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A merchant marine captain, rescued from the Chinese Communists by local villagers, is "shanghaied" into transporting the whole village to Hong Kong on an ancient paddle steamer. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
There was some surprise when Lauren Bacall agreed to make the movie since she was a left-wing Democrat and the film was right-wing Cold War propaganda. See more »
When the Captain orders "No smoke!", the crew men throw buckets of water into the burning boiler to put out the fire. This would initially cause large volumes of white smoke. In addition, when superheated metal is suddenly cooled, it causes the metal to crack. Once the boiler was reheated, as when they enter Hong Kong, the boiler would have very likely exploded. See more »
Capt. Tom Wilder:
[spoken through voice tube to engine room]
If you want a last look at home, you'd better take it now.
[heavy with sorrow]
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The title is shown in Chinese characters, which dissolve into English. See more »
Nobody does John Wayne as good as John Wayne. But in 'Blood Alley' Wayne didn't even portrait himself well. He seemed bored through out the movie, failing to give anything better than an average performance. Maybe he knew the script was weak. I certainly felt no interest in the characters or what they were doing, maybe Wayne didn't either. Too bad because it seemed like a good premise for a movie.
You do get to see Lauren Bacall in color. However she didn't get to do much of anything interesting. Nobody really does.
One good point, the film is directed by William Wellman who goes back to the silent film era and directed such monumental films as 'The Public Enemy', 'The Ox Bow Incident' and 'A Star is Born' 1937 version, which he also wrote. And another good point is that it was shot in CinmaScope with glorious 'Warner Color', looks good. And don't forget the actual footage shot at the graveyard of ships, which was cool.
Not a classic, but a worthy diversion.
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