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 »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 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:

Now . . . Hilariously on the Screen ! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the second highest-grossing film of 1955. See more »

Goofs

Just before Roberts leaves the ship Dolan tells him the Captain has had a new palm tree dug up and placed a 24-hour guard around it. But when Pulver later goes to throw the palm overboard, there is no guard anywhere near it. See more »

Quotes

Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts: We've got nothing to do with the war. Maybe that's why we're on this ship, cause we're not good enough to fight. Cause our glands don't secrete enough adrenaline, or our great-great-grandmothers were afraid of the dark or something.
Doc: What is it you want to be, Doug, a hero?
Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts: Hero? Doc, you haven't heard a word I've said. Look, Doc, the war's way out there, and I'm here. Well, I don't want to be here, I wanna be out there. I'm sick and tired of being a lousy spectator.
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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 The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Stars and Stripes Forever
(uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

Henry Fonda at his best
14 December 2000 | by mermattSee all my reviews

This is the story of how the human spirit is threatened not only by the brutality of war but also, in more subtle ways, by boredom and bureacracy as well as the egos of small-minded people.

Fonda and Cagney are wonderful as the battling duo who fight over the morale of the ship's crew. Human sacrifice comes in many forms, and Fonda's character demonstrates them all through the course of the film.

Mixing comedy with genuine issues of human dignity, the film is a true classic.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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