been marginalized, it’s far from trivial — this evocative mood piece carries the mantle of producer Val Lewton more justifiably than almost any other modern filmmaker that comes to mind (and I am including Paul Schrader’s remake of Lewton’s Cat People in that assessment). Night Tide stars a young Dennis Hopper as a sailor who falls for a woman that may or may not be a mermaid, but the plot’s not really the point to all of this — it's the underlying sense of paranoia that Harrington establishes on the periphery, the intimation of dread inferred by the audience, that makes it such a creepily effective little film. Though Harrington never got the attention he rightly deserved, his pedigree speaks for itself — Maya Deren was his mentor, he worked closely with Kenneth Anger and befriended Josef von Sternberg. If you’re unfamiliar with Harrington, the AFS’ screening of Night Tide is an excellent — not to mention rare — opportunity to remedy that unfortunate oversight.
Genre: Fantasy Thriller
Director: Curtis Harrington
Starring: Dennis Hopper, Linda Lawson, Gavin Muir, Luana Anders, Marjorie Cameron
Rated: NR

The Asheville Film Society will screen Night Tide on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at The Grail Moviehouse, hosted by Xpress movie critic Scott Douglas.


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