The Woman On The Beach (1947)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5.  USA, 1947.  Screenplay by , Jean Renoir, adaptation by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by , .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by  , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by , .

Shell shocked and recuperating from his experiences in the war,  goes on frequent walks that take him past a mysterious woman () he sees, as the title suggests, gathering wood on the beach. Despite having a handy carpenter wife at home, Ryan can’t help but be drawn into this woman’s miserable world, her life at home taking care of an increasingly paranoid blind painter () who Ryan feels drags her down.  This cut and dry, minor feature is an oddity in the oeuvre of director Jean Renoir, a film that is neither particularly stylish nor moving but does have its moments of intelligent poignancy and is certainly no failure for its performers.  Bickford’s character, a painter who refuses to let go of the works he can no longer access, could be Renoir addressing his paternal lineage, though the parallels are so plain that it almost makes seems an insulting insinuation.

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