The Caine Mutiny Reviews

  • Sep 11, 2020

    A fine film of a fine book. Intelligent. I saw it for the second time in many years and it seems to improve with age. Studded with many stars, Van Johnson, Jose Ferror, Fred McMurray, as well as the American Navy (!) and the great Humphrey Bogart who as the mentally disturbed Captain Queeg gives one of the last great performances of his career during the courtroom scene. What an actor. The final very close close-ups show how he well he is able to portray the dignified breakdown of his character. The twist ending only gives depth to the tragic tale.

    A fine film of a fine book. Intelligent. I saw it for the second time in many years and it seems to improve with age. Studded with many stars, Van Johnson, Jose Ferror, Fred McMurray, as well as the American Navy (!) and the great Humphrey Bogart who as the mentally disturbed Captain Queeg gives one of the last great performances of his career during the courtroom scene. What an actor. The final very close close-ups show how he well he is able to portray the dignified breakdown of his character. The twist ending only gives depth to the tragic tale.

  • Sep 01, 2020

    Brilliant acting, writing, and direction. Perfect pace. Awesome and a dark film about Greatest Generation in WW2.

    Brilliant acting, writing, and direction. Perfect pace. Awesome and a dark film about Greatest Generation in WW2.

  • Jul 21, 2020

    Ok adaptation but nothing special .

    Ok adaptation but nothing special .

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    Aldo G Super Reviewer
    Jun 28, 2020

    This 1954 film about loyalty, or lack of loyalty, towards a commanding officer still holds up thanks to excellent performances by the entire cast and the steady hand of director Edward Dmytryk.

    This 1954 film about loyalty, or lack of loyalty, towards a commanding officer still holds up thanks to excellent performances by the entire cast and the steady hand of director Edward Dmytryk.

  • Feb 05, 2020

    I have realized over time that movie about men on boats, usually in the Navy, are just not for me as between this film and The Sand Pebbles (1966) I find it difficult to enjoy them. Both films employ an odd blend of slapstick humor and serious drama concerning moral ethics and the mental health of the characters at hand. The film is famous for being one of Humphrey Bogart's last big hits and provided him with his final Best Actor nomination as he gave the sort of over the top performance that he often resisted. Unfortunately a lot of the film is not dominated by Bogart but by Robert Francis who is a charisma vacuum and seems like an entirely unnecessary accessory to the story that the film wants to tell. Willie Keith, Robert Francis, enlists into the Navy and is assigned to the USS Caine which is highly disorganized and run by the casual William De Vriess, Tom Tully, who comes into conflict with Keith. The young man also has to maintain a relationship with attractive singer May Wynn, May Wynn, but finds it hard to continue his relationship with her as his overbearing mother, Katherine Warren, complicates matters. Keith retires and veteran Phillip Queeg, Humphrey Bogart, is brought on board to whip the men into shape but his strictness makes him unpopular with Lieutenant Steve Maryk, Van Johnson, and Lieutenant Tom Keefer, Fred MacMurray. He begins to blame the men for mistakes that he is made and during a storm Maryk leads a mutiny and takes control of the ship. The men are later court martialed for this action and they have clever lawyer Barney Greenwald, Jose Ferrer, defend them and attempt to prove Queeg's insanity. Queeg breaks down when put on the stand but Keefer refuses to admit his part in the mutiny and loses the trust of his peers. Viewed at the time as a great technical achievement this film looks cheap by modern standards as the constant use of green screen and bland cinematography makes it look dated and does not add anything to a story set at sea. This may have been why the film earned many Academy Award nominations as it may have attracted the attention of members who worked on technical aspects of films. I am rarely overtaken with joy at seeing something that is only of value due to how difficult it was to make. Even The Sand Pebbles had more going for it as the blue tones that color the entire film were quite beautiful and the images of ships traveling through the night had a quiet beauty to them. This film is all browns and reds but it's use of Technicolor is not as precise as it should be as there are times where bright colors blend together to make a horrific image. If cinematographer Franz Planer had given the film a more distinctive look and stood out from the crowd of military films produced in the early 1950s I would have found something to praise in the film. Other issues with the film include all of the needless subplots as while I do not find the central story particularly compelling the film could have lost ten minutes by cutting out the romantic subplot. Wynn and Francis were sold as a real life couple at the time so I found it odd that they had so little chemistry in the film. She has a face similar to Jane Wyman but she does not have an ounce of her talent and as she breathily complains about his mother's influence on him I was bored to tears. I am a woman so I find romance more interesting than warfare but when it is so painfully neutered and contrived I derive no enjoyment from it. There is also the strange inclusion of humor in a film that takes itself very seriously as we get a lot of jokes about vomit, pooh and pee. This infantile humor might have appealed to younger audiences that the film wanted to draw in but for adults it seems discordant with the story as a whole. This film drew in big crowds in the early 1950s but it has not endured in the way that other Bogart films have which may be because it is such a slog.

    I have realized over time that movie about men on boats, usually in the Navy, are just not for me as between this film and The Sand Pebbles (1966) I find it difficult to enjoy them. Both films employ an odd blend of slapstick humor and serious drama concerning moral ethics and the mental health of the characters at hand. The film is famous for being one of Humphrey Bogart's last big hits and provided him with his final Best Actor nomination as he gave the sort of over the top performance that he often resisted. Unfortunately a lot of the film is not dominated by Bogart but by Robert Francis who is a charisma vacuum and seems like an entirely unnecessary accessory to the story that the film wants to tell. Willie Keith, Robert Francis, enlists into the Navy and is assigned to the USS Caine which is highly disorganized and run by the casual William De Vriess, Tom Tully, who comes into conflict with Keith. The young man also has to maintain a relationship with attractive singer May Wynn, May Wynn, but finds it hard to continue his relationship with her as his overbearing mother, Katherine Warren, complicates matters. Keith retires and veteran Phillip Queeg, Humphrey Bogart, is brought on board to whip the men into shape but his strictness makes him unpopular with Lieutenant Steve Maryk, Van Johnson, and Lieutenant Tom Keefer, Fred MacMurray. He begins to blame the men for mistakes that he is made and during a storm Maryk leads a mutiny and takes control of the ship. The men are later court martialed for this action and they have clever lawyer Barney Greenwald, Jose Ferrer, defend them and attempt to prove Queeg's insanity. Queeg breaks down when put on the stand but Keefer refuses to admit his part in the mutiny and loses the trust of his peers. Viewed at the time as a great technical achievement this film looks cheap by modern standards as the constant use of green screen and bland cinematography makes it look dated and does not add anything to a story set at sea. This may have been why the film earned many Academy Award nominations as it may have attracted the attention of members who worked on technical aspects of films. I am rarely overtaken with joy at seeing something that is only of value due to how difficult it was to make. Even The Sand Pebbles had more going for it as the blue tones that color the entire film were quite beautiful and the images of ships traveling through the night had a quiet beauty to them. This film is all browns and reds but it's use of Technicolor is not as precise as it should be as there are times where bright colors blend together to make a horrific image. If cinematographer Franz Planer had given the film a more distinctive look and stood out from the crowd of military films produced in the early 1950s I would have found something to praise in the film. Other issues with the film include all of the needless subplots as while I do not find the central story particularly compelling the film could have lost ten minutes by cutting out the romantic subplot. Wynn and Francis were sold as a real life couple at the time so I found it odd that they had so little chemistry in the film. She has a face similar to Jane Wyman but she does not have an ounce of her talent and as she breathily complains about his mother's influence on him I was bored to tears. I am a woman so I find romance more interesting than warfare but when it is so painfully neutered and contrived I derive no enjoyment from it. There is also the strange inclusion of humor in a film that takes itself very seriously as we get a lot of jokes about vomit, pooh and pee. This infantile humor might have appealed to younger audiences that the film wanted to draw in but for adults it seems discordant with the story as a whole. This film drew in big crowds in the early 1950s but it has not endured in the way that other Bogart films have which may be because it is such a slog.

  • Sep 11, 2019

    I have great interest in films that explore the complexity of military procedure. The fact that there is sometimes a splintering between doing what is morally right and strictly following orders is fascinating and also a little bit scary. In fact, one of my favorite films (A Few Good Men) is entirely about marines who might have made a poor choice when given an order that was wrong. The Caine Mutiny also explores this idea, and whenever they approach this debate I was enthralled. I wish they had arrived at this point of conflict earlier in the film, and then they had filled more of the movie with the courtroom proceedings, because that’s when the story shines. I’m all for establishing the characters, but things like the romance of an Ensign while on shore leave is so out of place in the context of everything else going on in the story, I wish they were left out. I also had some issues with how extreme Captain Queeg acted. It became a bit comical at times, and I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to believe he ever earned a position as captain of a naval vessel. What makes all of this work is the cast. In anyone else’s hands, I think Queeg would be too ridiculous to be real, but with Bogart you can buy it. He has a prickly demeanor and authoritative presence that you believe could intimidate all the other crew members on his ship. Fred MacMurray gave an unexpected performance here that I enjoyed a lot. His aloof personality at the beginning devolved into something more serious as things escalated, and it worked perfectly as they got to the climax. I also have to commend José Ferrer and E.G. Marshall for bringing a lot to the trial, as the two lawyers. There are some moments I enjoyed more than others in The Caine Mutiny, but in general I found it to be a solid movie I would gladly watch again.

    I have great interest in films that explore the complexity of military procedure. The fact that there is sometimes a splintering between doing what is morally right and strictly following orders is fascinating and also a little bit scary. In fact, one of my favorite films (A Few Good Men) is entirely about marines who might have made a poor choice when given an order that was wrong. The Caine Mutiny also explores this idea, and whenever they approach this debate I was enthralled. I wish they had arrived at this point of conflict earlier in the film, and then they had filled more of the movie with the courtroom proceedings, because that’s when the story shines. I’m all for establishing the characters, but things like the romance of an Ensign while on shore leave is so out of place in the context of everything else going on in the story, I wish they were left out. I also had some issues with how extreme Captain Queeg acted. It became a bit comical at times, and I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to believe he ever earned a position as captain of a naval vessel. What makes all of this work is the cast. In anyone else’s hands, I think Queeg would be too ridiculous to be real, but with Bogart you can buy it. He has a prickly demeanor and authoritative presence that you believe could intimidate all the other crew members on his ship. Fred MacMurray gave an unexpected performance here that I enjoyed a lot. His aloof personality at the beginning devolved into something more serious as things escalated, and it worked perfectly as they got to the climax. I also have to commend José Ferrer and E.G. Marshall for bringing a lot to the trial, as the two lawyers. There are some moments I enjoyed more than others in The Caine Mutiny, but in general I found it to be a solid movie I would gladly watch again.

  • Aug 12, 2019

    Bogart + Johnson + MacMurray + Ferrer = EXCELLENCE 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.Humphrey Bogart gave a great performance in this movie, so great that it is easy to overlook the excellent supporting cast: the conflicted Van Johnson, the wise-cracking Fred MacMurray, the tough Tom Tully, and the compassionate Jose Ferrer-all excellent performances, but overshadowed by Humphrey Bogart's outstanding performance! Entertaining & dramatic filmmaking at it's best.

    Bogart + Johnson + MacMurray + Ferrer = EXCELLENCE 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.Humphrey Bogart gave a great performance in this movie, so great that it is easy to overlook the excellent supporting cast: the conflicted Van Johnson, the wise-cracking Fred MacMurray, the tough Tom Tully, and the compassionate Jose Ferrer-all excellent performances, but overshadowed by Humphrey Bogart's outstanding performance! Entertaining & dramatic filmmaking at it's best.

  • Jul 11, 2018

    Stolid and melodramatic WW2 drama, rather obviously exploring the machinations and cowardice of a group of naval officers trying to protect themselves while their captain (Bogart) obsesses about strawberries. The acting - apart from a surprisingly fine Van Johnson - is very broad and theatrical. The model work is terrible and the whole thing feels like the last gasp of a particular type of uncinematic and terribly talky non-movie.

    Stolid and melodramatic WW2 drama, rather obviously exploring the machinations and cowardice of a group of naval officers trying to protect themselves while their captain (Bogart) obsesses about strawberries. The acting - apart from a surprisingly fine Van Johnson - is very broad and theatrical. The model work is terrible and the whole thing feels like the last gasp of a particular type of uncinematic and terribly talky non-movie.

  • Feb 23, 2017

    Fantastic as both a leadership study and a drama, asking tough questions about duty and loyalty.

    Fantastic as both a leadership study and a drama, asking tough questions about duty and loyalty.

  • Sep 29, 2016

    Mostly unconvincing Hollywood treatment of psychosis is over the top. Characters are really stereotypes moved around to dramatise the plot. Acting fortunately saves the film from being boring. Van Johnson solid as always, beside whom Bogart appears over-dramatic.

    Mostly unconvincing Hollywood treatment of psychosis is over the top. Characters are really stereotypes moved around to dramatise the plot. Acting fortunately saves the film from being boring. Van Johnson solid as always, beside whom Bogart appears over-dramatic.