Deep Valley | Chicago Reader

Deep Valley

Before getting swamped by overproduced CinemaScope features, Jean Negulesco was a skillful director of noirs and other small pictures, as evidenced by Road House (1948) and this neglected drama about a couple on the run (1947). Ida Lupino plays a poor, eccentric 22-year-old in rural California, traumatized by abusive and dysfunctional parents (Henry Hull and Faye Bainter), who falls for a sensitive but volatile escaped convict (Dane Clark). If you can get past the obtrusive Max Steiner score and a surfeit of dog reaction shots, this has a feeling for outcasts and strong, quirky performances that build to the kind of affecting and socially subversive romantic melodrama Nicholas Ray excelled at. With Wayne Morris. 104 min.

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