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The Sea Wolf (1941).rtf
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The Sea Wolf (1941)
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.
Edward G. Robinson ... 'Wolf' Larsen
Ida Lupino ... Ruth Webster
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
Director: Michael Curtiz
Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3
The Sea Wolf ca be considered as one of the greatest ship films in history. The story is about a writer and criminal who meet up on a ferry. The ferry suddenly sinks and they are rescued by a passing ship, unlucky they are taken on to the ship from hell. Run by a crazy captain, probably one of the greatest villains of all time. The captain is played by the mesmerizing Edward G. Robinsin.
His battling force on the ship would be the young and robust sailor played by John Garfield who gives his greatest performance. Everyone eventually starts to turn on the captain after a tragic death that he caused. The story feature incredible fantastic characters and flawless directing. Other than moments of dreary writing this is a movie to be cherished. With haunting scenes and some delicious excitement you won't be able to turn your head away for a second.By all means see it!
"I've spit in the eye of better men than you for saying less", boatswain John Garfield snarls at sadistic captain Edward G. Robinson in this gritty film noir, set in the open sea, but fenced in, very noir-like, by constant dense fog.
I believe Raoul Walsh would have made a more dynamic film over Jack London's novel than Michael Curtiz did, but it is still a pretty good watch any day of the week. Robert Rossen wrote the screenplay which is well-structured, but far too literal and talkative for the pacing of a dramatic work of art. The lighting of the set, basically just the ship 'The Ghost', is brilliant, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score must count among his best, highly effective and evocative.
Acting is on a very high level, with Robinson grabbing a first prize for his portrayal of the complex sadist 'Wolf' Larson. John Garfield is his swarthy and sexy adversary, and Barry Fitzgerald turns his signature role of the Irish leprechaun on its head with his vicious, diabolical snitch of a sailor, truly scary, a virtuoso performance.
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.
Jack London's novel "The Sea Wolf" is one of those old chestnuts that seemingly won't go away. It has served as an subject for movies almost since they began being made, including Italian and Russian versions. This 1941 Warner version remains the definitive screen adaptation, however, in spite of numerous alterations to the plot of the original novel.
In the book, Wolf Larson is a giant Norwegian sea captain who rules his ship by virtue of his strength and brutality. He is the embodiment of the old joke which runs: "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, because I am the meanest, toughest son of a b--- in the valley!" One would ordinarily think that the five foot six inches tall Edward G. Robinson would be a poor choice to play such a character. However, Robinson is a good enough actor, and a forceful enough screen personality, to carry it off.
John Garfield is equally perfect as a chip-on-the-shoulder working class seaman who dares to oppose Larson. He's a perfect foil for Robinson, and it's great fun watching the two of them snarl at each other like a couple of wild dogs.
Ida Lupino and Alexander Knox do some of their best work as the two castaways rescued by Larson's vessel. Lupino plays a female ex-convict trying to conceal her past, and Knox is an effete writer whom Larson decides to educate in what he considers the ways of the real world.
Gene Lockhart and Barry Fitzgerald are equally good in supporting roles as the ship's drunken and degraded doctor, and the thoroughly corrupt cook. It is particularly refreshing to see Fitzgerald play a really unpleasant character for a change, and one can only wonder why he didn't get more parts like this. In The Sea Wolf, Fitzgerald plays an individual so slimy that one almost expects to see him leave a trail behind him, like a slug.
Director Michael Curtiz managed to impart a dank and foggy atmosphere to The Sea Wolf that seems to suit the story perfectly, and that feeling is enhanced by Erich Korngold's moody score. The first view of the schooner "Ghost", looming out of the fog like a real ghost, is particularly memorable.
Granted, the ending differs radically from that of the book. This film's ending seems rather more satisfying than London's was, however. London was virtually forced to end the novel the way he did because it is presented in narrative form and the writer, Van Wyden, is the one actually telling the story. Warner Brothers could change the ending because, as a movie, the story was no longer restricted to Van Wyden's point of view.
# The first movie to have its world premiere on a ship: the luxury liner "America" during a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
# Seventy-five carpenters were used to build the Ghost.
# George Raft declined the role of George Leach because it was too small.