7.8/10
13,993
84 user 26 critic

Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, War | 30 July 1955 (USA)
Trailer
4:07 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A disillusioned aging decent man and once proud WWII veteran is dealing with midlife crisis as well as a tough moral dilemma. If he wants his small near-bankrupt clothing company to survive, he has two days to let go of his shaken morals.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When a U.S. Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An alcoholic marries a young woman, whom he systematically addicts to booze so they can share his "passion" together.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Fort Apache (1948)
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
3 Godfathers (1948)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When 3 outlaws on the run find a dying woman and her newborn baby in the desert they vow to save the child.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Pedro Armendáriz, Harry Carey Jr.
The Quiet Man (1952)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During WW2, Lt. Rip Crandall, who was a yachtsman before the war, takes command of the USS Echo, a sailing ship, for a secret mission in waters patrolled by Japanese warships.

Director: Richard Murphy
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, John Lund
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1863, a Union outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in Mississippi to destroy enemy railroads but a captive southern belle and the unit's doctor cause frictions within ranks.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The PT boat unit Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three defends the Philippines from Japanese invasion during World War II.

Directors: John Ford, Robert Montgomery
Stars: Robert Montgomery, John Wayne, Donna Reed
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

The Six-Year Stage Smash on the Screen! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Keine Zeit für Heldentum See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$21,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros.,Orange 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During pre-production John Ford, himself a Navy veteran, toned down the play's more subversive content in hopes of getting Navy approval. Thus the movie elides the stage version's profanity and makes the villainous captain more comedic than evil. To compensate, Ford added broad slapstick comedy and expanded the role of Ensign Pulver See more »

Goofs

When Mister Roberts finally leaves the U.S.S. Reluctant by seaplane, the plane makes a 180 degree turn to the left and makes a close fly-by along the starboard side of the ship. This shot was not taken from the plane; it was taken from a camera boat passing the ship. You can see the wake from this boat at the left side of the screen as it meets the side of the Reluctant at the waterline. See more »

Quotes

The Captain: [on the loudspeaker in reference to his missing palm tree] All right! Who did it? Who did it? You are going to stand sweating at those battle stations until someone confesses! It's an insult to the honor of this ship! The symbol of our cargo record has been destroyed and I'm going to find out who did it if it takes all night!
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 »

Connections

Featured in The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"Sound the General Alarm"
13 October 2005 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Somewhere between tedium and apathy the U.S.S. Reluctant sails to this day with it's crew of U.S. navy swabs who have to deliver cargoes of supplies to our men fighting the enemy (Japan) in World War II. The war is long over, but the spirit of men rotting under a vicious squirt of a Captain, with only an intelligent cargo officer (Lt. Doug Roberts) protecting them, remains an image that people retain sixty years after Japan surrendered.

In another review, I mentioned that (ironically) the American naval mutiny everyone recalls is that on board the U.S.S.Caine in the Herman Wouk novel and the film made as a result. That like "Mr. Roberts" was fictional, but the two stories have taken on a life of their own. The stories transcended the events that were the backgrounds for them. Oddly enough, both stories eventually center upon the events of the closing part of the Pacific War: THE CAINE MUTINY going up to the typhoon before the battle of Okinawa in January 1945 (Roberts sees part of the fleet headed for Okinawa early in MR. ROBERTS), and Roberts getting transferred to the battle zone where he dies after Germany's surrender in May 1945.

Despite problems between John Ford and star Henry Fonda, that led to Ford's removal as director, the film actually is one of those movies where several hands were involved and the results were good (like GONE WITH THE WIND). Fonda had been in the Broadway production and worked on it with Leland Heyward and Joshua Logan, so he knew precisely what was necessary for the film. Ford, before he was fired, set up the film perfectly - he was an old "navy" man himself, so he brought a sense of reality to the project that (mercifully) was not damaged.

One thing that Ford did which was worthwhile was casting Jack Lemmon (then at the start of his film career) as Ensign Frank Thurlow Pulver, would-be sex object and would-be pain-in-the-ass to the Captain. Lemmon had somehow caught Ford's eye, and had actually done a test for a current project that Ford was planning, THE LONG GREY LINE. Lemmon told an interviewer on AMC years ago that Ford gave him the test for the role that went to Tyrone Power, and Lemmon was delivering a speech as an old Irish-American man, complete with a brogue. Ford later told Lemmon he was dreadful for the role in THE LONG GREY LINE, but he wanted him for Pulver. It was a great opportunity, as it netted Lemmon the first of his two Oscars (here for best supporting actor). He would have some great moments here, singing "If I can be with you" several times in the film, watching Fonda and William Powell turn a bottle of Coca Cola into Scotch, explaining to an amazed Jimmy Cagney that he has been the laundry officer on the boat for over a year but has managed never to see Cagney, causing a massive explosion in the ship's laundry on May 8, 1945, and finally pulling his guts together and taking up where Fonda left off as the movie ends.

Fonda, Cagney, Powell, and Ward Bond were all old hands in film. For William Powell, "Doc" would be his last movie role - but a good one as it showed his humanity and wryness so well. Towards the end, he shows Ward Bond that his wife selected a new wall paper for home, and sent him a sample (I keep imagining the wife, of course, is Myrna Loy, but that is besides the point). Cagney had a number of films left in the next five years (and two follow movies in the 1980s), and Fonda would have movies and stage work (and a final Oscar for his last film, ON GOLDEN POND) in 1982. But the scenes between Cagney and Fonda were wonderful, with the latter (even when explaining what caused his miserable personality) failing to win audience sympathy. Fonda does knuckle under to help the crew, but his act of defiance (throwing the palm tree off the boat) ends his deference to this tyrant. It is typical of Cagney's acting gifts that he balances the comic and ruthless aspects of his villains. When he finds the palm tree destroyed he starts screaming the line in the "Summary" Line above. As for Bond, besides giving his role as Robert's cargo assistant good mileage, he also makes the word "coffee" have a disgusting and ironic connotation at the film's end. It was a terrific cast in a great film.


16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 84 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed