Wake of the Red Witch (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wake of the Red Witch (1949)

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Movie Info

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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Cast

John Wayne
as Capt. Ralls
Gail Russell
as Angelique Desaix
Gig Young
as Sam Rosen
Adele Mara
as Teleia Van Schreevan
Luther Adler
as Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye
Eduard Franz
as Harmenszoon Van Schreeven
Grant Withers
as Capt. Wilde Youngeur
Henry Daniell
as Jacques Desaix
Paul Fix
as Antonio `Ripper' Arrezo
Dennis Hoey
as Capt. Munsey
Jeff Corey
as Mr. Loring
Erskine Sanford
as Doktor Van Arken
John Wengraf
as Prosecutor
Myron Healey
as Seaman on Red Witch
Harlan Warde
as Seaman handling diving line
Mickey Simpson
as 2nd officer
Jim Nolan
as 1st diver
John Pickard
as 2nd Diver
David Clarke
as Mullins
Fred Fox
as Ship's Surgeon
Al Kikume
as Native servant
Leo C. Richmond
as Native Priest
Fred Libby
as Sailor
Robert Wood
as Young sailor
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Critic Reviews for Wake of the Red Witch

All Critics (2)

Who said Wayne couldn't act?

Full Review… | September 30, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Wake of the Red Witch

This is an outstanding early John Wayne Film. Another early days at sea movie. When I first saw the title cover I thought maybe this was the same movie as Reap The Wind but I was wrong so wrong. This movie out does Reap the Wind by 10 fold. John Wayne is a sea captain who scuttles the Red Witch because of the cargo which is 5 million dollars worth of gold in 1948 so imagine the price today. The man he stole the gold from wants it back so this makes for a very exciting movie. 4 stars for this old Black and White.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

½

I was surprised I hadn't seen this movie, at least growing up. Then to learn that this is one of the eight movies (out of over 200) in which his character dies, I was even more surprised. And, overall it's not a bad movie. I found it entertaining and kept my attention well. It's full of interesting characters who's relationship and back story are the main plot of the movie. It's story line is based on an interesting love triangle, greed, revenge, heroism, and some good old fashion sea faring action. The special effects and action is very outdated. Remembering that the movie is over 60 years old, I found it easy to look past.

Chuck S.
Chuck S.
½

Decent enough retread of Reap the Wild Wind but nothing extraordinary. Good cast, both Gail Russell and Adele Mara look great and Gail is properly ethereal.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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