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The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1988)

PG | | Drama, War | TV Movie 8 May 1988
A full-length adaptation, originally staged as a play, of the court-martial segment from the novel "The Caine Mutiny".

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Jenkins ...
Danny Darst ...
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Dr. Forrest Lundeen
Ken Michels ...
Ronald Lynch ...
Signalman Third Class Junius Urban
David Miller ...
Stenographer
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Legal Assistant
David Barnett ...
Legal Assistant
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Party Guest
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Storyline

A full-length adaptation, originally staged as a play, of the court-martial segment from the novel "The Caine Mutiny".

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 May 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Gallagher's first film with Robert Altman. He would reunite with the director for The Player (1992) and Short Cuts (1993). See more »

Goofs

The gymnasium floor where trial is held has modern basketball court markings. See more »

Connections

Version of Myteriet på Caine (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Interesting Variant on the story
23 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The television movie version of THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL is a nice production by Robert Altman. It lacks the briny spirit of the film

  • so much of which was shot on ships or at sea (including a typhoon


sequence). But it is taught and claustrophobic for most of the story - it being set in the Court-Martial room (a bit of the end of the play is at the post-trial acquittal party). The results is a different telling of the story, and one relying on the audience's own evaluation of the truth or lies of the different witnesses. While it still ends in the revelation of Queeg's (Brad Davis's) behavior on the stand, there is more that comes out.

I've mentioned this when reviewing the movie. Queeg is first taken down a peg by Greenwald (Eric Bogosian) not on issues of fitness of command, but on his honesty. It turns out that Queeg (like other commanders of the naval ships) were allowed a certain level of tax free purchases from Hawaii to the mainland of various luxury items, such as alcohol. Queeg had overused this right - actually exceeded the legal limit, and was chastised for this by the Pearl Harbor command. Queeg denies this happened, but Greenwald explains that he can ask for an hour's delay to get the necessary officers to come and testify if necessary. So Queeg suddenly "remembers" there was some kind of chastisement. It is the first misstep the Captain makes in his testimony.

Greenwald also faces secret hostility (not shown in the film, by the way) as a Jewish officer. There is an undercurrent working against Greenwald and his clients in the anti-Semitism of the Navy brass, especially the prosecutor. At the end of the trial, aware that Greenwald has destroyed what should have been an open-and-shut case of mutiny, the prosecutor actually reveals his anti-Semitic feelings about the "tricks" used by Greenwald.

The other major change is at the conclusion. In the film, a drunken Greenwald (Jose Ferrer) confronts Lt. Tom Keefer (Fred MacMurray) at the celebration party as the real manipulator of the Caine Mutiny, who kept himself clean at the expense of Maryk and Keith), and after tossing a drink into his face and saying if he wants to make anything of it to come outside. Greenwald also tells off the crew officers present that they failed to give Queeg the support he asked for at one point - that Queeg for all his flaws was defending the country while they were nice and safe. The stunned men leave the party one by one, leaving a disgraced Keefer all alone.

In the play, Greenwald does show up, and does tell off Keefer and the crew's officers, but all the officers (except Keefer, who is disgraced), are already drunk, and they don't listen to what Greenwald is saying. Not even Maryk and Keith (Jeff Daniels and Daniel Jenkins) - who are too busy celebrating to care. It is an interesting difference from the movie's conclusion. Nice production, with a different style and angle to the story.


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