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The Caine Mutiny (1954) Poster

Quotes

[Regarding Captain Queeg]

Lt. Keith: Well, he's certainly Navy.

Lt. Keefer: Yeah... so was Captain Bligh.

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Captain Queeg: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers...

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Lt. Keith: Situation quiet; the Captain's been put away for the night.

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[Greenwald staggers into the Caine crew's party, inebriated]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Well, well, well! The officers of the Caine in happy celebration!

Lt. Steve Maryk: What are you, Barney, kind of tight?

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Sure. I got a guilty conscience. I defended you, Steve, because I found the wrong man was on trial.

[pours himself a glass of wine]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: So, I torpedoed Queeg for you. I *had* to torpedo him. And I feel sick about it.

[drinks wine]

Lt. Steve Maryk: Okay, Barney, take it easy.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: You know something... When I was studying law, and Mr. Keefer here was writing his stories, and you, Willie, were tearing up the playing fields of dear old Princeton, who was standing guard over this fat, dumb, happy country of ours, eh? Not us. Oh, no, we knew you couldn't make any money in the service. So who did the dirty work for us? Queeg did! And a lot of other guys. Tough, sharp guys who didn't crack up like Queeg.

Ensign Willie Keith: But no matter what, Captain Queeg endangered the ship and the lives of the men.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: He didn't endanger anybody's life, you did, *all* of you! You're a fine bunch of officers.

Lt. JG H. Paynter Jr.: You said yourself he cracked.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: I'm glad you brought that up, Mr. Paynter, because that's a very pretty point. You know, I left out one detail in the court martial. It wouldn't have helped our case any.

[to Maryk]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Tell me, Steve, after the Yellowstain business, Queeg came to you guys for help and you turned him down, didn't you?

Lt. Steve Maryk: [hesitant] Yes, we did.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: [to Paynter] You didn't approve of his conduct as an officer. He wasn't worthy of your loyalty. So you turned on him. You ragged him. You made up songs about him. If you'd given Queeg the loyalty he needed, do you suppose the whole issue would have come up in the typhoon?

[to Maryk]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: You're an honest man, Steve, I'm asking you. You think it would've been necessary for you to take over?

Lt. Steve Maryk: [hesitant] It probably wouldn't have been necessary.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: [muttering slightly] Yeah.

Ensign Willie Keith: If that's true, then we *were* guilty.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Ah, you're learning, Willie! You're learning that you don't work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You work with him because he's got the job or you're no good! Well, the case is over. You're all safe. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

[long pause; strides toward Keefer]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: And now we come to the man who *should've* stood trial. The Caine's favorite author. The Shakespeare whose testimony nearly sunk us all. Tell 'em, Keefer!

Lieutenant Tom Keefer: [stiff and overcome with guilt] No, you go ahead. You're telling it better.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: You ought to read his testimony. He never even heard of Captain Queeg!

Lt. Steve Maryk: Let's forget it, Barney!

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Queeg was sick, he couldn't help himself. But you, you're *real* healthy. Only you didn't have one tenth the guts that he had.

Lieutenant Tom Keefer: Except I never fooled myself, Mr. Greenwald.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: I'm gonna drink a toast to you, Mr. Keefer.

[pours wine in a glass]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: From the beginning you hated the Navy. And then you thought up this whole idea. And you managed to keep your skirts nice, and starched, and clean, even in the court martial. Steve Maryk will always be remembered as a mutineer. But you, you'll publish your novel, you'll make a million bucks, you'll marry a big movie star, and for the rest of your life you'll live with your conscience, if you have any. Now here's to the *real* author of "The Caine Mutiny." Here's to you, Mr. Keefer.

[splashes wine in Keefer's face]

Lt. Barney Greenwald: If you wanna do anything about it, I'll be outside. I'm a lot drunker than you are, so it'll be a fair fight.

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Barney Greenwald: I don't want to upset you too much, but at the moment you have an excellent chance of being hanged.

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[Discussing Captain Queeg's sanity]

Lieutenant Tom Keefer: Will you look at the man? He's a Freudian delight; he crawls with clues!

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Barney Greenwald: I'm going to be frank with you two. I've read the preliminary investigation very carefully and I think that what you've done stinks.

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Captain DeVriess: Disappointed they assigned you to a minesweeper, Keith?

Ensign Willie Keith: Well, sir, to be honest, yes, sir.

Captain DeVriess: You saw yourself on a carrier, or a battleship, no doubt.

Ensign Willie Keith: Yes, sir, I had hoped...

Captain DeVriess: Well, I only "hope" that you're good enough for the Caine.

Ensign Willie Keith: I shall try to be worthy of this assignment, sir.

Captain DeVriess: She's not a battleship or a carrier; the Caine is a beaten-up tub. After 18 months of combat it takes 24 hours a day just to keep her in one piece.

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Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Mr. Maryk, you may tell the crew for me that there are four ways of doing things aboard my ship: The right way, the wrong way, the Navy way, and my way. They do things my way, and we'll get along.

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Chief Budge: [Queeg is distracted while the Caine is turning] Hey, Meatball! Am I seein' things or are we about to run over our own tow line!

Meatball: That's crazy; we can't be... we are about to run over our own tow line! What are they doin' up there?

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Lieutenant Tom Keefer: "There is no escape from the Caine, save death. We're all doing penance, sentenced to an outcast ship, manned by outcasts, and named after the greatest outcast of them all."

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[at the Senior Officer's Mess Hall]

Captain DeVriess: Tell me, Keith. Now that you've had a chance to study "The Caine" more closely, do you like her any better?

Ens. Willis 'Willie' Seward Keith: The tour was very interesting, sir.

Captain DeVriess: The ship too messy for you?

Ens. Willis 'Willie' Seward Keith: [Keefer walks in] Well, that's a difficult question, sir.

Lt. Tom Keefer: It's a ridiculous question. The question is, is this mess a ship?

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Lt. Barney Greenwald: [sarcastically] Too bad we can't use you as an expert on psychiatry Mr. Keefer, after all, you made the diagnosis.

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Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Get that red-headed fellow over there, that one there!

Lt. Keith: Sir, it's impossible to tell which one is red-headed. They're all wearing their helmets.

Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Keith - you're an idiot!

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Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: This is the captain speaking. Some misguided sailors on this ship still think they can pull a fast one on me. Well, they're very much mistaken. Since you've taken this course, the innocent will be punished with the guilty. There will be no liberty for any member of this crew for three months. I will not be made a fool of! Do you hear me?

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Whittaker: Mr. Maryk, Mr. Kieth. The captain wants a meeting with all officers, right away.

Lt. Maryk: Now? At one o'clock in the morning?

Whittaker: Yes, sir.

Lt. Maryk: Do you know what it's about?

Whittaker: Yes, sir - strawberries.

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Lt. Barney Greenwald: Doctor. You have testified that the following symptoms exist in Lieutenant-Commander Queeg's behavior. Rigidity of personality, feelings of persecution, unreasonable suspicion, a mania for perfection, and a neurotic certainty that he is always in the right. Doctor isn't there one psychiatric term for this illness?

Doctor Dickson: I never said there was any illness.

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Lt. Steve Maryk: Will you take our case?

Lt. Barney Greenwald: I'd much rather prosecute.

Lt. Steve Maryk: [disappointed] Well, I guess I can't blame you.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: [in a more friendly tone] I'll take your case.

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[Lt. Greenwald has just questioned Captain Queeg about the incident involving the yellow die marker]

Capt. Blakely: Mr. Greenwald, there can be no more serious charge against an officer than cowardice under fire.

Lt. Barney Greenwald: Sir, may I make one thing clear? It is not the defense's contention that Lieutenant Commander Queeg is a coward. Quite the contrary. The defense assumes that no man who rises to command a United States naval ship can possibly be a coward and that, therefore, if he commits questionable acts under fire, the explanation must be elsewhere.

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Ens. Willis 'Willie' Seward Keith: How do we plead?

Barney Greenwald: Your case depends on Maryk.

Lt. Steve Maryk: Well then how do I plead?

Barney Greenwald: [oozing sarcasm] Not guilty, of course. You're a great naval hero!

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[first lines]

Admiral: 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 Navy, you go down to the sea to fight in the toughest conflict of all time. Your fellow Americans share my confidence that you will serve the navy and the country with honor and distiction. Good luck, and good hunting.

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[last lines]

Captain DeVriess: [Heavy with authority] Keith.

Lt. Keith: Yes sir?

Captain DeVriess: Take her out.

Lt. Keith: Aye,Aye,SIR.

Lt. Keith: Single up all lines!

Crewman: Single up all lines!

Lt. Keith: Stand by to cast off!

Crewman: Stand by to cast off!

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Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard, standard performance is sub-standard, and sub-standard performance is not permitted to exist - that, I warn you.

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Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Anyone notice anything peculiar about Seaman First Class Urban? A shirt-tail hanging out of trousers is, I believe, regulation uniform for a bus boy, *not*, however, for a sailor in the United States Navy. These are some of the things we're going to start noticing again. Mr. Maryk, who is the morale officer?

Lt. Steve Maryk: We don't have one, sir.

Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Who, then, is the Junior Ensign?

Lt. Steve Maryk: Keith, sir.

Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: Mr. Keith, you are now appointed the morale officer. In addition to your other duties, you are to see that shirttails are tucked inside trousers.

Lt. Keith: Aye, aye, sir.

Lt. Commander Philip Francis Queeg: If I see one more shirttail flapping while I'm captain of this ship - woe betide the sailor; woe betide the OOD; and woe betide the morale officer. I kid you not.

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May Wynn: I didn't mean to ruin your evening, I just bruise easily.

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Lt. Steve Maryk: [Grabbing a Bible] That's the straight dope!

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Lt. Keefer: [Lt. Keefer to Ensign Keith while giving him a tour of the Caine] The first thing you've got to learn about this ship is that she was designed by geniuses to be run by idiots.

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Lieutenant Tom Keefer: [after a meeting between the officers and Captain Queeg] This is what is known in literature as the "pregnant pause".

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Ensign Willie Keith: Sir, you don't like the Navy, do you?

Lt. Keefer: Who called the Caine the Navy?

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Lt. Keefer: I'm too smart to be brave.

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Lt. Keefer: This is the engine room; to operate, all you need is any group of well-trained monkeys. 99 percent of everything we do is strict routine. Only one percent requires creative intelligence.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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