Up 5,231 this week

Blood Alley (1955)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure  |  1 October 1955 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,961 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 16 critic

His ship seized by the Chinese Communists, American Merchant Captain Tom Wilder languishes in prison but Chinese villagers help him escape to sail them to Hong-Kong.


, (uncredited)


(screenplay) (as A.S. Fleischman) , (novel) (as A.S. Fleischman)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.00 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 29 titles
created 13 Feb 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 13 Apr 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 29 Jan 2014
a list of 42 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 4131 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Blood Alley" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Blood Alley (1955)

Blood Alley (1955) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Blood Alley.

User Polls

Won 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Sea Chase (1955)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As World War II begins, German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany through a gauntlet of Allied warships.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Lana Turner, David Farrar
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

In the post-war Hawaii, House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter hunt down communists.

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Nancy Olson, James Arness
Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Following Napoleon's Waterloo defeat and the exile of his officers and their families from France, the U.S.Congress, in 1817, granted four townships in the Alabama territory to the exiles. ... See full summary »

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Philip Dorn
Dakota (1945)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In 1871 Dakota, two crooked businessmen oppose the local wheat farmers and the railroad development, in order to control the town of Fargo.

Director: Joseph Kane
Stars: John Wayne, Vera Ralston, Walter Brennan
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During WWII, a submarine's second in command inherits the problem of torpedoes that don't explode. When on shore, he is eager to win back his ex-wife.

Director: George Waggner
Stars: John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Ward Bond
Jet Pilot (1957)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Air Force Colonel Jim Shannon is tasked to escort a defecting Soviet pilot who is scheming to lure Shannon to the USSR.

Directors: Josef von Sternberg, Jules Furthman
Stars: John Wayne, Janet Leigh, Jay C. Flippen
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe


Complete credited cast:
Joy Kim ...
Berry Kroeger ...
Old Feng (as Berry Kroger)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure on the danger waters of the Orient!


Action | Adventure


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 October 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's Blood Alley  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording) (optical prints)| (WarnerPhonic/RCA) (magnetic prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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.
Tack: [heavy with sorrow] I looked.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title is shown in Chinese characters, which dissolve into English. See more »


Referenced in I Love Lucy: Lucy and John Wayne (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Vehicle and settings make a highly entertaining film
18 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Two other reviewers discuss the politics of the time this movie came out – 1955. In a nutshell, the Red (Communist) Chinese government had come to power under Mao Tse Tung after the end of WW II. The Chinese then supported the North Korean communist efforts to overrun South Korea. The U.S. still had not recognized the communist government – which had won control of China by force over the smaller democratic forces of Chiang Kai-shek following WW II.

Others have discussed John Wayne's patriotism – which some call "right wing." Wayne had strong feelings about his country. He used his film company, Batjac, to make some movies that espoused the American ideals of freedom, liberty and democracy. Although not as strongly as others, "Blood Alley" was one film that had such propaganda.

This movie was based on a novel of the same name by Albert S. Fleischman, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. It's a simple story and plot, with a mixture of suspense, romance and action. The script and roles are not exceptional, but the film has two vehicles that drive it. The first is the overall plan for an entire village to escape Red China and flee to freedom in Hong Kong. The second is the mode for such flight – a paddle-wheel ferry. Indeed, the boat is the heart of the tale and biggest star of the film.

The cast are all fine – John Wayne and Lauren Bacall make a nice team, and the supporting actors are very good. But, the settings, cast of very busy extras, and cinematography make this film exceptional. The filmmakers did an excellent job in giving us vivid scenes of the Chinese coast – having been filmed in San Francisco Bay. A 1955 review in the New York Times praised William Wellman for his direction. "But in filming his story at China Camp in San Rafael, near San Francisco, and in San Francisco Bay, Mr. Wellman appears to have approximated, in flavor at least, the authentic hilly Chinese locales as well as the reedy shores and choppy waters of the Formosa Strait. And he has added to that flavor by employing scores of Chinese-Americans as realistic 'extras.'"

I should mention one scene that flaunted reality. I wonder that the filmmakers didn't notice this. Early in the film, the villagers are loading very large rocks or small boulders into their sampans. One shot shows two frail-appearing older men carrying a rock the size of a duffel bag. That is followed by shots of men passing rocks the size of bed pillows to other men in the boats. This all seems to be done with relative ease. I don't know if there may be some sort of light-weigh rocks in China, but having done considerable landscaping with large rocks, I would conclude that the men in the film were supermen, or that the rocks were fakes. Rocks the size of bed pillows would easily weigh 200 pounds or more. And one the size of a duffel bag would tip the scales at 500 pounds or more.

Still, "Blood Alley" is a fine propaganda film that should entertain the whole family.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Wayne + Lauren Bacall ejgreen77
Paddle-wheeler??? GACosta_50
Where was the Graveyard of Ships? edalweber
Did anybody else notice... notorious918
Discuss Blood Alley (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page