Night Tide is a 1961 in film thriller film, written and directed by Curtis Harrington and starring Dennis Hopper. It was filmed in 1960, premiered in 1961, but was held up from general release until 1963. The film was restored by the Academy Film Archive in 2007.
Seaman Johnny Drake (Dennis Hopper), on shore leave, finds a "Mermaid" sideshow attraction at the marina, operated by Captain Murdock (Gavin Muir (American actor)). The "Mermaid" Mora (Linda Lawson (actress)) who lives in a hotel above the marina merry-go-round, and Johnny fall for each other. Everyone around them is wary of the romance, as her previous lovers have died mysteriously.
Mora believes she is a descendant of the Siren (mythology)s, mythic sea creatures who lure sailors to their deaths. From time to time a mysterious and seemingly sinister woman (Marjorie Cameron) appears and frightens Mora. She believes the woman is the leader of the mermaids, calling Mora to fulfill her destiny. Mora's origins seem to be driving her to commit murder by the full moon. Johnny is unable to believe his lover is capable of murder, but Mora herself seems more certain. During a diving trip on the day of the full moon, Mora cuts Johnny's breathing tube and he is forced to surface, leaving her below, where she swims away into the shadows.
When Johnny returns to the marina the next day, he sees that the lifeless body of Mora is now on display in the mermaid tank. Murdock appears, brandishing a gun. It was he who committed the murders and convinced Mora that she was an actual mermaid. Mora had discarded her oxygen tank in the sea, and had drowned. In the ensuing struggle between Johnny and Murdock, the glass tank is shattered, and the water and debris pin Murdock down.
At the police station, Murdock confesses to the crimes and Johnny returns to his ship accompanied by the shore patrol. The one loose end to Murdock's story is that he denies any knowledge of the mysterious woman who had been frightening Mora. The police dismiss it as the man protecting her, but this is left open to other possibilities as well.
Harrington sold his original script, called The Girl from Beneath the Sea, to Corman in 1956.</>
Harrington had previously worked with Marjorie Cameron - his 1956 documentary The Wormnwood Star is about her and her artwork.
The production company, Virgo, defaulted on their Pathe Lab loan of $33,793 and Pathé were preparing to foreclose of the picture. Roger Corman asked the lab to hold off on their legal actions to allow Filmgroup to distribute the film, guaranteeing Pathé $15,000 within 12 months of the film's release. Pathé agreed, and Filmgroup released through AIP.</>
Category:Films directed by Curtis Harrington
Category:1960s thriller films
Category:Psychological thriller films
Category:American International Pictures films