This tale is narrated from the perspective of the first mate of "The Red Witch" when the incidents at the beginning of the film occur. Of all the characters in this tale, the narrator seems to have the most dignity. None of the characters are lacking in pride, and all but the women are greedy.
For a sea yarn set in the late 1800s, the sea captain has to be a bit of a rogue and a rascal, but still possess heart. This is difficult, in my opinion, for John Wayne. I have seen him in too many movies where he is the gallant working to save the day here. In this movie, he is trying to play a conniving sea captain, and I can't get past my image of him. This will make it difficult to understand his character.
To look at the story, the box is a little off. It places the focus where the movie does not focus its attention. The attention is on the relationship between Captain Ralls (Wayne) and Sidneye (Adler). Both are greedy, but have to have the other to give life some meaning. Parts of the story seem add a love story to bring in a wider audience, but it really doesn't flow, nor does it fit the story.
I would not go out of my way to see this movie, but if it happened to be on, I would give it a view.