A Jack London Classic Leaps to Life in 1941’s “The Sea Wolf”

A year before he forever changed cinema with Casablanca, director Michael Curtiz brought the Jack London classic The Sea Wolf to the big screen. Recently released on Blu-ray from the Warner Archive collection, the film examines what happens when an escaped con (Ida Lupino) and a novelist (Alexander Knox) are rescued by a seal-hunting schooner after their ship runs into trouble off of the coast of the Pacific Northwest. As they came to know the ruthless brand of hospitality offered by the craft’s skipper — the well-spoken but callously cruel Wolf Larsen (Edward G. Robinson) — the castaways realize they might have been better off with the sea’s mercies. This thought-provoking rumination on how man is the most dangerous creature on Earth is full of adventure and surprises, and its ability to effortlessly translate to the big screen is a fitting tribute to the power of London’s source material.

The version of the film that has just been released is the uncut, 100-minute one, meaning that fans of the film and new converts alike can check it out in its full glory. And we advise you to do just that. Besides, you won’t need any Dramamine for this suspenseful sea voyage when you watch it from the comfort of your home.