The Sea Wolf
American drama, bw, 1941, dir: Michael Curtiz, Language: English, Subtitles: Hungarian, 100’
Directed by Michael Curtiz
Screenplay by Robert Rossen, Jack London
Director of photography: Sol Polito
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Cast: Edward G. Robinson, John Garfield, Ida Lupino, Alexander Knox
The Jack London adventure novel The Sea-Wolf (1904) was read by millions. When Mihály Kertész adapted the book for film, London was still one of the most popular authors and this work had already undergone six prior adaptations. The figure of captain Larsen, played by Edward G. Robinson, was, in accordance with the wishes of Kertész, moulded as pure evil to draw a parallel with the Nazi leadership. It is no coincidence that the ship is called Ghost because the Kertész version is just as much horror as adventure novel. In the ferry collision scene, Kertész worked in experiences he gained in 1913 during the shooting of Atlantis, which is also on this year’s festival programme. This epic work proves what a brilliant organizer Kertész was. Its value is further enhanced by the fact that Korngold, one of the finest artists of contemporary music, was composer.