Wake of the Red Witch

Overview

This unusual, dreamlike John Wayne vehicle is set in the East Indies. The focus of the film is the deadly rivalry between two men of the sea. Ship's captain Rails John Wayne nurses a long-standing grudge against shipping magnate Van Schreeven Luther Adler. The reason for the animosity: Van Schreeven stole away Rails' love, Angelique Gail Russell. Revenge has warped Rails to point that sometimes he seems to be the heavy of the picture. Complications involving valuable pearls ensue before the offbeat climax, which ...
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Overview

This unusual, dreamlike John Wayne vehicle is set in the East Indies. The focus of the film is the deadly rivalry between two men of the sea. Ship's captain Rails John Wayne nurses a long-standing grudge against shipping magnate Van Schreeven Luther Adler. The reason for the animosity: Van Schreeven stole away Rails' love, Angelique Gail Russell. Revenge has warped Rails to point that sometimes he seems to be the heavy of the picture. Complications involving valuable pearls ensue before the offbeat climax, which finds Rails scuttling his own vessel, the Red Witch, as means of getting even. The film's resolution is one of the strangest ever concocted for a Wayne picture. Wake of the Red Witch represented the second screen teaming of John Wayne and Gail Russell; the film must also have held some special significance for Wayne, since he named his own production company, Batjac, after the shipping firm depicted in the picture.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
One of John Wayne's more unusual ventures, Wake of the Red Witch is a mixed bag of a movie, containing some haunting moments that stick in the mind long after the film ends. Chief among these is the ending, a fantasy that shouldn't work but which makes quite an impression. This and the other memorable moments have a strange, dream-like quality to them that demonstrates that at least one of the men at the helm (John Farrow and Edward Ludwig) was going for an odd, poetic approach. That approach is not carried all the way through, and the unevenness of the direction matches that of the script, which is a jumble of the good and the bad, with a good helping of credibility issues thrown in to complicate things. It also doesn't help matters that far too much of this sea picture is clearly filmed in a studio; the artificiality gets seriously in the way of the artifice. Witch does boast solid performances, with Wayne in top form and demonstrating a greater range than was often demanded of him. Luther Adler is a fine foil for him, and Gail Russell is quite believable as the third point of the triangle. Despite its flaws, many will find many moments in Witch that are hard to forget.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/23/2013
  • UPC: 887090059404
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Presentation: B&W
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 30,112

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Capt. Ralls
Gail Russell Angelique Desaix
Gig Young Sam Rosen
Luther Adler Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye
Adele Mara Teleia Van Schreeven
Eduard Franz Harmenszoon Van Schreeven
Grant Withers Capt. Wilde Younger
Henry Daniell Jacques Desaix
Paul Fix Antonio "Ripper" Arrezo
Dennis Hoey Capt. Munsey
Jeff Corey Mr. Loring
Erskine Sanford Doktor Van Arken
Duke Kahanamoku Va Nuke
Carlos Thompson Hekkim
Harry Vejar Jarma
Grant Means Dirk
Fred Fox Ship's Surgeon
Leo C. Richmond Native Priest
Kuka Tuitama
Norman Rainey Lawyer
Wallace Scott Sailor
Chuck Roberson Stunts
John Wengraf Prosecutor
Henry Brandon Kurinua
Myron Healey Seaman on Red Witch
John M. Pickard 2nd diver
Harlan Warde Seaman handling diving line
Fernando Alvarado Maru
Jose Alvarado Taluna
Mickey Simpson 2nd officer
Jim Nolan 1st diver
David Clarke Mullins
Al Kikume Native servant
Fred Libby Sailor
Robert Wood Young sailor
Fred Graham Sailor
Rory Mallinson Officer
Technical Credits
Edward Ludwig Director
Harry Brown Screenwriter
Kenneth Gamet Screenwriter
Edmund Grainger Producer
Reggie Lanning Cinematographer
Theodore Lydecker Special Effects
Howard Lydecker Special Effects
Nathan Scott Score Composer
James Sullivan Art Director
Richard Van Enger Editor
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