Blood Alley (1955)

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    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas


    Plot Summary
    Wilder(John Wayne), an adventurous merchant marine captain, who knows every current,
    port and prevailing wind in the far east, is approached by oppressed villagers
    ,to lead them to the saftey of Hong Kong.

    Full Cast
    John Wayne .... Capt. Tom Wilder
    Lauren Bacall .... Cathy Grainger
    Paul Fix .... Mr. Tso
    Joy Kim .... Susu, Cathy's maid
    Berry Kroeger .... Old Feng (as Berry Kroger)
    Mike Mazurki .... Big Han
    Anita Ekberg .... Wei Ling
    George Chan .... Mr. Sing (uncredited)
    W.T. Chang .... Mr. Han (uncredited)
    David Chow .... Boat man (uncredited)
    Chester Gan .... Ferry Boat Captain (uncredited)
    Lowell Gilmore .... British officer (uncredited)
    James Hong .... Communist soldier (uncredited)
    Eddie Luke .... Feng's #2 nephew (uncredited)
    Henry Nakamura .... Tack, engineer (uncredited)
    Walter Soo Hoo .... Feng's #1 nephew (uncredited)
    Victor Sen Yung .... Cpl. Wang (uncredited)

    David Chow .... stunts (uncredited)
    Gene Coogan .... stunts (uncredited)
    Evelyn Finley .... stunts (uncredited)
    Duke Green .... stunts (uncredited)
    Tom Hennesy .... stunts (uncredited)
    Stubby Kruger .... stunts (uncredited)
    Sharon Lucas .... stunts (uncredited)
    Shirley Lucas .... stunts (uncredited)
    Harvey Parry .... stunts (uncredited)
    Regis Parton .... stunts (uncredited)
    Peter Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jack Sterling .... stunts (uncredited)
    Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    Albert Sidney Fleischman novel Blood Alley
    Albert Sidney Fleischman screenplay

    Original Music
    Roy Webb

    William H. Clothier

    Robert Mitchum was originally cast as Capt. Wilder. He was fired from the film after an altercation in which he shoved the film's transportation manager into San Francisco Bay. Gregory Peck subsequently turned down the role of Capt. Wilder, and Humphrey Bogart wanted a $500,000 salary, which would have put the film over budget. Without a major male star involved, Warner Bros. contacted producer John Wayne, threatening to pull out of their distribution deal for the film unless he took the role himself. To keep his new production company Batjac afloat, Wayne agreed to play Capt. Wilder.

    Average Shot Length = ~6.2 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~5.6 seconds. Both of these figures are fast for an early CinemaScope film, and much faster than William A. Wellman's first CinemaScope film, The High and the Mighty (1954).

    John Wayne appeared in an episode of "I Love Lucy" (1951) to promote this film.

    There was some surprise when Lauren Bacall agreed to make the movie since she was a left-wing Democrat and the film was right-wing propaganda.

    * Revealing mistakes: When Captain Wilder leans against the window, the wall moves.

    * Continuity: Bacall tells Wayne that the map he had been making was burned in the kitchen because there was no time to hide it before the troops arrived. A short time later, Wayne is seen writing on the same map (note the human anatomy on the front side of it).

    * Continuity: When Wilder says "Half the Red navy's out there ...", the position of the wheel and the placement of his hands on it changes between shots.

    * Revealing mistakes: In three scenes with Captain Wilder and Big Han are talking, the sampan is not moving. The trees reflected in the water behind the sampan are the give away.

    * Revealing mistakes: Two scenes were definitely "low budget" and were obviously scale mockups that weren't believable: 1. When the wood goes through the paddle, this is obviously a 2x4 going through a small model. 2. As the paddleboat comes into Hong Kong, it is clearly models and a fake city.

    * Revealing mistakes: When the ferry pulls into Hong Kong, they encounter a Royal Navy vessel with close-ups of the sailors. Ordinarily, British sailors wear a tally on their caps with the name of their ship printed on it. However, the sailors' tallies only have "HMS" on them and no ship's name.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    Belvedere Island, California, USA
    Colusa County, California, USA
    San Francisco, California, USA
    San Rafael, California, USA
    Stockton, California, USA

    Watch the Trailer



    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 16 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Blood Alley is a 1955 seafaring adventure movie
    starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall set in China.

    The film was written by Albert Sidney Fleischman from his novel,
    directed by William Wellman and was produced by Wayne's Batjac Productions.
    Location filming took place in and near China Camp, a shrimp fishing village in the San Francisco Bay.

    The real Blood Alley was located in Shanghai where Fleischman had visited as a sailor
    on the USS Albert T. Harris (DE-447).
    He was paid $5000 for the rights for his novel and allowed to do the screenplay.

    Wayne plays a Merchant Marine captain in a role originally intended for Robert Mitchum
    prior to an altercation with the producers.
    Mitchum was fired from the production by Wellman.
    Wayne took over the lead after Gregory Peck turned the film down
    and Humphrey Bogart requested a large amount of money to assume the role.

    Swedish actress Anita Ekberg and movie thug Mike Mazurki play Chinese roles.

    Well, Well, what does everyone think of Duke and this film??
    It is of course commonly known that, Humphrey Bogart, was Dukes choice for this film,
    but when his price was too high, he signed Robert Mitchum,
    ironically casting, Bogie's wife Lauren Bacall, to play opposite him!!
    I think Mitchum, would probably, have been more suited to the role of Wilder.

    However Big Mitch fell out with Director Wellman.
    and Duke had to step in, to save the film!
    This being Batjac's first venture.

    Personally, although I enjoyed the film, I don't think Duke seemed right in the part,
    and I think from the looks of it, he probably felt the same!!
    Critics, found the film, slow moving, and that Duke, hadn't added perceptibly, to his acting range!
    Although not a box office smash, it did well enough to more than recover Batjacs costs!!

    User Review

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Ive always thought Blood Alley was okay. There is enough to keep the viewer interested but as you say the role was written for Mitchum or Bogart in mind and it shows. John Wayne liked working with Lauren Bacall and her strong role helped the movie.

  • Thought it might help if I transfered these earlier comments, to the new forum


    post Dec 12 2005, 06:12 PM
    I enjoyed Blood Alley. It makes a great Cold War mini film festival with Big Jim McLain, No Substitute for Victory, and the Green Berets.


    The Ringo Kid
    post Dec 12 2005, 09:24 PM
    I have not ever seen Blood Alley but want to see it. It's one on the "To Get" list.


    post Dec 13 2005, 06:05 AM
    Personally, I agree with you one hundred per cent. I think Duke wasn't right for the part, and I think they should have spent the money for Humphrey Bogart, but it would seem that our comments are about fifty years too late. :uhuh:

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • Quote

    Originally posted by ethanedwards+Feb 3 2006, 11:52 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ethanedwards @ Feb 3 2006, 11:52 AM)</div>



    Blood Alley is certainly affordable, as evidenced at Deep Discount DVD. It is available at Amazon, but you will pay a little more there.

    Chester :newyear:

  • Hi all,
    Watched Blood Alley for the first time yesterday and greatly enjoyed it. I like Duke's charechter and don't think that Bogart or Mitchum would be more suitable for it. And Chester is right this is little late to descuss. I like Wellman work in this film too. Laureen Bacall is very good opposite Duke. So I'm happy that I saw it at last.

  • "What do ya think, baby?" The duke asks, looking to the sky...

    I just watched this film and I thought it was great. A bit of a different role for him, but cool nonetheless. I thought that the way he talked to "baby" was great, it made him into a really neat, crazy character and the movie was just fine without Robert Mitchem or Humphry Bogart. I think there are a few great lines in it as well, but I will have to watch it again and write them down before I post my favourites!

    [SIZE=3]That'll Be The Day[/SIZE]

  • I absolutely loved this film!The way that Wilder(Duke)kept talking to Baby left me laughing out loud.I had heard not too many good things about this film but it was very enjoyable.Far from his best but a definate must see film!Lauren Bacall was her usual self>>>brilliant!!!I'll be watching it again ;)

  • That's great, glad to hear it. However, when I clicked on my original link, it showed the title as unavailable. How weird is that?

    Thanks, ej, for checking on that!

    Chester :newyear:

    When DeepDiscount updated their site, all the deep links to their old site went dead. You'd think they could have found some way to point them to the updated pages on their new site.


    "I am not intoxicated - yet." McLintock!

  • Loved it and susu was a big part of that. talking to baby, the way they got the patroll boat, Old feng in his car I think it is a good film.

    Greetings from North of the 49th

  • This is a film I enjoy, the locales, the scenery, even the plot. I can not say I would have ever imagined John Wayne piloting a ferry boat were it not for this film. This is a film, however, that I have watched several might be a Feng obsession, who knows.

  • Here is a photo of Bogie and their son,
    visiting Lauen Bacall,
    on the location of this film,
    with the ferry boat clearly shown

    Bogie and Son.jpg

    Sorry that I have never posted anything about this film, but after the 2nd or 3rd viewing, this one became a film I still enjoy watching. But I have a question after seeing the above photo.....did Duke and Bogart get along? I don't know of a movie they did together and was wondering.

    Stay thirsty my friends.