Movie of the Week: Night Tide (1961)

This enjoyable little thriller/noir has a slim narrative at its core, but lots to offer around the edges: an authentic time capsule of the Southern California Beat scene (specifically Venice and Santa Monica), the first starring role of a very young Dennis Hopper, the only starring role of hip chick Linda Lawson (a lounge singer who recorded just one LP), and notable appearances by artist/occultist/ all-around-nutcase Marjorie Cameron (best known for being the wife of Jack Parsons when he was at his craziest, as well as her unforgettable appearance in Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome).

The plot is a little pulpy, and Linda Lawson doesn't have much screen presence. But the movie sustains a pleasant dreamlike quality, and since it was restored by the Academy Film Archive in 2007 some nice transfers have shown up on youtube.

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