Mister Roberts


Mister Roberts (1955)



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Movie Info

Based on a novel by Thomas Heggen and previously a successful Broadway play, this film boasts an all-star cast giving an all-star performance. The prequel to Ensign Pulver, a short-term TV series and a TV special, it is a humorous WW II story of a crew with cabin fever. With a commanding officer who is slightly off the wall to begin with, when the crew of the South Pacific cargo freighter decide to alleviate their boredom with practical jokes, usually at their captain's expense, tit for tat becomes the watchword as the captain decides to get even. The secondary story line revolves around the ship's cargo officer, Mr. Roberts, who wants to see some action and so must be transferred off the cargo vessel.

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Henry Fonda
as Lt. Doug Roberts
James Cagney
as Capt. Morton
Jack Lemmon
as Ens. Frank Thurlowe Pulver
William Powell
as Lt. 'Doc'
Ward Bond
as C.P.O. Dowdy
Betsy Palmer
as Lt. Ann Girard
Philip Carey
as Mannion
Harry Carey Jr.
as Stefanowski
Fritz Ford
as Lidstrom
William Henry
as Lt. Billings
Harold Kruger
as Schlemmer
Perry Lopez
as Rodrigues
Robert Roark
as Insignia
Jim Moloney
as Kennedy
Denny Niles
as Gilbert
Shug Fisher
as Cochran
Dan Borzage
as Jonesey
Martin Milner
as Shore Patrol Officer
Gregory Walcott
as Shore Patrolman
Jack Pennick
as Marine Sergeant
Duke Kahanamoku
as Native Chief
George Brangier
as French Colonial Officer
Clarence E. Frank
as Naval Officer
Stubby Kruger
as Schlemmer
Carolyn Tong
as Chinese Girl
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Critic Reviews for Mister Roberts

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

Henry Fonda stars, as brilliant as ever.

Feb 10, 2012 | Full Review…

James Cagney is simply great as the captain of the ship.

Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The acting is the only reason to watch it.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A strikingly superior entertainment.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Still an expert mix of sentiment, comedy, patriotism and anarchy.

Feb 10, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This stodgy film version of the famous Broadway success was one performance too many.

Feb 10, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mister Roberts


Years before Robert Altman's MASH would try to delineate the gray area between blind patriotism and the right to challenge authority, this popular work took a swim in those same waters. Fonda is his ever-loving liberal best as the voice of reason aboard a Navy cargo ship far out of harm's way while Cagney embodies the totalitarianism of obedience w/o thought. Sparks are gonna fly. Lemmon won a Best Supporting Oscar for his efforts.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Mister Roberts is yet another testament to the legend and greatness of Henry Fonda. John Ford's (half) direction (Mervyn LeRoy took over after Ford went batshit drunk) offered some of the greatest shots this side of Monument Valley. James Cagney also turns in a great performance if you can handle him playing a total asshole and his scenes with Fonda are great also. A young Jack Lemmon also does a great job as does William Powell in his final screen role. Mister Roberts is also full of great characters even if the story doesn't really go anywhere unexpected or far. The scene where Lemmon read that last letter pissed me off in ways any human language can never hope to describe but that final scene kind of turned it around.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Good Old Fashion Fun

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Enjoyable if lightweight naval comedy set on a cargo ship during WWII. The presence of Henry Fonda and James Cagney adds dramatic credibility and Jack Lemmon supplies the comic relief, but it's a little inconsequential.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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