Wake of the Red Witch (1948)

106 mins | Drama | September 1948

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Cinematographer:

Reggie Lanning

Production Designer:

James Sullivan

Production Company:

Republic Pictures Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

A 17 May 1948 news item in HR indicated that the production of this film was delayed due to John Wayne's commitment on 3 Godfathers (see above). On 14 Jul 1948, the same publication reported that production of Wake of the Red Witch , which was scheduled to take seventy days, would be the longest in Republic's history. The actual production, which lasted from mid-Jul to late Oct 1948, took considerably longer. According to a 24 Aug 1948 HR news item, underwater dolly shots, which were taken from two separate camera pits, each accommodating a full crew, were the first of their kind. "Batjac," the name of the trading company in the film, was the name adopted by Wayne for his company Batjac Productions, Inc. formed in ... More Less

A 17 May 1948 news item in HR indicated that the production of this film was delayed due to John Wayne's commitment on 3 Godfathers (see above). On 14 Jul 1948, the same publication reported that production of Wake of the Red Witch , which was scheduled to take seventy days, would be the longest in Republic's history. The actual production, which lasted from mid-Jul to late Oct 1948, took considerably longer. According to a 24 Aug 1948 HR news item, underwater dolly shots, which were taken from two separate camera pits, each accommodating a full crew, were the first of their kind. "Batjac," the name of the trading company in the film, was the name adopted by Wayne for his company Batjac Productions, Inc. formed in 1951. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Jan 1949.
---
Daily Variety
31 Dec 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
31 Dec 48
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 48
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 48
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 48
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 48
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 48
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Dec 48
pp. 3-4.
Motion Picture Daily
31 Dec 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Jan 49
p. 4449.
New York Times
10 Jan 49
p. 19.
Variety
5 Jan 49
p. 58.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Underwater seq
Underwater seq
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Scr supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Wake of the Red Witch by Garland Roark (Boston, 1946)
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1948
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Houston: 30 December 1948
Production Date:
mid July--late October 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Republic Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 February 1949
Copyright Number:
LP2138
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
106
Length(in feet):
9,482
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
13370
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

During the 1860s, the mighty Red Witch sails the South Pacific under the ruthless command of its skipper, Capt. Ralls. One day, Ralls decides to "scuttle," or intentionally ground the ship, which is carrying five million dollars in gold bullion. Ralls orders his assistant, Antonio "Ripper" Arrezo, to lock the navigator, Loring, inside his cabin while he drives the ship onto a reef. When it sinks, the crew abandons ship. Later, First Mate Sam Rosen, Ripper and Capt. Ralls are called before a court of inquiry, at which Loring testifies that Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye, whose trading company, Batjak, owned the ship, had sent Ralls an order relieving him of his duties. When questioned, Ralls lies, saying that he never received the message. Sidneye's brother, who is one of the judges at the inquest, asks Ralls how he managed to be rescued so quickly, only twelve hours after the wreck, but before he can answer, a messenger arrives with word that Sidneye has withdrawn his complaint. Later, Ralls and Sam set sail for the island near where the wreck occurred, and are followed by Sidneye. Ashore, Sam sees Sidneye's niece, Teleia Van Schreeven, swimming in the lagoon, and she invites him to dinner that evening. After Teleia overhears her uncle plotting against them, she warns Sam and Ralls that their lives may be in danger. They enter despite her warning, and Sidneye accuses Ralls of scuttling the ship. Sidneye then explains that seven years ago, after he rescued Ralls from the ocean, he agreed to a deal whereby Ralls would show Sidneye the location of some sunken ... +


During the 1860s, the mighty Red Witch sails the South Pacific under the ruthless command of its skipper, Capt. Ralls. One day, Ralls decides to "scuttle," or intentionally ground the ship, which is carrying five million dollars in gold bullion. Ralls orders his assistant, Antonio "Ripper" Arrezo, to lock the navigator, Loring, inside his cabin while he drives the ship onto a reef. When it sinks, the crew abandons ship. Later, First Mate Sam Rosen, Ripper and Capt. Ralls are called before a court of inquiry, at which Loring testifies that Mayrant Ruysdaal Sidneye, whose trading company, Batjak, owned the ship, had sent Ralls an order relieving him of his duties. When questioned, Ralls lies, saying that he never received the message. Sidneye's brother, who is one of the judges at the inquest, asks Ralls how he managed to be rescued so quickly, only twelve hours after the wreck, but before he can answer, a messenger arrives with word that Sidneye has withdrawn his complaint. Later, Ralls and Sam set sail for the island near where the wreck occurred, and are followed by Sidneye. Ashore, Sam sees Sidneye's niece, Teleia Van Schreeven, swimming in the lagoon, and she invites him to dinner that evening. After Teleia overhears her uncle plotting against them, she warns Sam and Ralls that their lives may be in danger. They enter despite her warning, and Sidneye accuses Ralls of scuttling the ship. Sidneye then explains that seven years ago, after he rescued Ralls from the ocean, he agreed to a deal whereby Ralls would show Sidneye the location of some sunken pearls in exchange for command of the Witch . Sidneye agreed to the arrangement, but after Ralls identified the location, Sidneye had him thrown in the brig. Later, Commissar Jacques Desaix and his daughter Angelique meet Sidneye on the island. Desaix tells them of the natives' pearl-diving challenge which involves diving into an octopus' den to retrieve a sunken chest of pearls. When a challenger attempts it, he becomes stuck in a giant seashell and must be rescued by Ralls. Later, Desaix pressures Angelique to accept Sidneye's proposal of marriage. When Ralls learns of the engagement, he gets drunk and dives down to the octopus den. He tries to leave the den with the chest, but the octopus attacks, so he kills it with a knife. At his bedside, Ralls tells Angelique about his near-death experience. Angelique confesses her love for Ralls, and that evening, they attend a festival together. After the native chief determines that the pearls rightfully belong to Ralls, Desaix tries to have him arrested. Later, Teleia tells Sam that Ralls first met Angelique when the Witch arrived in Bali to pick up the gold. After he sees Ralls kissing Angelique, Sidneye begs him to leave the island. Later, Angelique sickens and dies, while Ralls's ship sets sail, only to explode passing over a submerged gate at the lagoon's entrance. Believing that he has killed Ralls, Sidneye is surprised when he walks in moments later unharmed. Finally, Ralls agrees to try to retrieve the gold from the wrecked ship, which teeters precariously on an underwater ledge. After loading the dive basket with gold, Ralls becomes trapped by debris and dies. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.