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The Caine Mutiny (1954)

The Caine Mutiny poster.jpg

New ensign Willis Keith (Robert Francis) is sent to serve on the dilapidated Navy destroyer The Caine where he finds his captain Queeg (Humphrey Bogart) is losing his mind. It all starts with a row over the dessert (I get it). Communications officer Fred MacMurray decides the irrationality is serious and when everything goes to pot during a storm Queeg is relieved of his post by executive officer Van Johnson. And the men are then tried for mutiny. Herman Wouk’s novel was a Pulitzer Prize winner and enjoyed a highly successful run in theatres where it was adapted by Wouk and directed by Charles Laughton. Director Edward Dmytryk and producer Stanley Kramer hired Stanley Roberts and Michael Blankfort to bring it to the screen, reducing Keith’s role in the drama and making Queeg less of a loon in order to secure friendlier relations with the US Navy. Nonetheless, it’s a compelling piece of midcentury cinema and a must for fans of Bogie, who isn’t at his best here but hey, he was very unwell, even if he took another year to fess up to the fact.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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