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Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, War | 30 July 1955 (USA)
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4:07 | Trailer
In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Joshua Logan (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts
James Cagney ... The Captain
William Powell ... Doc
Jack Lemmon ... Ensign Frank Thurlowe Pulver
Betsy Palmer ... Lt. Ann Girard
Ward Bond ... Chief Petty Officer Dowdy
Philip Carey ... Mannion (as Phil Carey)
Nick Adams ... Reber
Perry Lopez ... Rodrigues
Ken Curtis ... Dolan
Robert Roark ... Insigna
Harry Carey Jr. ... Stefanowski
Patrick Wayne ... Bookser (as Pat Wayne)
Frank Aletter ... Gerhart
Tige Andrews ... Wiley (as Tiger Andrews)
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Storyline

Mister Roberts is aboard a US cargo ship, working in the Pacific during the Second World War. He'd do anything to leave the quiet of the ship to join in the "action". Trouble is, the captain of the ship, is a bit of a tyrant, and isn't willing to sign Roberts' transfer requests. Also on board is Ensign Pulver, who avoids work as best he can, whilst living off the riches of his buying and selling. Roberts and the crew are in constant battle, even over the smallest of disagreements. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

All the Uproarious Fun of the Smash Broadway Play! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mister Roberts See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$21,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orange Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although he played the part of Lt. (j.g.) Doug Roberts on Broadway, Henry Fonda was not the first choice to recreate the role for the film version (the producers felt the 50-year-old Fonda too old to play the role). The producers first wanted Marlon Brando, but he was committed to another project at the time and could not get out of it. Then they turned to Tyrone Power. However, director John Ford insisted on Fonda; they had made several successful films together and Ford said that he would not direct the film without him. Since the producers needed the director with six Academy Awards to helm the film, they gave in. Ironically, once filming began, Ford and Fonda saw eye to eye on almost nothing. Fonda had played the character on Broadway for two years and felt he knew the character inside out. Ford had other ideas, and on his set you saw things his way or you saw the door. Eventually, the producers called a meeting with Fonda and Ford to clear the air, but rather than leading to a better working relationship, Ford sucker-punched Fonda at the meeting. Ford left the production soon after (Ford's gall bladder surgery was given as the official explanation). Mervyn LeRoy, and later Joshua Logan -- the director of the Broadway play -- took over directing duties and finished the film. The decision was made to keep Ford's and LeRoy's name in the final credits. See more »

Goofs

(at around 14 mins) While looking through binoculars, Insigna says there's a white flag flying on the island but his lips don't move. See more »

Quotes

Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts: Frank, you asked me what I thought of you. Well, I'll tell you. The day you finish one thing you started out to do, the day you actually *put* those marbles in the Captain's overhead, and then have the guts to knock on his door and say, "Captain, *I* put those marbles there," that's the day I'll have some respect for you. That's the day I'll look up to you as a man. Okay?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The seven top-billed actors listed in the opening credits are not listed with the other players in the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Television and the standard VHS prints substitute a different march that is played over the loudspeakers during the scene where Henry Fonda is listening to the VE Day celebrations and throws the captain's palm tree overboard. Also eliminated is the voice-over of Fonda humming the march as he walks up the gang ladder leaving the scene. See more »

Connections

Featured in Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best films of the 50s
27 April 2004 | by mrcaw1See all my reviews

Mister Roberts (1955) - CO-Directors: John Ford & Mervyn LeRoy Enough time had passed that Americans were able to laugh at some of the kookier aspects about military life and Hollywood provided just the right amount of seriousness and irreverence with this 1955 hit.

Henry Fonda gave one of his career making performances in this film as a lieutenant in the Navy who feels that the action of the war is passing him by. Instead of fighting the enemy, he's engaged in a battle of wills with off kilter superior officer James Cagney, who also turns in one of his mythic-making performances. The great William Powell is on board in one of his last roles as the friendly on board doctor. The late Jack Lemmon won an Academy Award for his supporting role of Ensign Pulver, a man who finally straightens his spine and takes macho Cagney on mano-a-mano. (Color)


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