The Caine Mutiny
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Caine Mutiny can be found here.

The story is told from the point of Ensign Willis Seward Keith (Robert Francis), newly graduated from the Naval Academy. Keith is assigned to the USS Caine, a 20-year old, tired Navy minesweeper. When Lieutenant Commander Philip Queeg (Humphrey Bogart), the new commanding officer, shows signs of paranoia and mental instability, the crew of the Caine begin to doubt his ability to captain the ship. When they get caught in a violent typhoon and Queeg freezes up, matters come to a head. With Keith's support, Executive Lieutenant Steve Maryk (Van Johnson), fearing for the safety of the ship, relieves Queeg from duty. Upon returning to port, however, Maryk and Keith face a court-martial for mutiny.

Yes. The Caine Mutiny is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1951 novel by American author Herman Wouk. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriters Stanley Roberts and Michael Blankfort.

Not according to a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie that says: '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.'

His Uncle Lloyd (Dayton Lummis). At the beginning of the movie, just after the graduation ceremony, Uncle Lloyd offers to use his pull to get Willie reassigned if the Navy does not 'make proper use of his abilities.' True to his word, Uncle Lloyd gets him a position on an Admiral's staff, but Keith turns it down in favor of remaining on the Caine.

It was referred to in the movie as 'anti-flash cream'. Made of zinc oxide, anti-flash cream was commonly used during World War II to reduce the chance of skin burns from explosions.

Zinc cream is also used as a sunscreen.

They're a version of Chinese worry balls aka Baoding balls. They're used to exercise the hands, during meditation, or to relax the hands and dissipate nervous tension. In the book, a psychiatrist says that Queeg's hands tremble, so he rolls the balls as a way to steady them. Queeg was actually using steel ball bearings, much easier to obtain aboard a ship.

How does the movie end?

After the trial ends, the defendants assemble for a celebratory drink to toast Maryk. While Keith makes plans on the telephone to marry May (May Wynn), Lt Tom Keefer (Fred MacMurray) apologizes to Maryk for not backing him up in court, but Maryk simply replies, 'It's over and done with,' and walks away. Defense attorney Lt. Barney Greenwald (José Ferrer) stumbles into the room, drunk because he feels sick about torpedoing Queeg in court. He reminds the happy crew how they turned down Queeg after he asked for their help, preferring instead to rag him and to make up songs about him. Barney particularly blames Keefer for setting up the crew to doubt Queeg'a ability to command and then bailing on them in court. To emphasize his point, he tosses his drink in Keefer's face. The entire crew shamefully exits the room, leaving Keefer standing alone. In the final scene, Willie and May kiss goodbye as Willie boards the Caine to find that Queeg has been replaced by Commander De Vriess (Tom Tully), who indulgently lets Willie Keith take the ship out to sea.

What happened to Queeg?

No court decision is shown, just the party where the ship's officers congratulate Maryk for winning. Also, at the end of the movie, Queeg has been replaced by De Vriess on the Caine, so the audience can assume that some disciplinary action has taken place, if only to transfer his command elsewhere.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 7 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: hisgrandmogulhighness, critic-2, bj_kuehl, tfilm78, ustye

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