Screenplay: James Warner Bellah
Release: Warner Archive
I think I have exhausted the chances that I want to give John Wayne. But I really want to understand what it is about his films that makes him so revered.
German naval officer Karl Ehrlich loves his country but hates Hitler. Busted to the command of a lowly freighter docked in Australia as World War II erupts, Ehrlich must choose: be interned by the British or sail to Germany so his men can determine their own fates. On a foggy night, Ehrlich decides – and casts off!
John Wayne as Ehrlich and Lana Turner as a woman forced into Nazi espionage are a formidable romantic team in this harrowing adventure directed by John Farrow (Wake Island, Hondo). Through a relentless high-seas pursuit, Ehrlich drives his exhausted men (James Arness, Tab Hunter and others). The pursuing British have the navy that rules the waves. The freighter Ergenstrasse has the Duke. Any action fan knows that’s an even – and exciting – match!
Listen, if you are a fan of The Duke you will probably be offended by what I am about to say. The man is not a good actor. He just isn’t, there are a few decent performances but there is one character who has been in 200 plus movies. Like a boring Quantum Leap. For every Rio Bravo there are dozens of real stinkers.
Sometimes they make an alright film around the Wayne character but there is little reason to watch them. But they are reliable if you are a fan. I am not. I like the bad model effects but that’s about it.
You are either a John Wayne fan or you are not, to each their own. I cannot recommend this one. But if you are excited by the title of this post then you are already interested and I can tell you that it looks good and sounds fine.
Director: 5 – Cinematography: 6 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 4 – Score: 5 – Sound: 6 – Story: 6 – Script: 5 – Effects: 7 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 6 – Keeps interest: 4 – Lasting: 5