High seas adventure, with Wayne as Captain Ralls of the Red Witch, involved in a feud with Adler, owner of the East Indies Trading Company. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure — Rating: NR — Release Date: 26-MAR-2002 — Medi... more »a Type: DVD« less
Doug P. from LITTLETON, CO Reviewed on 2/18/2011...
John Wayne plays the wronged 19th-century sea Captain, Ralls, with a convincing bitterness that foreshadows his later work in the John Ford classic The Searchers, and his grim portrayal of Ralls hits a high point when Ralls purposely wrecks his enemy's prize treasure ship. It's been one of my very favorite Wayne films. Maybe it's the greedy quest, or the conflict between Captain Ralls & Captain Sydneye, who compete fiercely for both the treasure & the lovely Gail Russell. Or maybe it's the doomed romance that makes this so watchable. The Duke was awesome with Gail Russell in this classic as well as the wonderful western "Angel & the Badman". John Wayne made some of his best movies in the late 40's, but for some reason this classic has been largely forgotten. If you're a John Wayne fan & want to see him in a rare non-western role, then this is a definite must-see! Familiar faces in the cast include Paul Fix, Henry Daniell, Jeff Corey, Erskine Sanford, and Grant Withers
The Duke finds love & a giant octopus in classic adventure!
Dave | Tennessee United States | 08/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe this is the first 5-star review of "Wake of the Red Witch". Ever since I was a child it's been one of my very favorite John Wayne films. Maybe it's the greedy quest for the valuable pearls, or the conflict between Captain Ralls (John Wayne) & Captain Sydneye (Luther Adler), who compete fiercely for both the treasure & the lovely Angelique (Gail Russell). Or maybe it's the doomed romance that makes this so watchable. The Duke was awesome with Gail Russell in this classic as well as the wonderful western "Angel & the Badman". John Wayne made some of his best movies in the late 40's, but for some reason this classic (from 1949) has been largely forgotten. Well, at least it's on dvd. The picture quality is very good but unfortunately there are no special features, not even the trailer. If you're a big John Wayne fan & want to see him in a rare non-western role, then this is a definite must-see!"
Carolyn Falconer | Upstate, NY | 02/07/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"People are wondering why this movie is presented in Full-Screen format. The answer is simple...Widescreen movies weren't made until 1953. This movie was made in 1949. All movies made until 1953 were filmed in the 4:3 ratio. When TV came along, and used the same ratio for picture tubes, the movie execs came up with a wide format to lure back moviegoers.So, if you see a movie release on DVD, and it was made before 1953, don't look for it in wide screen..."
The DUKE and Gail, together again!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 06/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the classic "Angel and the Badman", DUKE and Gail Russell paired again for this effort, "Wake of the Red Witch".A tale of the effects revenge, greed, and bittnerness can have on people, the story traces the duel of words and intrigue between two men; Captain Ralls (The DUKE), and shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye.DUKE skippers Sidneye's prize ship, the Red Witch, and purposely wrecks her in a plan to cheat Sidneye out of a cargo of gold. Turns out that Sidneye had plotted to steal away DUKE's girl, Angelique Desaix (played by the lovely and angelic Gail Russell). Tricking DUKE into a fatal confrontation with the girl's father, Sidneye is able to marry Angelique before The DUKE can set things right. This leads to her unhappiness, and The DUKE takes revenge on Sidneye by wrecking the Red Witch.A wonderful study of greed, revenge, and redmption, we see the tale through the eyes of a young seaman (Gig Young), who Ralls sees as his younger self.Familiar faces in the cast include Paul Fix, Henry Daniell, Jeff Corey, Erskine Sanford, and Grant Withers.Gail is gorgeous, as usual."
Garland Roark's Novel Brought to the Screen
Michael Ziegler | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States | 03/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This seemingly obscure 1949 movie produced quietly during some of John Wayne's greatest years of stardom is an overlooked excellent and well written drama. The movie ties into the original story and actually opens the original book and begins the narration of Chapter one at the hands of the first mate. The story revolves around scuttling a sailing vessel "The Red Witch" that contained a cargo of five million in Gold Bullion. There is competition between the owners and Captain Ralls (John Wayne) who plays an ambivilant character who sides with whatever group is most advantageous at the time. The story is told from the perspective of the first mate and utilized the "flashback" technique similar to "Casablanca" but spends considerable time filling you in on how the present situation developed. Although this is in glorious B&W, the island scenery and romance of the age of sail work wonders along with casual romances and adventure to make this a great and interesting film to watch."
Carolyn Falconer | Upstate, NY | 06/09/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Here is a very average movie that John Wayne made during the most brilliant portion of his career. If you consider that he had just made "Red River", Fort Apache", & "Three Godfathers", and was going on to make "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon", "Sand of Iwo Jima", "Rio Grande", & "The Quiet Man"....then you have to say that "Wake of the Red Witch" was just bringing in a paycheck for him. It's overly wordy, and has two extensive flashbacks which only serve to confuse the plot more. As for the DVD, it's quality is first rate. Artisan has been very spotty putting out the Duke's films on DVD. Some like "The Flying Tigers" have been mastered from original negatives, while others, like "The Quiet Man" look like they came from a fifth generation copy. Anyway, this transfer will not disappoint."