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The Sea Wolf 1941
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Jack London’s novel The Sea Wolf had it all: action, mystery and widespread popularity. But Jack Warner, claiming the title was too similar to the studio’s The Sea Hawk, wanted to give the 1941 film version something else: a new name. Producer Henry Blanke resisted, saying it would be “a detriment to the box office…(like changing) Gone With the Wind to Molly From the South.” As film fans know, Molly stayed in the South and the haunting nautical adventure took a big bite out of the box office, becoming one of the top moneymakers of 1940-41.

Edward G. Robinson and a superb cast are the hands on deck for this voyage into nightmare. Robinson is Captain Wolf Larsen, a hell-bent seadog who ranks with Moby Dick’s Ahab and Mutiny on the Bounty’s Captain Bligh. Doom is the mad seafarer’s fog-shrouded port of call…and he intends to take a roughneck recruit (John Garfield), two castaways (Ida Lupino and Alexander Knox) and his crew (including Gene Lockhart and Barry Fitzgerald) with him. Adventure – and eerie suspense – ahoy! The Sea Wolf was such a box-office hit that it was given a national theatrical reissue in 1947, but to do so, the film was cut to a length of 86 minutes, and remained that length for 70 years. Long thought to exist only in substandard form, Warner Bros. is proud to present this film as first released in 1941, restoring its original 100-minute running time from 35mm nitrate elements.

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