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Wake of the Red Witch (1948)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Romance | 1 March 1949 (USA)
During the 1860s in the South Pacific, Capt. Ralls, skipper of the Red Witch, has a series of adventures involving sunken gold bullion, pearls, natives, an unscrupulous ship owner and a giant octopus.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Samuel 'Sam' Rosen
...
Teleia Van Schreeven
...
Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye
...
Harmenszoon Van Schreeven
...
Capt. Wilde Youngeur
...
Jacques Desaix
...
Antonio 'Ripper' Arrezo
Dennis Hoey ...
...
Mr. Loring
...
Dr. van Arken
...
Ua Nuke
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Storyline

Captain Ralls fights Dutch shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye for the woman he loves, Angelique Desaix, and for a fortune in gold aboard the Red Witch. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romance! Adventure!...as wild as the RAGING SEAS!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Lenda da Bruxa Vermelha  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,343 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rubber octopus used in this movie was later stolen by Edward D. Wood Jr.'s crew and used in Bride of the Monster (1955). They forgot to steal the motor that ran the tentacles though, so Bela Lugosi was forced to wrap the tentacles around him while he "fought" the beast. See more »

Goofs

When Sidney is walking with the lady, the moving background is moving much too fast. See more »

Quotes

Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye: I'm not one of those 'eye for an eye' men. No! I always take two eyes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Nocturne in E Flat Major, Opus 9, No. 2
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

John Wayne's best performance. Great film.
26 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

After John Wayne starred in Cecil B. DeMille's answer to "Gone With the Wind," an epic called "Reap the Wild Wind," the Duke wanted to make a similar themed film but with more complex characters. John Wayne made "Wake of the Red Witch," a terrific follow-up that remakes elements of the original film but creates completely new situations and characters, and explores the dark side of people. Both films open with John Wayne as a 19th Century sea captain who's ship is scuttled for the rich cargo. In both films John Wayne fights a big octopus and is involved in a love triangle with a beautiful woman and his boss. The period, style, and sets are similar but there are differences in story. DeMille's story was set in the south and revolved around a southern belle who played with the affections of two men. The characters were somewhat one-dimensional (John Wayne the unquestionable good guy, Ray Milland the unquestionable rich playboy, Paulette Goddard the unquestionable flirt). "Wake of the Red Witch," set in the South Pacific, is much more complex. John Wayne's character is sometimes cruel and dishonest. He is driven by drunken rages to beat men and his performance is perhaps the best in his career. As the camera closes in on his face there is true madness in his eyes and the strength and anger he possesses is truly frightening. In one scene where he has just punched out his crew and jumped ship, running violently through the jungle toward the woman he loves (Gail Russell), he is a monster. The entire story is told by a member of John Wayne's crew (Gig Young) and we are first introduced to John Wayne as a heartless and corrupt captain. As the story unfolds we see a much more complex mystery involving the captain's rich nemesis who respects the captain as a hero and worthy opponent and has driven John Wayne to madness. The end plays out as a haunting romance as the love between the captain and the woman he adores (and who has married his enemy) conquers all amongst all the tragedy. I would suggest you see Cecil B' DeMille's "Reap the Wild Wind" first as it is much less satisfying and might be disappointing compared to the complexity of "Wake of the Red Witch," though both films are terrific entertainment and showcase John Wayne at his non-western best. Note: In the film, The Red Witch (a sailing ship) is owned by a company called Batjac, a name the Duke would use as the name of his own film company.


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