The Sea Wolf


Action / Adventure / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright79%
IMDb Rating7.5103941

boatfugitiveshipwreckedwolf larsen

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Howard Da Silva Photo
Howard Da Silva as Harrison
Ida Lupino Photo
Ida Lupino as Ruth Brewster
Edward G. Robinson Photo
Edward G. Robinson as 'Wolf' Larsen
John Garfield Photo
John Garfield as George Leach
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
824.59 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S ...
1.57 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 27 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10

Tale of a sadist that loved to play god.

I cannot in any way compare this to Jack London's novel, as I have never read it and would sooner eat glass than read another of his tales (after all, I've read "Heart of Darkness" and this is more than any person should have to read). However, it was a strange and dandy movie--and a wonderful showcase for Edward G. Robinson.

The story begins ashore. While people are out trying to shanghai a crew for an accursed ship, John Garfield's character actually voluntarily goes--after slugging the guy trying to slip him a mickey. However, despite his presence throughout the film, he isn't the star or even co-star of the film despite the billing. The film is first and foremost Robinson's, as he plays a delightfully sadistic man who, like the story he adores ("Paradise Lost") would rather be boss on his horrible ship than serve anywhere else. Alexander Knox, while not a household name, is on hand as the co-star--an intellectual man who is forced to stay aboard and become the father-confessor, so to speak, for the sadistic Robinson. Somehow, despite being an evil and unrepentant man, Robinson NEEDS Knox to understand and somehow connect with him. It's a wonderfully bizarre character study--not just of Robinson, but others among the crew--most notably the amazingly vile and treacherous man played by the usually sweet Barry Fitzgerald.

Overall, it's a fascinating old film that excels because it emphasizes characters and characterizations instead of the actual story--and gave the actors a wonderful chance to show their skills. Well worth seeing.

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

Capitalist Allegory

In watching The Sea Wolf it's good to remember when the original book was written. 'Twas in the age of the robber barons and the age when Social Darwinism became an in vogue philosophy.

Wolf Larsen as played by Edward G. Robinson represents the self made capitalist. The key scene in this film is Robinson explaining himself to Alexander Knox about how he rose from cabin to master of his own ship. You don't need it explained about how he lost his humanity on the way up, the film gives enough evidence of that. The Sea Wolf is a cynical answer to those Horatio Alger tales of a self made man rising from poverty to become a rich and good citizen as if those two qualities went hand in hand.

Neither Horatio Alger or Jack London had it completely right, but it sure is London's work that survives.

The reason it survives is that London also knew how to make an exciting sea saga. His ship The Ghost picks up two survivors from the wreck of the Oakland-San Francisco ferry, Alexander Knox and Ida Lupino. They're brought on board the ship and find out that even with slavery abolished, Larsen is still master of all that goes on in his ship. He's at the top, so with nowhere else to rise, he cruelly pits the men against each other for his own amusement. Knox and Lupino are just fresh meat to him. The ship is supposed to be a sealer, but there ain't one scene in the film of the men actually doing any catching or killing of seals.

Of course John Garfield as always is the voice of the proletariat. And the rest of the crew are the kind you find in any movie about sailing vessels. London borrowed quite a bit from Moby Dick in his portrayals. But Captain Ahab's rage was directed against the unseen forces of nature in the great white whale while Captain Larsen is only interested in owning the bodies and souls of his crew.

Two of the best character players around are in the crew, Gene Lockhart and Barry Fitzgerald. Hard to believe that the befuddled Father Fitzgibbon and the elfin Michaeleen O'Flynn is also the treacherous Cookie. But you're really destined to hate Barry if you watch The Sea Wolf.

Gene Lockhart is the drunken ship's doctor a man of some substance at one time, but who developed an alcohol problem and now is in the crew of the Ghost. He does a heroic thing, recalling the days of glory in his former profession and Edward G. Robinson has to bring him back to degradation. A person of some dignity is not welcome on his ship.

I think Jack London was trying to say that Darwin's Origin of the Species and the theory of evolution that derived from it is a fine thing for scientists, but that people have dignity and worth and life cannot ever be just a struggle for the material things. Survival of the fittest may guarantee only the fittest survive, but that doesn't equate with the best.

Reviewed by classicsoncall8 / 10

"Ah, but you'll have a lovely time aboard The Ghost".

Stumbling across a nifty gem like this while scanning the cable listings is always a welcome treat. Edward G. Robinson is a personal favorite from the Forties and Fifties, and his characterization here of Wolf Larsen is one of his best if not one of the most vicious. As captain of The Ghost, Larsen dominates his crew with a force and brutality that rivals that of Gregory Peck's Ahab in 1956's "Moby Dick".

One of the things I liked about the story was the way writer Van Weyden (Alexander Knox) so effectively unveiled Larsen's true nature by verbalizing the Captain's inner most thoughts and feelings. Self educated in the school of life, Larsen employs an idea from Milton's 'Paradise Lost' in his world view - 'Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven'. He conducts the ship's affairs with an unyielding hand and is quick to punish anyone who attempts to express their own viewpoint.

The movie offers two fine actors in strangely uncharacteristic roles, Gene Lockhart as a doctor presumably shanghaied at some point to find himself divested of his humanity aboard the Ghost, and Barry Fitzgerald as seaman Cooky, a toady for Larsen who doubles as a snitch. We come to realize that Larsen's malevolence knows no bounds when he eventually drives Prescott (Lockhart) to suicide, and turns on Cooky after he names the mutineers.

Rounding out the principal cast are John Garfield as Leach, on the run from a prison sentence, and Ida Lupino, an ex-convict who would prefer death at sea rather than face incarceration once again. Garfield's character is particularly effective in leading a mutiny against the vile Larsen, a man among sheep on board The Ghost who would never have given a thought to exercising their will against the brutal Captain. Their own bid for freedom is aided by Van Weyden in a final showdown against Larsen as he exposes the Captain for the cheap, pathetic brute he really is.

Read more IMDb reviews