Blood Alley

Infobox_Film
name = Blood Alley


imdb_id = 0047889
writer = Albert Sidney Fleischman
starring = John Wayne
Lauren Bacall
Paul Fix
Joy Kim
Anita Ekberg
Mike Mazurki
Berry Kroeger
director = William A. Wellman
editing = Fred McDowell
producer = John Wayne
music = Roy Webb
distributor = Warner Bros. Pictures
released = October 1, 1955
runtime = 115 min
language = English
budget = $ 2 million

"Blood Alley" is a 1955 seafaring adventure movie starring John Wayne and Lauren Bacall. Set in China, Wayne plays a Merchant Marine captain in a role originally intended for Robert Mitchum prior to an altercation with the producers [http://www.sover.net/~ozus/bloodalley.htm] . Swedish actress Anita Ekberg and movie thug Mike Mazurki play Chinese roles. The film was written by Albert Sidney Fleischman from his novel, directed by William Wellman and produced by Wayne's Batjac Productions.

Two decades later, John Wayne and Lauren Bacall would make one more film together, "The Shootist" (1976).

Plot

"Blood Alley" tells the story of Captain Tom Wilder (Wayne) whom locals rescue from the Chinese Communists. He ends up attempting to take the people of the village to Hong Kong by a small, rotten paddle steamer.

Wayne's love interest is the tough and determined Cathy Grainger (Bacall) whose father is a medical missionary.

Promotion and critical reception

Originally to star Robert Mitchum who was fired from the production by Wellman, Wayne took the lead over after Gregory Peck turned the film down and Humphrey Bogart wanted a large amount of money. [ [http://www.dukewayne.com/archive/index.php/t-1814.html Blood Alley (1955) [Archive - JWMB - The Original John Wayne Message Board! ] ]

The film was promoted by the appearance of Wayne on the number-one rated T.V. show I Love Lucy. In an unusual two-episode arc airing as the show's season opener on October 10, 1955, Lucy and Ethel steal Wayne's footprints from the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater the night before the premiere of "Blood Alley," and complications ensue.

Despite the star power of its lead actors and director, "Blood Alley" received a lukewarm reception from critics [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/blood_alley/] . The New York Times proclaimed, "Blood Alley", despite its exotic, oriental setting, is a standard chase melodrama patterned on a familiar blueprint." [http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?_r=2&title1=&title2=Blood%20Alley&reviewer=A.%20W.&v_id=6091&pdate=19551006&partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes&oref=slogin&oref=login] Today's critics have focused on "Blood Alley"'s anti-communist aspect, website sover.net calling it "only a banal actioner" [http://www.sover.net/~ozus/bloodalley.htm] and DVDtalk proclaiming it "preposterous but entertaining" and claiming that "Wayne and Bacall have no chemistry at all" [http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?id=15726] .

Despite the negative opinions in the commercial press, "Blood Alley" maintains a positive 6.2 rating on IMDB [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047889/] , and has more positive than negative reviews from contributors. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047889/usercomments?filter=best]

References


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