Woman on the Beach, The (1947)

The Woman on the Beach (1947), directed by Jean Renoir.

Robert Ryan is a Lt in the Mounted Coast Guard: he patrols the beach on a horse. He had a bad war and suffers from nightmares about his ship hitting a mine. He sinks to the bottom and walks among the wreckage and skeletons, meeting a beautiful woman most people would recognize as "Death".

In waking life he begins to see a mysterious woman (Joan Bennett) on the beach. He meets her and her husband, an artist who has gone blind (the always fierce Charles Bickford). He suspects the husband is faking blindness; if he can prove that maybe he can get the wife away from him. Things aren't what they appear. After that, they still aren't.

It's an intriguing concept for a romance/thriller but the execution is clumsy. It could be remade with no budget required. Robert Ryan is my favorite actor from the period but some of his line delivery is awkward. Maybe a few more takes would have helped. The other actors are fine.

Only 70m long. Intrusive, up-front musical score.

Warner Archive title, available for rent from ClassicFlix.