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The Sea Wolf (1993)

Jack London's brutal Wolf Larson brings a shipwrecked aristocrat and a con woman aboard his doomed ship, the Ghost.


Michael Anderson


Jack London (book), Andrew J. Fenady (teleplay)
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Capt. Wolf Larsen
Catherine Mary Stewart ... Flaxen Brewster
Marc Singer ... Johnson
Len Cariou ... Dr. Picard
Clive Revill ... Thomas C. 'Cookie' Mugridge
Christopher Reeve ... Humphrey Van Weyden
Shane Kelly Shane Kelly ... Leach
Garry Chalk ... Chandler / First Mate
Tom McBeath ... Latimer
Stan Barrett Stan Barrett ... Ofty Ofty
Dee Jay Jackson ... Smoke
Eli Gabay Eli Gabay ... Dogbreath, Helmsman
Russell Roberts ... French Frank (as Russell J. Roberts)
Bill Croft ... Donovan
John Novak ... Jameson Damisk


Writer Van Weyden has an accident with his boat and he plus one woman is saved by the boat Ghost. Everything seems to be normal, until the two find captain Wolf Larsen psychotic ... Written by Eemil Laine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


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USA | Canada



Release Date:

18 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

O Lobo do Mar See more »

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Did You Know?


A large scale remake had also been mooted the previous year. John Boorman and Ron Howard were potentially set to direct this 70mm production and Tom Hanks was lined up to star but it was deemed too expensive. See more »


Dr. Picard: There's not much I can do.
Capt. Wolf Larsen: You could sober up.
Dr. Picard: I'm afraid she's not going to survive.
Capt. Wolf Larsen: You say that about all your patients.
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Version of The Sea Wolf (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Two Greats Make A TV Movie Work
23 October 2015 | by photoeSee all my reviews

This movie does Jack London's sailing yarn Sea Wolf real justice for an average budget attempt.

One thing that strikes me is how far away we are from the history of the sea in our modern world, and how great London's writing really is in this story, weaving the rawest tenets of human struggle into what was then one of the primary economic engines of the world, the commerce of the ocean-going fishing, whaling, or here, sealing ship. Of course, the sea tale is such a romantic notion, ironic in that it was so tough to actually live, and offers a writer so much because the characters are all stuck together in a constant state of peril from without, and this magnifies the sense of the peril between them.

Reeve is brilliant as an educated man of position facing the rawest of worlds far from where he was raised. He runs into another intellectual of sorts, a captain who has scrambled from poverty to occupy a position of pure power, which he holds in purely Machiavellian ways. Reeve's true sensitivity comes out in the role, acting as foil to the pure cynicism of Bronson's Captain Larsen, begging for mercy for others and for good when possible. I kept being struck at how strong, virile, and yet kind and warm Reeve seemed in the role, and the strength he would need as his own life took such an awful turn not long after this movie.

Bronson also gets his licks in as a man who has seen empathy repaid with betrayal so many times, he sees empathy only as weakness and vulnerability, and considering his surroundings, he makes an excellent case. The story sets these two forces, two approaches to life against each other, and basically never resolves them, which is good, because a resolution would be too facile. Both men stick to who they are. There are times when Bronson seems less than on, but his previous persona lends itself well here, lending him the previous strength, but I can tell he approached the role in a different way than his other tough guy roles. He created a real weakness in the rigidity of this character and conveys a fairly broken man who still knows how to be a brutal and effective leader. He isn't a wisecracker, here though. He's a weakening man in a tough shell. Bronson is past his peak here, but still rivets the viewer, especially a fan. I would've pegged Bronson for 60 here, but he was 70 when he made this film.

THe supporting cast runs the gamut from great to average, with a couple given exceptional moment in London's story. I enjoyed seeing two actors 20+ years later, now both gone. They really were both great.

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