Classic Cinema : Night Tide (1961) – By Jason S. Lockard

My name’s is Jason Lockard and I love sci-fi cinema and in the 60s sci-fi was in my opinion at it’s best. Our star of the month; Dennis Hopper starred ion one of these classics this one entitled Night Tide.

Dennis Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas, the son of Marjorie Mae and James Millard Hopper and had two brothers, Marvin and David. After World War II, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri than to San Diego, where his mother worked as a lifeguard instructor and his father was a post office manager. He was voted most likely to succeed in high school, where he participated in the drama, speech and choir.

Hopper made his debut on film in two roles with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Dean’s death affected the young Hopper as he admired Dean immensely. After these roles Hopper made many TV appearances starting with his debut in an episode of the Richard Boone television series Medic in 1955, portraying a young epileptic. He would go on to appear in many westerns such as Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, The Big Valley, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Bonanza. He wasn’t just subject to the old west he would display his acting talents on other shows as well including; Petticoat Junction, The Twilight Zone, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, The Defenders, The Investigators, The Time Tunnel and Combat!. Than in 1961 Dennis Hopper would star in our Classic Cinema film of the month, Night Tide.

Night Tide follows Seaman Johnny Drake (Hopper), on shore leave, who finds a "Mermaid" sideshow attraction. The "Mermaid" Mora 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 Sirens, mythic sea creatures who lure sailors to their deaths. Is this true? Is Johnny in real danger? Or will love conquer all? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

Dennis Hopper would go on to act in many unforgettable films including; Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now and Cool Hand Luke just to name a few. He would also direct the 1988 critically acclaimed film Colors. In March 2010 Hopper received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for all his contributions to the film industry.

On October 29 it was reported that Hopper had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. Hopper was terminally ill and was unable to undergo chemotherapy to treat his prostate cancer. Than on May 29, 2010 at the age of 74 Dennis Hopper passed away at his home in the coastal Los Angeles district of Venice.

Dennis Hopper left a legacy of over the top characters and amazing films that generations to come can enjoy. So go check out some of Dennis Hopper’s films. You won’t regret it. So until next month this is Jason Lockard reminding you if you want to see a good movie, check out a classic!

Moral Rating: Mild violence.
Audience: May not be suitable for young children.
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: 85 min.
Released: 1961
Our Rating: B-