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 »
I enjoy most John Wayne films, notably his Westerns, and a long time ago read several books about him, but Wake of the Red Watch was all but unknown to me. (British TV frequently screens his better-known films butI can't recall "Wake" being shown before.)
It wasn't at all bad, if one overlooks some of the clichés and limited production values, and Wayne portrays a character more complex and less sympathetic than in any other of his films, even Red River and The Searchers.
Some of the plot twists were a bit hard to follow, and I'm still not sure about the relationship between Ralls and Sidneye - it seemed to mellow towards the end.
Before watching the film I hadn't bothered to note its date and, going on Wayne's youthful appearance and the unsophisticated aspects of filming and plotting, I guessed it was early 1940s. I was a little surprised to see that it was 1948, just as Wayne was about to film some of his greatest Westerns.
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