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At the U.T.


"The Sea Wolf," which heads the double bill at the U.T., is neither a great picture, as it tries to be, nor as trite as it very well might be. It is the most recent of a long series of adaptations from Jack London's novels, all of which have been good blood-and-thunder pictures, but none of which have been able to rise above the essentially hackneyed character of the plot.

It concerns the adventures of a heartless, self-pitying sadist, who is out to rob his own brother of the sealskins aboard his boat, but whose plans are somewhat complicated by the appearance of a writer on his ship. In this latest movie version, the plot is further complicated by the presence of John Garfield and Ida Lupino, two fugitives from the law who provide the inevitable love interest.

By dragging in Ida Lupino and John Garfield, the movie stoops to the level of most other pictures; it must have love interest regardless of how the plot suffers. But what makes this situation even worse is the fact that these two lovers are just what they have been in almost every other picture they ever appeared in: hunted fugitives, misunderstood by Society, and asking only that they be given the opportunity to Start Life Anew.

In spite of these difficulties of plot, a very able job of direction manages to gloss over the picture's many weaknesses and to produce what is on the whole a slightly superior sea adventure yarn. The second feature on the double bill is a rather obnoxious attempt to make Bob Crosby lovable like his big brother. The plot is dull, as is Crosby's acting; and the songs (including "Fight ON for Newton High") don't help much. All in all, it's insignificant but unobjectionable.

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