Too bad that this picture’s story does not match its excellent cast. Another of the hillbilly dramas, Swamp Water is an unflattering reflection upon Dudley Nichols’ usually facile pen. The scenarist has failed to spark Vereen Bell’s SatEvePost serial.
French director Jean Renoir’s first job for an American company, it’s something less than an auspicious beginning. Giving him a story dealing with a segment of the US population with whom not even many Americans are familiar appears open to debate. The background is the Georgia swamps.
All the ingredients of an oldtime meller have been thrown into the plot. Story has Walter Brennan hiding in a swamp after escaping hanging for a murder. Dana Andrews, Huston’s son by a previous marriage, finds him while searching for his dog. Brennan first threatens to kill the boy, but then convinces the kid of his innocence. They enter a fur-trapping partnership, the boy to give Brennan’s share to the latter’s daughter. But the lad’s girl gets hep to what’s going on and in a fit of jealousy, gives the secret away.