The Caine Mutiny (1954) Poster


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  • I always wondered that for years. While watching the film today I did a research on that same question. It appears as though it was a part of the character in the novel. Barney Greenwald is the lawyer who defends Maryk during the court-martial. In civilian life he was a talented lawyer, but he put his career on hold to become a fighter pilot. He is badly burned when the plane crashes. He is Jewish and is conscious of the fact that many in the Navy discriminate against Jews. Though reluctant to defend Maryk, he wins an acquittal. Later he is ashamed at having ruined Queeg's character during the trial. He accuses Keefer of being the true guilty party in the mutiny. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The story is told from the point of Ensign Willis Seward Keith (Robert Francis), newly graduated from Officer Candidate School at Princeton University. Keith is assigned to the USS Caine, a tired 20-year-old Navy minesweeper. When Lieutenant Commander Philip Queeg (Humphrey Bogart), the new commanding officer, shows signs of paranoia and mental instability, the crew of the Caine begin to doubt his ability to captain the ship. When they get caught in a violent typhoon and Queeg freezes up, matters come to a head. With Keith's support, Executive Lieutenant Steve Maryk (Van Johnson), fearing for the safety of the ship, relieves Queeg from duty. Upon returning to port, however, Maryk and Keith face a court-martial for mutiny. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • The Caine Mutiny is also a Pulitzer Prize-winning 1951 novel by American author Herman Wouk. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriters Stanley Roberts and Michael Blankfort. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Not according to a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie that states: There has never been a mutiny in a ship of the United States Navy. The truths of this film lie not in its incidents but in the way a few men meet the crisis of their lives. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • His Uncle Lloyd (Dayton Lummis). At the beginning of the movie, just after the graduation ceremony, Uncle Lloyd offers to use his pull to get Willie reassigned if the Navy does not "make proper use of his abilities." True to his word, Uncle Lloyd gets him a position on an Admiral's staff, but Keith turns it down in favor of remaining on the Caine. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • It was referred to in the movie as "anti-flash cream". Made of zinc oxide, anti-flash cream was commonly used during World War II to reduce the chance of skin burns from explosions. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • They're a version of Chinese worry balls aka Baoding balls. They're used to exercise the hands, during meditation, or to relax the hands and dissipate nervous tension. In the book, a psychiatrist says that Queeg's hands tremble, so he rolls the balls as a way to steady them. Queeg was actually using steel ball bearings, much easier to obtain aboard a ship. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • After the trial ends, the defendants assemble for a celebratory drink to toast Maryk. While Keith makes plans on the telephone to marry May (May Wynn), Lt Tom Keefer (Fred MacMurray) apologizes to Maryk for not backing him up in court, but Maryk simply replies, "It's over and done with", and walks away. Defense attorney Lt. Barney Greenwald (José Ferrer) stumbles into the room, drunk because he feels sick about torpedoing Queeg in court. He reminds the happy crew how they turned down Queeg after he asked for their help, preferring instead to rag him and to make up songs about him. Barney particularly blames Keefer for setting up the crew to doubt Queeg'a ability to command and then bailing on them in court. To emphasize his point, he tosses his drink in Keefer's face. The entire crew shamefully exits the room, leaving Keefer standing alone. In the final scene, Willie and May kiss goodbye as Willie boards his new ship (played in the movie by USS Anderson DD-786) and finds Commander De Vriess is the ship's commanding officer. Commander De Vriess acknowledges Willie by allowing him to take the ship out. Edit (Coming Soon)


The FAQ items below may give away important plot points.

  • No court decision is shown, just the party where the ship's officers congratulate Maryk for winning. Also, at the end of the movie, Queeg has been replaced by De Vriess on the Caine, so the audience can assume that some disciplinary action has taken place, if only to transfer his command elsewhere.

    *Note: The ship at the end of the film wasn't the Caine. As a coincidence both DeVriess and Willie were assigned to the same ship. Also DeVriess was promoted. Edit (Coming Soon)

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