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Mister Roberts (1955) Poster

Quotes

[last lines]

Ensign Pulver: Captain, it is I, Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your stinkin' palm tree overboard! Now what's all this crud about no movie tonight?

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Doug Roberts: How did you get in the Navy? How did you get on our side? Oh you ignorant, arrogant, ambitious... keeping sixty-two men in prison 'cause you got a palm tree for the work they did. I don't know which I hate worse, you or that other malignant growth that stands outside the door

Capt. Morton: Why, you stinking little...!

Doug Roberts: How did you ever get command of a ship? I realize in wartime they have to scrape the bottom of the barrel, but where did they ever scrape you up?

Capt. Morton: There's just one thing left for you, Mister. A general court martial!

Doug Roberts: That suits me fine, court martial me!

Capt. Morton: You've got it!

Doug Roberts: I'm asking for it! If I can't get transferred, I'll get court martialed off! I'm fed up! But you'll need a witness. Call your messenger - I'll say it all over again in front of him. Go on, call him. You want me to call him?

Capt. Morton: No. You're a smart boy, Roberts. But I know how to take care of smart boys. I hate your guts, you smart college guys! I've been seeing your kind around since I was ten years old... working as a busboy. "Oh busboy, it seems my friend has thrown up on the table. Clean up that mess, boy, will'ya?" And then when I went to sea as a steward... people poking at you with umbrellas. "Oh, boy!", "You, boy!", "Careful with that luggage, boy!" And I took it. I took it for years! But I don't have to take it any more. There's a war on, and I'm captain of this vessel, and now YOU can take it for a change! The worst thing I can do to you... is to keep you right here, Mister, and here is where you're going to stay. Now, GET OUT!

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Lt. 'Doc': That's mostly what makes physical heroism. Opportunity. It's a reflex. I think that seventy-five out of a hundred young males have that reflex. You take any one of them. Say even Frank Thurlowe Pulver, here. Put him into a B-29 over Japan, and you know what you'd have?

Doug Roberts: No I don't, Doctor.

Lt. 'Doc': You'd have Pulver, the Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Pulver, who single-handed shot down twenty-three attacking Zeros. Pulver who, with his bare hands, held together the severed wing struts of his plane, and with his bare feet successfully landed his mortally wounded plane on his home field. Reflex. It's like the knee jerk. Strike the patella tendon in any human being, you produce the knee jerk. Look.

[Doc hits Pulver in the knee and nothing happens]

Ensign Pulver: What's the matter, Doc?

Lt. 'Doc': Nothing, but stay out of B-29s, Frank, my boy.

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Doug Roberts: Frank, I like you. There's no getting around the fact that you're a real likable guy.

Ensign Pulver: Yeah? Yeah!

Doug Roberts: But...

Ensign Pulver: But what?

Doug Roberts: Well, I also think you're the most hapless, lazy, disorganized, and in general most lecherous person I've ever known in my life.

Ensign Pulver: I am not!

Doug Roberts: You're not what?

Ensign Pulver: I am not disorganized!

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Doug Roberts: You pretend you want me to improve your mind. You've never finished one book I've given you to read.

Ensign Pulver: I've finished "God's Little Acre," Doug boy!

Doug Roberts: I didn't give you that. He's been reading "God's Little Acre" for over a year now. He's underlined every erotic passage and added exclamation points. And after a certain pornographic climax, he's inserted the words "well written."

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Shore Patrol Officer: A little while ago, six men from your ship broke into the home of the French Colonial Governor. They started throwing things through a plate glass living room window. We found some of the things on the lawn. Large world globe. Small love seat. A lot of books. A bust of Balzac. The French writer? We also found an Army private first class. He was unconscious at the time. He claims they threw him, too.

Doug Roberts: Through the window?

Shore Patrol Officer: That's right. It seems he took them there for a little joke. He didn't tell 'em it was a governor's house. He told 'em is was, uh... well, what we call in Alabama...

Doug Roberts: Yeah, we call it the same thing in Nebraska.

Shore Patrol Officer: Well, that's about all, Lieutenant. If it makes you feel any better, Admiral Wentworth says this is the worst ship he's ever seen in his entire naval career.

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Ensign Pulver: [reading Mr. Robert's letter] Doc, I've been aboard this destroyer for two weeks now and we've already been through four air attacks. I'm in the war at last, Doc! I've caught up with that task force that passed me by. I'm glad to be here. I had to be here, I guess. But I'm thinking now of you, Doc,and you, Frank. And Dolan, and Dowdy, and Insigna and everyone else on that bucket. All the guys everywhere who sail from Tedium to Apathy and back again, with an occasional side trip to Monotony. This is a tough crew on here, and they have a wonderful battle record. But I've discovered, Doc, that the unseen enemy of this war is the boredom that eventually becomes a faith and, therefore, a terrible sort of suicide. l know now that the ones who refuse to surrender to it are the strongest of all. Right now I'm looking at something that's hanging over my desk. A preposterous hunk of brass attached to the most bilious piece of ribbon I've ever seen. I'd rather have it than the Congressional Medal of Honor. It tells me what I'll always be proudest of: That at a time in the world when courage counted most I lived among 62 brave men.

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Doug Roberts: I looked down from our bridge and saw our captain's palm tree! Our trophy for superior achievement! The Admiral John J. Finchley award for delivering more toothpaste and toilet paper than any other Navy cargo ship in the safe area of the Pacific.

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Doug Roberts: We've got nothing to do with the war. Maybe that's why we're on this ship, cause we're not good enough to fight. Cause our glands don't secrete enough adrenaline, or our great-great- grandmothers were afraid of the dark or something.

Lt. 'Doc': What is it you want to be, Doug, a hero?

Doug Roberts: Hero? Doc, you haven't heard a word I've said. Look, Doc, the war's way out there, and I'm here. Well, I don't want to be here, I wanna be out there. I'm sick and tired of being a lousy spectator.

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Reber: Say, Doc, when I woke up this morning, I had...

Lt. 'Doc': And remembered you were working cargo. Continue.

Reber: [holds his side] Honest, Doc, I couldn't even straighten up! I guess it's the old appendix again, huh, Doc?

Lt. 'Doc': That appendix of yours certainly gets around, Reber. Now it's on the wrong side. Two aspirin, marked for duty. Next.

Reber: Aspirin? For a floatin' appendix, Doc?

Lt. 'Doc': Yes, it's the latest thing. I'll have one with you.

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Doug Roberts: Captain, you told me...

Capt. Morton: Never mind what I told you. I'M TELLING YOU!

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Capt. Morton: [on the loudspeaker in reference to his "missing" palm tree... ] All right! Who did it? Who did it? You are going to stand sweating at those battle stations until someone confesses! It's an insult to the honor of this ship! The symbol of our cargo record has been destroyed and I'm going to find out who did it if it takes all night!

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Chief Petty Officer Dowdy: [after Schlemmer crashes police motorcycle off end of dock] Schlemmer! Get up here, you idiot! What're you tryin' to do?

Schlemmer: [jumping back in the water] I forgot my motorcycle!

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Chief Petty Officer Dowdy: [Referring to the letter from Forney] Could I have that, I'd like to post it for the crew.

Lt. 'Doc': [Referring to the letter from Roberts] No, post this one. It's theirs.

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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!

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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!"

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Ensign Pulver: [singing] If I could be with you one hour tonight, If I was free to do the things I might, I'm telling you true, I'd be anything but blue, If I could be with you.

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Doug Roberts: [Pulver is expecting the company of a woman. Roberts reads out the embroidered words on one of Pulver's pillows in dismay] Tonight or never. Compliments of The American Harvester Company. We plough deep while others sleep.

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See also

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

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