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The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (1988)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama, War  |  8 May 1988 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 391 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 3 critic

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

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Title: The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (TV Movie 1988)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Daniel Jenkins ...
Danny Darst ...
Captain Randolph Southard
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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 »

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User Reviews

Dark
5 August 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

I love Robert Altman's persona, a kind of hippy apres la lettre. He'd be fun to have dinner with. But I can never get with his movies. No matter how carefully he explains why he constructed them as he did, it always comes out sounding to me like a burglar's explanation of why the victim brought it on himself because he should never have left the windows wide open in the first place. This TV production is better than most of his movies, though. As a courtroom drama it almost has to be since the focus is almost always on exchanges between two or three people in an otherwise silent courtroom. (When Altman gets a chance, as in the party scene, he lets everything go so that when Barney Greenwald gives his climactic speech, the signal is almost buried in the surrounding noise.) I hate to be negative because, as I say, I like Altman and think the novel is marvelous -- I reread it every two years or so. But the production seems underlighted and unnecessarily dark, which casts a gloom over the exciting proceedings. The performances are okay but they don't always fit the part. Bogosian is nice as Greenwald. Daniels is a bit trim and comes across as more intelligent than he might be. (He ought to be like a brown bull getting the banderillas placed.) The Keefer character is miscast, period. Here, he is soft-spoken and deliberate, completely in control of himself, whereas Keefer knew very well that he was tanking his close friend during his testimony and was nervous and guilty. (His right foot danced all during his testimony in the novel, and he could not meet Maryk's intense gaze.) Keefer is always nervous -- except when he's lambasting the navy, then he comes into his own. These nervous tics are here given to the psychiatrist, a guy who definitely should NOT have had them, so that his frosty complacency could be more effectively destroyed by Greenwald. Altman turns the shrink into a complete fool with big pursed lips and thick glasses, which is extremely amusing, whether it fits or not. Just looking at this poor neurotic is a treat! Much of the success or failure of the production devolves onto Brad Davis's performance, and again the results are mixed. He is the person whose presence undergoes the most dramatic change, and Davis delivers during the breakdown scene. When I first saw this, in 1988, I was somewhat surprised at a particular twist Davis gave Queeg's character, especially during his first court appearance, a kind of wispy lisping quality, and I thought, "Geeze, is Davis trying to suggest Queeg was a homosexual?" I worried that he was going to wind up in a snit when he went to pieces, but Davis in the end projects a genuine-enough paranoid anger. Maybe if I'd never read the novel I'd have enjoyed the movie more, although I did in fact enjoy it. At least it was never insulting. I'd happily watch it again if it were on.


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