• film

The Secret Cinema presents

Dark Waters (Rare 35mm print!)

Get Tickets
Saturday 2/22
7:00 pm
$10 General Public
$8 Students & Seniors
$5 IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  call 215-387-5125, menu option 2. 

dir. Andre de Toth, US, 1944, 35mm, 90 min., b&w

"Why did they pull me out of the water? That's where I belong, under the water with my mother and father!" Exotic beauty Merle Oberon stars as a woman who saw her parents drown in a ship sunk by Nazi torpedos, and dazed, goes to live with relatives she’s never met in a murky New Orleans plantation. Haunted by survivor’s guilt and recurring visions of the tragedy, she finds her off-kilter relatives sympathetic at first, yet mysteriously they seem to encourage her nightmares and growing madness. Striking cinematography and a gallery of weird types (especially character actor greats John Qualen, Elisha Cook, Jr., and Thomas Mitchell) make this an especially atmospheric psychological thriller. Genre aficionados have debated whether or not Dark Waters is true film noir, but in the most literal sense, this must be one of the darkest films ever released: the grains of silver needed to create the ratio of black-to-white in its 35mm print could probably supply the photographic needs of five regular Hollywood releases.

After making films in his native Hungary, André de Toth worked for Alexander Korda as a second-unit director on Thief of Baghdad. In Hollywood he became a specialist in violent crime and Western movies. Despite having only one eye, he helmed the 3-D epic House of Wax. Independently produced by Benedict Bogeaus (Diary of a Chambermaid, Slightly Scarlet), Dark Waters includes some subtly progressive story points about race (via Rex Ingram’s character) that would be unlikely in more typical studio fare of the era.

Preceded by a selection of shorts from The Secret Cinema archive