It's kind of close with some things being different, Jim. The characters are all there. You learn alot more about Sydney than you do in the film, and actually don't dislike him as much. Angelique is still the woman both men want. It goes into alot of details that the movie couldn't. I could go into more, but then I would ruin it for anyone who wants to read it. And I'm going to read it again someday. One thing I like about myself is that I have a lousy memory. It drives my wife nuts, but I can pick up a book I've read befor and enjoy it all over again, because I've forgotten some of the storyline. :teeth_smile:
But to answer your question, it is alot like the movie.
"I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
I recently watched Wake of the Red Witch myself. It starts really well and there are elements of the Tom Dunson Red River character in John Wayne's portrayal. I felt the ending was a bit weak but as you say the story does hold you.
I have seen this film, but it has been a long time. Time to dig out the DVD and watch Wake of the Red Witch again. I do remember it being quite good and high on my list of favorites....hmmm, well if it is there, I am glad for reminders on this site of a good Duke film to sit down and watch.
Along with reap The Wild Wind, Wake of the red Witch is in my all time top half dozen pictures.
Some time earlier we had a long discussion about wether the film can be classed as an authentic film noir and I argued that it was and is the only film of its kind that Wayne made.
I also made the point that no matter how good a director John Ford was to see Ethan Edwards go back to Thomas Dunsen and Captain Rawles.
The point that in the book Sidneye is portrayed as a sympathetic figure I believe this comes out in the film. If you are the owner of a ship like the Red Witch and have a beautiful wife like Gail Russell, you might well plot and plan to get revenge. but I believe there was a mutual respect between the two men.
i liked this film - i was surprised it was 1948 as i would have dated it earlier - a lot of it reminded me of the bob hope/ bing crosby " road to" films in its format.
the chemistry between gail russell and john wayne was fantastic and i liked the ending too