The Sea Wolf (1913)

Drama | 7 December 1913

Director:

Hobart Bosworth

Production Designer:

Edward M. Langley

Production Company:

Bosworth, Inc.
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HISTORY

The picture includes an opening shot of Jack London at his desk in California. Hobart Bosworth left the Selig Polyscope Co. to make this film after a one reel version directed by Sidney Ayres was discarded. With Frank A. Garbutt, a financier who built the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Bosworth formed Bosworth, Inc. to make films based on Jack London's stories. The Balboa Amusement Producing Co. earlier had contracted with London to produce films from his works, but because they failed to finish their films by the date stipulated on their contract, Balboa's version of The Sea Wolf was not allowed to be exhibited, though according to items in the Jack London Collection, it was shown publicly until a court decision was reached. Other items in the London Collection indicate that the Bosworth version was shown to private audiences in Sep-Oct 1913 but not released until Dec 1913 because of the legal battle. Bosworth, Inc. distributed the film itself on the state rights market until Feb 1914, when W. W. Hodkinson became the film's distributor. A modern source credits Bosworth with the scenario and gives two additional cast members: Gordon Sackville, in the role of Johnson, and Joe Ray. According to the 21 Oct 1916 MPSD , Spencer Valentine was selected by Jack London for aquatic stunts in the series of London films and was involved with Frank A. Garbutt in some manner in the production of this film. This film was re-made by Famous Players-Lasky Corp. in 1920. Producers Distributing Corp. released a version made by the Ralph W. Ince Corp. on 26 Jul 1926, which Ralph ... More Less

The picture includes an opening shot of Jack London at his desk in California. Hobart Bosworth left the Selig Polyscope Co. to make this film after a one reel version directed by Sidney Ayres was discarded. With Frank A. Garbutt, a financier who built the Los Angeles Athletic Club, Bosworth formed Bosworth, Inc. to make films based on Jack London's stories. The Balboa Amusement Producing Co. earlier had contracted with London to produce films from his works, but because they failed to finish their films by the date stipulated on their contract, Balboa's version of The Sea Wolf was not allowed to be exhibited, though according to items in the Jack London Collection, it was shown publicly until a court decision was reached. Other items in the London Collection indicate that the Bosworth version was shown to private audiences in Sep-Oct 1913 but not released until Dec 1913 because of the legal battle. Bosworth, Inc. distributed the film itself on the state rights market until Feb 1914, when W. W. Hodkinson became the film's distributor. A modern source credits Bosworth with the scenario and gives two additional cast members: Gordon Sackville, in the role of Johnson, and Joe Ray. According to the 21 Oct 1916 MPSD , Spencer Valentine was selected by Jack London for aquatic stunts in the series of London films and was involved with Frank A. Garbutt in some manner in the production of this film. This film was re-made by Famous Players-Lasky Corp. in 1920. Producers Distributing Corp. released a version made by the Ralph W. Ince Corp. on 26 Jul 1926, which Ralph Ince directed and in which he starred, and Fox Film Corp. produced and released a version on 21 Sep 1930 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.4867 and F2.4668). Alfred Santell directed the Fox Film, which starred Milton Sills. In 1941 Warner Bros. released a version produced by Henry Blanke, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Edward G. Robinson. Allied Artists released Wolf Larsen , starring Barry Sullivan and directed by Harmon Jones, in 1958; and an Italian version, starring Chuck Connors, variously titled Wolf Larsen and Legend of the Sea Wolf , was made in 1975, with Giuseppe Vari directing. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
LAE
16 Oct 1913.
---
Motog
15 Nov 13
pp. 359-60.
MPN
8 Nov 13
p. 17, 48
MPW
19 Aug 14
p. 26.
MPW
29 Nov 13
P. 1045.
MPW
6 Dec 13
p. 1214, 1216
MPW
21 Feb 14
p. 969.
NYDM
13 Aug 13
p. 25.
NYDM
29 Oct 13
p. 32.
NYDM
31 Mar 15
p. 32.
SFExam
6 Dec 1913.
---
TacN
24 Apr 1915.
---
Variety
8 May 14
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Sea-Wolf by Jack London (New York, 1904).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 December 1913
Copyright Claimant:
Bosworth, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 October 1913
Copyright Number:
LU1494
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After his ferry collides with another vessel in the San Francisco Bay, literary critic Humphrey Van Weyden is rescued by the crew of a schooner called the Ghost . Although Humphrey is dismayed by the cruelty of the ship's captain, Wolf Larsen, a tentative companionship springs up between the two, and Humphrey is appointed the first mate. Later, the crew rescues a number of shipwrecked passengers, including the pretty Maude Brewster. Humphrey forms an attachment to her, but Wolf's intentions are less honorable and he attacks her. Suddenly, Wolf is stricken with one of his frequent bouts of blindness, whereupon Humphrey and Maude escape to a nearby island in a lifeboat. The crew finally abandons the sightless Wolf, and the crippled Ghost drifts slowly towards the island. In his efforts to kill Humphrey, Wolf is himself killed, leaving Humphrey and Maude free to set sail for ... +


After his ferry collides with another vessel in the San Francisco Bay, literary critic Humphrey Van Weyden is rescued by the crew of a schooner called the Ghost . Although Humphrey is dismayed by the cruelty of the ship's captain, Wolf Larsen, a tentative companionship springs up between the two, and Humphrey is appointed the first mate. Later, the crew rescues a number of shipwrecked passengers, including the pretty Maude Brewster. Humphrey forms an attachment to her, but Wolf's intentions are less honorable and he attacks her. Suddenly, Wolf is stricken with one of his frequent bouts of blindness, whereupon Humphrey and Maude escape to a nearby island in a lifeboat. The crew finally abandons the sightless Wolf, and the crippled Ghost drifts slowly towards the island. In his efforts to kill Humphrey, Wolf is himself killed, leaving Humphrey and Maude free to set sail for home. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.