So far as the relationship between camera and action is concerned, [Swamp Water] marks a striking transfiguration of style. One might plausibly attribute it to Renoir's versatility (adapting his style to his material) or his prudence (adapting his style to the Hollywood consensus), or his responsiveness to actors (allowing the Hollywood actors to key the film's tone and tempo), or even the influence of producer, photographer, editor and studio, or to all these factors together. Its individuality lies in its sense of people handing things to one another, rather than confronting one another….
In certain aspects, Swamp Water compromises between a Western and Toni. It resembles the...
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