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Flood Tide (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | February 1958 (USA)
To save a man wrongly convicted of murder, Steve Martin reluctantly resumes his relationship with a widow and her son.


Abner Biberman


Barry Trivers (story), Dorothy Cooper (screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
George Nader ... Steve Martin
Cornell Borchers ... Anne Gordon
Michel Ray ... David Gordon
Judson Pratt ... Maj. Harvey Thornwald - Naval Doctor
Joanna Moore ... Barbara Brooks
Charles Arnt ... Mr. Appleby - Grocer (as Charles E. Arnt)
Russ Conway ... Bill Holleran
John Morley John Morley ... Detective lieutenant
John Maxwell ... John Brighton - Halleran's Attorney
Carl Bensen Carl Bensen ... Dist. Atty. Adams
Della Malzahn Della Malzahn ... Beverly
Hugh Lawrence ... Charlie 'Barney' Barnum


The finding of a body on the beach leads to the conviction for murder of Bill Holleran (who claims innocence), thanks to the testimony of a 10-year-old boy, David Gordon. In flashback, Holleran's landlord Steve Martin recalls his prior involvement with David's widowed mother Anne, broken off because of the disabled boy's vindictive jealousy. Now that a man's life is at stake, Steve reluctantly re-enters the lives of the Gordons to find the truth. Is David a monster or just misunderstood? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Their's Was a Love That Lived in Fear...of a Boy With a Twisted Hate!


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

February 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Above All Things See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This is one of several fictional characters named Steve Martin before the iconic comic-actor would make it a household name in the 1970's. The most famous being Raymond Burr's character in the Americanized version of the original Godzilla, which was before this movie, and Lex Barker in Code 7, Victim 5 after. See more »

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User Reviews

Earnest, small-scale drama
28 September 2004 | by dinky-4See all my reviews

Bottom-half-of-the-double-bill movies such as this began to die out in the late 1950s as TV anthology shows became the prime source for modest black-and-white dramas. Now, alas, those shows are also a thing of the past and even made-for-TV movies seem to be venturing into this territory with decreasing frequency. All of which gives "Flood Tide" a lost-artifact quality which viewers back in 1958 would not have anticipated or appreciated.

Like many such films, "Flood Tide" begins with a "grabber" -- a man's body is found on a beach -- and then spins out its story in a terse, concentrated manner that avoids detours and subplots. The results may be a bit shallow and simplistic but the movie is never dull and it has the good sense to clock in at a brisk 82 minutes.

Of course, "Flood Tide" is not without its faults. George Nader's patience in dealing with the "Bad Seed" aspects of Michel Ray's character is almost too saint-like to be believed, and his all-too-quick falling in love with Cornell Borchers lacks passion and conviction. And why would he take a crippled boy out in a sailboat without putting a life-vest on him?

Cornell Borchers, who sounds uncannily like Ingrid Bergman, doesn't seem vulnerable enough for this part and George Nader can't quite overcome the unrealistic nature of his part. (However, the movie's only 9-minutes old before he takes his shirt off, revealing a chest which, unlike some of his other appearances, has been shaved and polished.) Michel Ray does well in the rather contrived role of the troubled boy. (Ray's biography on the "imdb" is fascinating!)

Watch for Troy Donahue. He plays the young man who knocks on Cornell Borchers' door to tell her there's a sick boy on the beach.

Some of the film's music was provided by Henry Mancini.

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