John Wayne took the name of his production company, Batjac, from this film's shipping firm. The original spelling though was "Batjak", a likely portmanteau of "Batavia" and "Jayakarta", both being the old names of the capital of the Dutch East Indies at the time (as of 2009 it is Jakarta, Indonesia). See more »
Hired "Red Witch" skipper John Wayne (as Captain Ralls) vies with financier boss Luther Adler (as Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye) for not only the love of beautiful Gail Russell (as Angelique), but also five million dollars in gold bullion. Their tale is told in "flashback" style, by fellow traveler Gig Young (as Sam Rosen).
The story might be described as a "Heart of Darkness" attempt to adapt Wayne's "Reap the Wild Wind" into Laurence Olivier's "Wuthering Heights". The flashbacks do not really help build dramatic tension; rather, they make the story more confusing. Despite the presentation, the characters emerge as somewhat interesting, especially good is Mr. Adler's portrayal. There is some ambitious underwater camera-work, which fails, due to, for example, an unremarkable editing in of Wayne close-ups.
Everyone tries awfully hard to make "Wake of the Red Witch" hunt, but it doesn't.
**** Wake of the Red Witch (12/30/48) Edward Ludwig ~ John Wayne, Gail Russell, Luther Adler, Gig Young
6 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?