Night Tide

2637. NIGHT TIDE (1961-USA). With DENNIS HOPPER, LINDA LAWSON. Dennis Hopper has one of the most unusual and unlikely roles of his career in this out-of-left-field gem of a mystery-drama-fantasy. He gives a subtle performance as Johnny Drake, a sailor on leave who is first seen wandering through the streets of Santa Monica, California. He chances to meet a pretty young woman named Mora (well-played by an undeservedly obscure actress named Linda Lawson). Mora lives in an apartment above the merry-go-round at the Santa Monica Pier, where she is employed as a mermaid in a sideshow. Her job consists of wearing an artificial tail and immersing herself in a tank of water. Visitors to the pier pay 25 cents to see this “half woman-half fish.” Johnny is intrigued by Mora and her heavenly beauty. Soon, he finds that he has fallen in love with her. The spiel regarding “Mora The Mermaid” is that she is “the strangest creature in captivity,” and Johnny soon learns that this declaration may be more than mere hype. It seems that during the previous two years. Mora has had two boyfriends. Each was a “nice boy,” just as Johnny is. Each also suddenly disappeared. Several days later, their corpses were washed ashore. Did they accidentally drown? Or were they murdered? The next question is obvious: Is Johnny’s life now in danger? He is properly disturbed upon learning the fates of Mora’s prior suitors, but he is too much in love with her to be scared away. What follows is a film you won’t soon forget: a stark and atmospheric tale of passion and obsession in which dreams and fantasies frequently mix with reality. 85 minutes. Drama