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The Sea Wolf (1941)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama | 21 March 1941 (USA)
After being fished out of the sea by a sealer, three fugitives find themselves prisoners of the ship's brutal skipper who refuses to put them ashore and they hatch an escape plan during a crew mutiny.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Jack London (novel), Robert Rossen (screen play)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... 'Wolf' Larsen
Ida Lupino ... Ruth Brewster
John Garfield ... George Leach
Alexander Knox ... Humphrey Van Weyden
Gene Lockhart ... Dr. Prescott
Barry Fitzgerald ... Cooky
Stanley Ridges ... Johnson
David Bruce ... Young Sailor
Francis McDonald ... Svenson
Howard Da Silva ... Harrison
Frank Lackteen ... Smoke
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Storyline

Humphrey van Weyden, a writer, and fugitives Ruth Webster and George Leach have been given refuge aboard the sealer "Ghost," captained by the cruel Wolf Larsen. The crew mutinies against Larsen's many crimes, and though van Weyden, Ruth, and George try to escape Larsen's clutches, they find themselves drawn inexorably back to him as the "Ghost" sails toward disaster. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack London's great novel of terror afloat. See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 March 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Seewolf See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,013,217 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(re-release) | (original) | (TCM print) (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 3, 1950 with Edward G. Robinson reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

Actually, until the era of the 1st World War, the practice on-board a ship was to call orders for the helmsman to actually move the "tiller", either to port or to starboard. So calling "hard a-port" meant moving the tiller to port, which means the rudder, and the vessel, will then move to starboard. With wheel steering, putting the helm/tiller to port, means spinning the wheel to starboard. Ships no longer use this system - these days helm directions refer to the desired turn of the rudder/vessel. The James Cameron movie The Titanic also contained a similar scene, which generated a lot of puzzlement. It IS a bit confusing at first, unless one is a sailor and is familiar with tiller steering. See more »

Quotes

Humphrey Van Weyden: There's a price no man will pay for living.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was cut by approx. 12 minutes at some point (probably for reissue) down to 90 minutes - which is what is currently distributed on home video. The footage consists of little, but integral, moments throughout the story which add considerably to the quality of the film as a whole. The only known existing print of the original theatrical version is a 16mm print which belonged to the film's star, John Garfield. This print has reportedly been used to restore the picture to its original length. See more »

Connections

Edited into The Sea Wolf (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Ma Blushin' Rosie
(uncredited)
Music by John Stromberg
Lyrics by Edgar Smith
Played on piano and sung by Jeane Cowan in the bar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Jack London's story brought to life by excellent cast and crew...
17 May 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Edward G. Robinson puts his own brand of cruelty on the role of a freighter captain who tyrannizes his crew and some unexpected passengers (Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Alexander Knox) in this taut, suspenseful psychological melodrama with no shortage of brooding atmosphere.

Based on the famous Jack London story of Wolf Larsen (Robinson), the callous and inhuman skipper of a schooner, who proceeds to make life hell for his crew and his unwilling passengers rescued from a sinking ferryboat. Lupino and Garfield are a couple of losers with a past; Knox is a mild-mannered novelist. The romantic angle between Garfield and Ida is underplayed with the accent more on the brooding tension aboard the schooner.

Under Michael Curtiz' direction, all the performances are first-rate and Erich Wolfgang Korngold's intriguing score helps sustain the tense mood of passengers adrift on a fog-shrouded sea. Alexander Knox's restrained portrayal of an intellectual is a perfect foil for Robinson's bombastic megalomaniac skipper. Stand-outs in the large supporting cast are Gene Lockhart as a nervous, cowardly doctor and Barry Fitzgerald as a crafty cook, a sinister departure from his usual comic roles.

Absorbing all the way, well worth viewing, this represented a step up the ladder for Ida Lupino's career at Warner Bros. Watch for my full-length career article on Ida Lupino scheduled to appear in an upcoming issue of FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE.


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