During the World War II, the crew of a small insignificant ship in the U.S. Pacific Fleet experience an event unlike any event ever experience by the United States Navy. A Ship's Captain is removed from command by his Executive Officer in an apparent outright act of mutiny. As the trial of the mutineers unfold, it is learned that the Captain of the ship was mentally unstable, perhaps even insane. The Navy must decide if the Caine Mutiny was a criminal act, or an act of courage to save a ship from destruction at the hands of her Captain? Written by
Anthony Hughes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This marked a spectacular comeback for director Edward Dmytryk, formerly one of the "Hollywood Ten" who had been jailed for contempt of Congress and for lying under oath while being investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee because of his former membership in the American Communist party. Such was the effectiveness of the film that Dmytryk even received a DGA nomination. See more »
When the old Captain is leaving the ship, he says that he cannot accept the watch as a gift, but a departure gift from crewmen is allowed, as long as it is a modest amount and no quid pro quo is implied. A gifted watch would fit that criterion. See more »
And so today you are full-fledged ensigns. Three short months ago you assembled here from all parts of the nation, from all walks of life: field, factory, office and college campus. Each of you knew what the fighting was about, or you wouldn't have volunteered. Each of you knew that the American way of life must be defended by life itself. From here on your education must continue in the more demanding school of actual war. Wearing the gold stripe of ensign in the United States ...
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Opening credits prologue: "There has never been a mutiny in a ship of The United States Navy. The truths of this film lie not in its incidents but in the way a few men meet the crisis of their lives."
Conflicted emotions and loyalties, a conflicted captain, and a conflicted movie...
Director Edward Dmytryk and screenwriter Stanlet Roberts, adapting Herman Wouk's novel, certainly didn't set out to make an anti-Navy movie concerning a junkyard Naval ship beset with a paranoid captain, and indeed their "simple" dedication at the end is to the entire United States Navy, yet the plot mechanisms are slanted in that direction even if the handling is not. Beginning the picture with a green "Princeton tiger" and Naval Academy grad attempting to woo a band singer before duty calls was a safe, stolid move, yet Wouk's story manages to cut much wider and deeper than the Hollywood generalities, and once his plot gets cooking the film is vastly entertaining. Humphrey Bogart is the new by-the-books captain aboard a Naval bottom-feeder, quickly driving his crew and his vessel into the ground with his idiosyncratic behavior. Dymtryk is careful while introducing all the different personalities aboard ship, and he doesn't want us to miss a trick, yet in the film's final stages (after the court martial, when defense attorney José Ferrer has his say), the tone of the picture does an about-face and hopes to show us all sides of the situation. The filmmakers want to have their cake and eat it too, and the resulting epilogue goes down like bad medicine. Still, the performances are first-rate, particularly by Bogart and, in perhaps his finest acting turn, Van Johnson. *** from ****
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