Tag Archives: The Sea Chase

THE SEA CHASE (1955): Change of pace for John Wayne

28 May

I happened to watch THE SEA CHASE (1955) when it was cablecast on TCM on Sunday, May 26 (John Wayne’s 106th birthday) as part of the station’s Memorial Day weekend war film marathon. This was a John Wayne film I’d never seen before and one that was a little off of his usual routine, which is probably why I’d never given it high priority before. But it turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise.

In the film, Wayne plays a German ship captain, Karl Ehrlich, at the helm of a freighter that’s docked in Sydney, Australia when war is declared between Germany and Great Britain in 1939. He manages to get his ship out on the open sea and endeavors to sail it halfway across the world back to Germany, after a stop in Chile, despite pursuit by a British ship piloted by an officer who’s a friend of his. It’s a seagoing adventure shot largely on location in color and widescreen and offers a full measure of the hardships a ship would experience on such a journey. Furthermore, it focuses on the conflict between duty and justice and raises questions about loyalty to one’s command versus loyalty to one’s principles.

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