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The combination of William Powell, in his last role, Henry Fonda, and Jack Lemmon is enough of a pull. But to have James Cagney as the nasty and overbearing captain is nirvana. The film needed more female influence, and Betsy Palmer supplies that to a degree, but she is given nothing much to work with. The end result, though, is great, and the actors show they have the timing and the grace to carry this one through.
Mister Roberts is an excellent film. It is about the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew who are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean during the waning days of World War II. Henry Fonda and James Cagney give amazing performances. The screenplay was well written. John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy did great jobs directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and humor. Mister Roberts is a must see.
Not only is it really funny, but it features an all star cast and once again great direction from John Ford.
Mister Roberts is a film that could easily feel like more of the same, because it is another film about the crew of a ship during WWII. But there are a couple of things that make this one stand out as a little better than most of the other films that have similar stories. First of all, it is not about these guys putting their life on the line and spending the whole film dodging bullets and bombs. Instead this is a cargo ship that is away from all the combat. So the enemy that these guys are fighting is monotony and boredom. That lends this film a unique feel. The other excellent thing in Mister Roberts is the cast. In particular the trio of Henry Fonda, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon made me smile every time they were on the screen. Their banter was fun, and you could see a real connection between all three. I did have some issues with James Cagney, though. He was a little over-the-top, and not in a good way. It didnt ruin the movie because hes supposed to be an antagonist, but this is where I have begun to question whether I even like him as an actor because it seems every time I see him hes acting this same way. There were also a few sequences in Mister Roberts that carried on longer than necessary, but otherwise I thought it was a solid film. It also touched me emotionally in the end, which isnt something that I can say about all war films. They did a great job of making me care about these characters. Its not the best war film around, but Mister Roberts is one that I think is worth a look.
Finished watching this the other night wit W. It was okay. Better than I was expecting.
A fun films with several major stars from John Ford(and Mervyn LeRoy. Henry Fonda leads this ensemble in a role he originated on Broadway and is supported by James Cagney, William Powell(in his final role) and Jack Lemmon(who won the Best Supp. Oscar). I liked the leads, but most the unknown supporting actors were weak in my opinion. Still, it is at least worth a watch to see all the big stars in action and Lemmon is amusing in his breakout role.
This film goes to show that no matter how much talent you pack it to a movie it's not a guaranteed brilliant work. There's superb performances here and the message of the film (heroism in the mundane) is laudable. The problem is, it's a movie about dealing with being the first officer on a boring ship. As if ship movies aren't already boring enough.
Entertaining naval comedy-drama.
Lt (jg) Doug Roberts (played by Henry Fonda) is an officer aboard a US Navy supply ship. It is the last few months of World War 2 and the ship is stationed in the Pacific. The ship's captain, Lt Commander Morton (James Cagney), is a hard, mean taskmaster and is universally despised by the crew. Roberts keeps applying to transfer to a fighting ship but the Captain keeps preventing this happening. Meanwhile Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon), when not chasing nurses, has some ideas to undermine the captain...
Works much better as a comedy than a drama. The military side of things is fairly inaccurate and unrealistic. While directors John Ford and Mervyn Leroy try to make something of the Roberts-Morton feud, the crew's low morale and generally how a captain can bring down a crew, this isn't developed very well. There is very little real tension in the plot.
The comedy, however, is pretty good. There are some great slapstick moments and there is a fun tone to the movie. Moreover, Jack Lemmon lights up the screen, and although acting behind the cinematic legends that are Cagney and Fonda, outshines them in this movie. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his efforts.
On that note, Cagney and Fonda put in solid performances. However, Fonda was about 30 years older than his character, so was badly miscast.
Pretty tepid stuff overall despite a few solid scenes.
predictable, yes, but the performances (especially Lemmon) are fantastic