Dark Waters is a rather obscure little film noir. Although there are some big names in the cast, this has never had a DVD release, this is a tight plot and some good suspense.
The basic story is similar to another film from 1944, Gaslight, as both stories involve young women who are nearly cheated out of their inheritance by impostors who attempt to convince them they are losing their minds. But whereas Gaslight is set in the quaint little squares of London, Dark Waters is set deep in the Louisiana bayou. I had only seen Merle Oberon in The Divorce of Lady X (1938), in which she plays a spoiled rich woman in London, so it came as a bit of a surprise to see her playing this role as an emotionally unhinged woman set in the deep south. Thomas Mitchell, who was known for playing salt-of-the earth good guy roles, such as Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life, and it was equally surprising to find him playing the fastidious leader of a band of crooks. Elisha Cook Jr. does his usual pint-sized heavy thing.