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Ensign Pulver (1964)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama, War  |  31 July 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 1,180 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

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.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ensign Frank Pulver (as Robert Walker)
Kay Medford ...
Head Nurse
Carney (as Peter L. Marshall)
Joseph Marr ...
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ...
LaSueur (as Gerald O'Loughlin)
Diana Sands ...
Robert Matek ...


1945, on an old cargo ship somewhere deep in the Pacific ocean: Captain Morton strives to become commander, so he demands the maximum quality of work from his crew, without granting them any freedom or favors - ignoring that they're thousand of miles away from the front. In one word: he drives his crew crazy. They are near mutiny, but no-one dares to do the first step. Until Ensign Pulver plays a prank on the captain that triggers fatal consequences... Written by Tom Zoerner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Following in the hilarious fun-steps of "Mister Roberts"


Comedy | Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 July 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El alférez Pulver  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie viewed by the crew, 'Young Dr. Jekyll Meets Frankenstein', never existed. It was fabricated by matching some newly made shots into existing footage from The Walking Dead (1936) a 1936 Warner Brothers release starring Boris Karloff and Edmund Gwenn. Both Karloff and Gwenn are credited on the screen, as is another actor, Morgan Paull, who appears in some of the new shots. Paull's on-screen credit reads "And Introducing Morgan Paull as Young Dr. Jekyll". See more »


In the beginning of the scene where Captain Morton and Ensign Pulver are adrift and Morton begins telling the story of when his wife left him, a boat is visible on the horizon. See more »


Ens. Frank Pulver: You mean after everything I've told you, you think I *could* be a doctor?
Scotty: By rights, you should be a good one. You have more people to prove yourself to than anyone I ever heard of. You should cash in on that. My family's in business. They say the big trick is to turn liabilities into assets.
See more »


Referenced in Stardust Memories (1980) See more »


Sentimental Journey
Music by Les Brown and Ben Homer
Lyrics by Bud Green
Sung with revised lyrics by the sailors at the beginning
See more »

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User Reviews

Making this sequel was really going overboard
1 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If ever there was a great movie that did NOT cry out for a sequel, it was "Mister Roberts," with its gruff, poignant, perfect ending. A bad sequel like "Ensign Pulver" is particularly disappointing.

The setting here is the same as in the earlier classic -- a scroungy old Navy vessel on the fringes of the Pacific Theater late in World War II. This movie is built around Ensign Frank Pulver, the sidekick of Mister Roberts in the original movie. Unfortunately, Robert Walker Jr., who plays Pulver here, can't match the original screen Pulver, Jack Lemmon. It's almost like they're playing different people.

That's the main problem, I think, too much tinkering with familiar characters. The focus of "Mister Roberts" was the battle of wits and wills between the idealistic Roberts (Henry Fonda) and the embittered captain (James Cagney). But in this film, the captain (now played by Burl Ives) finds himself psychoanalyzed by Pulver. Cagney's captain was hard to like but easy to understand, while Ives' version is as complicated as a Tennessee Williams character.

And how about Doc? In "Mister Roberts," he was portrayed by an older actor, William Powell, in one of his last roles. A counterpoint to the captain, Doc was a man who had grown wise, not cynical, with age. Walter Matthau, though a fine actor, is a much younger Doc in this one, and one who's not particularly wise. He's just another madcap guy in a madcap crew.

"Mister Roberts" had a lot of wonderful laughs, but ultimately it was dead serious about World War II. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. But in "Ensign Pulver," the greatest conflict in history is just an excuse for humdrum hijinks. It's really too bad.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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