THE SEA WOLVES is a sad affair, as fond hopes were attached to bringing Gregory Peck and David Niven together again, nineteen years after they blew up The Guns Of Navarone. Give them a neat idea: a group of retired English officers—‘the Calcutta Light Horse’— come together to hush-hush demolish a clutch of Nazi ships operating out of the neutral Portuguese enclave of Goa on the coast of India. Add a somewhat junior Roger Moore, taking a Bond-break, and old pros Trevor Howard, Patrick Macnee, Kenneth Griffith, Jack Watson, Allan Cuthbertson, Percy Herbert and Donald Houston. Shoot on location. Can’t miss.
Yes, you can, by a mile, if in your $11,500,000 budget you skimp so the special effects look amateurish, and you assign direction to Andrew V. McLaglen, who injects iron-poor tired blood into the proceedings, cheeses on camera setups and staging, dulling action and thudding the jokes. Was everything done in one take? It aches like arthritis. Peck’s English accent is flat embarrassing.
The 120-minute 1980 fizzle was based on a real outfit of codgers daring-do, but it floundered into calamity at the box-office, scraping bottom at 111th place, making barely $700,000, which hardly covered the casts bar tab. With Barbara Kellerman, Martin Benson and Michael Medwin. Sorry, old chaps.