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With: Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Alexander Knox, Gene Lockhart, Barry Fitzgerald, Stanley Ridges, David Bruce, Francis McDonald, Howard Da Silva, Frank Lackteen
Written by: Robert Rossen, based on a novel by Jack London
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 100
Date: 03/21/1941

The Sea Wolf (1941)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Ghost Writer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

A loose adaptation of Jack London's 1904 novel, with a tacked-on romance, Michael Curtiz's The Sea Wolf is nonetheless an intelligent, rousing adventure. Mild-mannered writer Humphrey Van Weyden (Alexander Knox) and escaped convict Ruth Webster (Ida Lupino) are rescued at sea by the Ghost, a seal-hunting ship. The captain, Wolf Larsen (Edward G. Robinson), insists that they must remain aboard for the entire journey, and puts Van Weyden to work in the galley. Larsen is vicious and cruel, but also incredibly well-read and dangerously smart, and he enjoys discussions with Van Weyden. There's an attack, an escape, and, of course, a romance. Barry Fitzgerald co-stars as the nasty "Cookie," Gene Lockhart is the drunken ship's doctor, and John Garfield has an uncharacteristically tender role as George Leach, who donates blood to save Ruth. The music score is by the incomparable Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Future director Robert Rossen (The Hustler) wrote the screenplay, attempting to include modern day references to fascism.

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