MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,147 this week

Mister Roberts (1955)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  4 December 1955 (Japan)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,234 users  
Reviews: 80 user | 24 critic

Comedy-drama about life on a not particularly important ship of the US Navy during WW2.

Writers:

(screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) , (screenplay), 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 18 Aug 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 32 titles
created 22 Feb 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 13 Aug 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Mister Roberts" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Mister Roberts (1955)

Mister Roberts (1955) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Mister Roberts.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A businessman's professional struggles begin to conflict with his personal life over the course of two days.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman
Ensign Pulver (1964)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Life becomes so harried after Ensign Pulver's prank, he and the Captain are swept off deck during a storm, ending up on a tropical island, a group of ship wrecked nurses, dancing natives and 1 very big case of appendicitis.

Director: Joshua Logan
Stars: Robert Walker Jr., Burl Ives, Walter Matthau
Tribute (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A shallow Broadway press agent learns he is dying just as his son by his ex-wife arrives for a visit.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Robby Benson, Lee Remick
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An alcoholic falls in love with and gets married to a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A one handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The life story of a salt-of-the-earth Irish immigrant, who becomes an Army Noncommissioned Officer and spends his 50 year career at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Robert Francis
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a US Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In 1918 France, Captain Flagg commands a disreputable company of Marines; his new top sergeant is his old friendly enemy, Quirt. The two men become rivals for the favors of fair innkeeper's... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Cagney, Corinne Calvet, Dan Dailey
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A crooked lawyer persuades his brother-in-law to feign a serious injury.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ron Rich
Fort Apache (1948)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
The Quiet Man (1952)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Three vignettes of old Irish country life, based on a series of short stories. In "The Majesty of the Law," a police officer must arrest a very old-fashioned, traditional fellow for assault... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Tyrone Power, Noel Purcell, Cyril Cusack
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Mannion (as Phil Carey)
Nick Adams ...
...
Rodrigues
...
Robert Roark ...
...
...
Bookser (as Pat Wayne)
...
Gerhart
Tige Andrews ...
Wiley (as Tiger Andrews)
Edit

Storyline

Mister Roberts is aboard a US cargo ship, working in the Pacific during the Second World War. He'd do anything to leave the quiet of the ship to join in the "action". Trouble is, the captain of the ship, is a bit of a tyrant, and isn't willing to sign Roberts' transfer requests. Also on board is Ensign Pulver, who avoids work as best he can, whilst living off the riches of his buying and selling. Roberts and the crew are in constant battle, even over the smallest of disagreements. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now . . . Hilariously on the Screen ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1955 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Keine Zeit für Heldentum  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$21,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The announcement for Sweepers is very close. On USS Ranger (CVA-61) from 1968-'70, the announcement was "Sweepers, sweepers, start your brooms. Get a clean sweep down fore and aft. Sweep down all lower decks, ladders and passageways. The fantail is/is not open." At sea, the trash would be dumped over the fantail so the ship's screws would chop it up and water log it so it would sink. The fantail was not open when planes were coming in for a landing. In the movie, they were told not to throw the trash over the fantail as they were not under way and the screws were not turning so the trash would simply float. See more »

Goofs

After Doug's transfer order comes through, he is talking with Doc. The accordian folder is first next to Doc, then under his arm, then back to the side of the table, then back to in front of Doc. See more »

Quotes

Doug Roberts: Doc, that new hospital hasn't got nurses, has it?
Lt. 'Doc': It didn't have yesterday.
Ensign Pulver: It has today.
Lt. 'Doc': And how did you find out they were there?
Ensign Pulver: It just came to me all of a sudden. I was lying on my bunk this morning, thinking. And there wasn't a breath of air. And all of a sudden, a funny thing happened. A little breeze came up, and I took a big, deep breath, and I said to myself "Pulver, boy, there's women on that island!"
See more »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sailing on the Boredom Sea, from tedium to apathy and back
2 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Through the collaborative efforts of John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, Joshua Logan and Henry Fonda the film version of Mister Roberts finally got made. As in Spartacus a lot of creative differences were aired and there was animosity, but the thing got made and got made well.

The film Mister Roberts is the screen adaption of a play that ran on Broadway from 1948 to 1951 for 1157 performances. It was based on the novel written by Thomas Heggen and was directed by Joshua Logan. It marked a return to the stage for Henry Fonda who for the rest of his life shuttled back and forth between Broadway and Hollywood. Mister Roberts became his career signature part.

According to the book In the Company of Heroes by Harry Carey, Jr., Henry Fonda because this was his signature part, the part that won him a Tony Award on Broadway, he had a certain proprietary interest in seeing a faithful adaption was done for the screen.

John Ford however wanted to put his own individual stamp on the picture as he always does. Fonda and Ford had done six films together before 1948 and Fonda was a willing pupil. But after the acclaim he got for this play Fonda was no longer willing to respond to Ford's direction dutifully. This led to an ugly clash on set and Ford leaving the picture. The direction was taken over by Mervyn LeRoy officially, but Joshua Logan came over from Broadway and in the background Henry Fonda himself directed some of it.

There are certainly enough Ford touches to recognize the film as a Ford product. But Fonda kept the essence of Doug Roberts as the average man doing a disagreeable task, serving as a buffer between the crew and the tyrannical captain. He makes life somewhat bearable for the crew of the cargo ship he's the executive officer. And like James Stewart in It's A Wonderful Life, Fonda also has to be shown just how important his contribution to the morale of that ship is.

And what a boss they have. The role of the Captain is a very difficult part. Though there are certainly elements of comedy with the captain, James Cagney never allows the captain to become a figure of burlesque. It's a very difficult tightrope to walk, but Mr. Cagney brought over 30 years of professionalism to that part. During the scene of the cabin confrontation with Fonda, Cagney does go into his background, going to sea as a kid, doing a lot of menial jobs and rising through his own efforts in the Merchant Marine. We get to understand Cagney, but we never sympathize with him.

Even though Mister Roberts is a military setting, the themes are universal and that is why I think it got the popular acclaim it did. I think most of us in our lives as workers have occasionally had to work in settings where the boss was a tin pot dictator, using and abusing his position of authority. And maybe we've also had immediate supervisors who did buffer between the employer and the workers. I'm sure that applied to just about anyone who ever had any kind of work history.

What allows Cagney to become the little martinet that he's become is the fact that the cargo ship is in the backwater of the war. You do kind of wonder what might happen if the ship was ever a target of some Japanese submarines or airplanes. He and the man are bored, but he's in the position of authority. Mister Roberts is the only film I know that ever made boredom a component of a successful production.

William Powell who was a player for over 40 years on stage and screen put a cap to his career as Doc, the ship's medical officer and confidante of Fonda. John Ford never met a doctor he didn't like and I'm sure that part might have attracted him to the play. From Arrowsmith to Stagecoach to Seven Women, Ford's doctors are all kinds of characters, but they are all wise and offer good counsel on all subjects, not necessarily medical.

And the collaborative efforts of the creators netted for Jack Lemmon his first Oscar as the Best Supporting Actor of 1955. Lemmon is a nice man of admittedly limited character as Ensign Pulver. But his stay on the ship shows a dramatic growth in character as we see in the finale.

The crew is populated by a mostly Ford stock company characters. In fact the only other player besides Fonda from the original Broadway production to repeat his part is Tige Andrews as one of the crew. It's with them that we see the real Ford touches. Note that horse whinny that Ward Bond uses when the visiting nurses led by Betsy Palmer come to the ship at "Captain" Lemmon's request. Bond did the same thing in My Darling Clementine to a passing Linda Darnell.

Despite a difficult birthing, Mister Roberts has become an American classic and will be so as long as we have a planet.


13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
BETTER OR WORSE IF JOHN FORD HAD DIRECTED IT ALONE? cattard-1
What was the nature of the dispute? rpniew
any younger fans of this movie grannyshirt
Favorite scene / line? southron71
No way - period. wiggumralph742
Why do they call him 'Mister'? hitzzen
Discuss Mister Roberts (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?