19 February 2001 | gross-6
An intriguing and highly evocative film that defies easy categorization
Although the story could have easily been adapted into a gritty film noir, director Frank Borzage turns it into a dreamlike, and even romantic, saga of guilt and expiation. The plot is simple and uncomplicated. No cynical, wisecracking dialogue; no hard-boiled detectives or double-crossing femme fatales. The small town setting with frequent rural scenes creates a world far removed from the unusual noir cityscape. The love story unfolds with both strong sexual attraction and delicacy. Imbued with a strong atmosphere and vision all its own, MOONRISE resists easy classification. Like THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, it succeeds in creating a drama of mythic resonance in an American rural setting.