IMDb > Mister Roberts (1955)
Mister Roberts
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Mister Roberts (1955) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 32 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Mister Roberts -- Comedy-drama about life on a not particularly important ship of the US Navy during WW2.


User Rating:
7.9/10   11,441 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 63% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) and
Joshua Logan (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Mister Roberts on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 December 1955 (Japan) See more »
All the Uproarious Fun of the Smash Broadway Play! See more »
Comedy-drama about life on a not particularly important ship of the US Navy during WW2. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
From tedium to hilarity and nobility See more (78 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Henry Fonda ... Lt. JG Douglas A. 'Doug' Roberts

James Cagney ... Capt. Morton

William Powell ... Lt. 'Doc'

Jack Lemmon ... Ens. Frank Thurlowe Pulver

Betsy Palmer ... Lt. Ann Girard

Ward Bond ... Chief Petty Officer Dowdy

Philip Carey ... Mannion (as Phil Carey)
Nick Adams ... Reber

Perry Lopez ... Rodrigues

Ken Curtis ... Yeoman 3rd Class Dolan
Robert Roark ... Insigna

Harry Carey Jr. ... Stefanowski

Patrick Wayne ... Bookser (as Pat Wayne)

Frank Aletter ... Gerhart
Tige Andrews ... Wiley (as Tiger Andrews)
Fritz Ford ... Lindstrom
Jim Moloney ... Kennedy
Buck Kartalian ... Mason
Denny Niles ... Gilbert
William Henry ... Lt. Billings
Frank Connor ... Cochran (as Francis Connor)
William Hudson ... Olson
Shug Fisher ... Johnson
Stubby Kruger ... Schlemmer
Danny Borzage ... Jonesy
Harry Tenbrook ... Cookie
Jimmy Murphy ... Taylor (as Jim Murphy)
Kathleen O'Malley ... Nurse
Maura Murphy ... Nurse
Mimi Doyle ... Nurse
Jeanne Murray ... Nurse
Lonnie Pierce ... Nurse

Martin Milner ... Shore Patrol Officer

Gregory Walcott ... Shore Patrolman
James Flavin ... Military Policeman
Jack Pennick ... Marine Sergeant
Duke Kahanamoku ... Native Chief (as Duke Kahanamoko)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Brangier ... French Colonial Officer (uncredited)
Clarence E. Frank ... Naval Officer (uncredited)
Carolyn Tong ... Bookser's Native Romance (uncredited)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
John Ford 
Mervyn LeRoy 
Joshua Logan (uncredited)
Writing credits
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent) and
Joshua Logan (screenplay)

Thomas Heggen (based on the play by) and
Joshua Logan (based on the play by)

Thomas Heggen (from the novel by)

Produced by
Leland Hayward .... producer
Original Music by
Franz Waxman 
Cinematography by
Winton C. Hoch (director of photography) (as Winton Hoch)
Film Editing by
Jack Murray 
Art Direction by
Art Loel 
Set Decoration by
William L. Kuehl 
Costume Design by
Moss Mabry (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Norman A. Cook .... production manager (as Norman Cook)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Earl Crain Sr. .... sound (as Earl N. Crain Sr.)
George Boggs .... sound editor (uncredited)
Irvin Jay .... sound editor (uncredited)
Stanley Martin .... sound editor (uncredited)
William A. Mueller .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Dale Pickett .... sound editor (uncredited)
Philip Crawford .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Lewis .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Jack Lewis .... motorcycle stunt (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator
Franz Waxman .... conductor
Michael Goldsen .... music consultant: Polynesian music (uncredited)
Other crew
Leland Hayward .... produced on the stage by
Merle MacBain .... technical advisor (as Commander Merle MacBain USN)
John Dale Price .... technical advisor (as Admiral John Dale Price USN {Ret.})
Frank Coghlan Jr. .... naval liaison (uncredited)
Howard Hohler .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Robert Sunderland .... location manager (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
  • United States Navy, The  we gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of, whose men, vessels and installations in the Pacific made this motion picture possible (as the United States Navy)
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
123 min | West Germany:107 min
Color (Warnercolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)
Australia:G | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:14A (video rating) | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1988) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (certificate #17195) | West Germany:12 (nf)

Did You Know?

Before shooting the scene where Pulver identifies himself and tells Capt. Morton (James Cagney that he's been on the ship for "14 months, sir", Cagney realized that he would have to rehearse the moment with Jack Lemmon again and again so he wouldn't burst out laughing during the actual filming. Lemmon agreed, and when the scene was filmed Cagney claimed he was just barely able to hang on with a straight face, even after all the rehearsal time.See more »
Continuity: The shore patrol arrives with a truckload of guards to restrict ship's personnel from leaving "The Bucket" and Schlemmer drives a motorcycle off of the dock. Before he does so, he passes the ship and the truck and all the shore patrol personnel are missing.See more »
Doug Roberts:Doc, he lies in his sack all day long, bores me silly with great, moronic plots against the captain. He's never carried out one of them.
Ensign Pulver:I haven't, huh?
Doug Roberts:No, Frank, you haven't. What ever happened to those marbles you were gonna put in the captain's overhead so they'd roll around all night and keep him awake?
Ensign Pulver:Now you've gone too far. Now you've asked for it.
[Pulls out a box]
Ensign Pulver:What does that look like? Five marbles. Got another one in my pocket. Six marbles. I'm looking for marbles all day long!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Fonda on Fonda (1992) (TV)See more »
Army Air Corps SongSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
From tedium to hilarity and nobility, 4 July 2002
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States

Watching this again many years after I first saw it, I expected to be disappointed. After all, the great films of our youth sometimes turn out to be something less than we had imagined. But Mister Roberts does not disappoint. This is one of the gems of the American cinema, a poignant comedy featuring a multitudinously clever and delightful script by Frank Nugent and Joshua Logan from a novel by Thomas Heggen made into a play by Logan and Heggen that ran for many years on Broadway. The movie features sterling performances from Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell and Jack Lemmon. Fonda is particularly brilliant in the kind of role from which legends are made. (He also played the part on Broadway.) You can take all your John Wayne classics and toss them overboard with the Captain's palm tree. Henry Fonda as Lt (j.g.) Doug Roberts, cargo officer of the USS Reluctant, shines forth as the noblest hero of them all. He is a quiet, strong, fair, courageous man in a story sure to mist up your eyes even if you're watching it for the twentieth time.

Jack Lemmon won a supporting Oscar for his performance as Ensign Pulver, a kind of lazy, but slyly resourceful Walter Mitty type who talks a great game but never follows through... James Cagney is the Captain, a sour, resentful man who mercilessly badgers Mister Roberts and grossly neglects the morale of his crew. He is just perfect. The way he bellows "Mister Roberts!" or way he trembles out the line, "Mister...Mister...this time you've gone too far" delights the audience. William Powell, in his last film, plays the ship's wise and ever diplomatic doc with graceful precision.

Marty (1955) starring Ernest Borgnine, a kind of politically correct (for its time) love story about ordinary folk, won the Academy's honor for best picture in 1956, the year Mister Roberts was nominated. Henry Fonda, in perhaps his most beloved and certainly one of his finest performances, was not even nominated. Incidentally, Hollywood legend John Ford directed, but fell ill and Mervyn LeRoy--no slouch himself (e.g., The Bad Seed, 1956; No Time for Sergeants, 1958, etc.)--finished up.

There are a number of memorable scenes in the film, the kind recalled with delight. My favorite involves the crew, their binoculars and the nurses. I also loved the careful concocting of the "scotch whiskey" by Doc. The weekly letters requesting a transfer, the Hoot Gibson films we (thankfully) never see, the ever worshipful palm tree, Pulver's marbles in a tobacco tin that he shakes in Roberts's face, vowing to prove his manhood by putting them in the captain's overbin, his "firecracker," his "If I could be with you/One hour tonight/To do the things I might/I'm telling you true/I'd be anything but blue," the giddy nurses, and the infamous liberty are other unforgettable bits. But more than anything, what makes this a great movie, are the indelible characters so very true to our experience, and how nicely they meld and contrast.

This is, along with From Here to Eternity, Das Boot, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Caine Mutiny, Stalag 17, and Twelve O'Clock High, among my favorite movies to come out of World War II. What sets Mister Roberts apart is the humor born of the boredom, frustration, and tedium that most truly characterizes life in the service. In this regard I recall a saying that goes something like this: "War is filled with long stretches of boredom punctuated by moments of absolute terror." The crew of the Reluctant got only the boredom.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (78 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Mister Roberts (1955)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The Admirals' Goat paulr03
Favorite scene / line? southron71
What was the nature of the dispute? rpniew
Do skippers go on shore leave? geo1284060
Why do they call him 'Mister'? hitzzen
behind the scenes rp_roger
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World Pearl Harbor Ensign Pulver From Here to Eternity Gone with the Wind
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Comedy section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.