Morituri - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Morituri Reviews

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July 10, 2011
[85/B+] This is a tense and grim espionage thriller, that deserves a better reputation, or at least some kind of a reputation at all. The film's obscure title may have contributed to its disappearance into critical oblivion, which is too bad, because its substantial inner workings and elements are all used to very strong effect.

Morituri's splendid black-and-white cinematography, for which it was nominated for an Academy Award, creates an uneasy moodiness that amplifies the stark choices and necessities of the characters, particularly Brando, who delivers a finely understated performance as a detached German conscientious objector who is forced into the situation, and must rely on his wits alone to survive. Brynner is also extremely potent as a tough German captain, whose ship is the object of the secret plan.

This movie is low on kinetic action, but high on characterization and dramatic tension, and ably captures the often disquieting ways and means of the espionage game.
March 27, 2011
Marlon Brando always gives a great performance, so that was no surprise. Yul Brenner was very good in this too. The plot was very poorly handled, and the film had no real ending. It was a complete shambles, but the good acting made it tolerable.
½ September 26, 2010
Morituri delivers much more than your typical WWII "action movie." It's a high-tension suspense thriller, packed with intrigue, treachery, and murder.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
May 12, 2010
In "Morituri," Captain Mueller(Yul Brynner) is incensed at having been demoted to being skipper of a boat taking 7000 tons of rubber to German occupied France, not to mention the political prisoners that will also be working in the engine room. To keep him placated, his superiors threaten him with wrecking his son's career if he does not cooperate. He would be even less happier if he knew that his new political officer is actually Robert Crain(Marlon Brando), a German engineer who deserted on the eve of war to India where he is being gleefully blackmailed by Colonel Statter(Trevor Howard). He not only wants the rubber to not reach its intended destination, but also wants the Allies to have it, ordering Crain to scuttle the scuttling devices, of which he has no idea where on board they might be.

There is a great movie in "Morituri" just waiting to get out but it just does not entirely pull it off and put all of the pieces together. However, it is fun watching Brando and Brynner play a high stakes game of cat and mouse between two characters who are in the same boat, so to speak. So, on the one hand, there is a lot of old fashioned intrigue, but in the last half hour, reality creeps steadily in, almost from another movie entirely. I know this is meant to give the pacifist Crain a sense of purpose, but he seems to be doing pretty well up until then. The movie made in 1965, might have included this more as information intended towards the audience which might have been more ignorant of the Holocaust than we are now.
½ April 1, 2010
You've probably never heard of Morituri, and neither had I - and having watched it, I have no idea why that is. Morituri (which translates to "Those about to die") is the story of a German deserter in WWII who is forced to bluff his way onto a German freighter and make sure that an American fleet is able to capture it. Playing that deserter? Marlon Brando, in his prime. Playing the freighter captain? Yul Brynner. But even when you get away from the big names, the whole cast is superb, playing parts that reveal surprising amounts of complexity and shades of gray as the film progresses. There's a ton to recommend about Morituri, from the claustrophobic environs of the ship to the remarkable sense of tension, from the complex morality to the fine performances, from the staggering crane shots to the convoluted but never confusing plot. It's a truly superb piece of work, and it's all the more frustrating how unknown it seems to be; with its characters and their secrets, a constant air of paranoia, a series of shifting alliances, and a gripping story, Morituri is a knockout, and I can't recommend enough that you check it out.
½ March 10, 2010
Yul Brenner and Marlon Brando in the same movie. What fun! And, suspenseful too. Looks like 31 Days of Oscar is going to last much longer.
December 5, 2009
Great Movie and great performances by Both Brando and Brynner, so underrated !!
Super Reviewer
March 21, 2009
An underrated gem in Brando's career that presents an astute approach to character dynamics and suspense. Directed and photographed with expertise, this is a top-notch espionage thriller that engages from its first scene until the grim conclusion. Marlon Brando's understated performance is also immensely underappreciated, and Yul Brynner does a great job too.
½ March 2, 2009
A great yarn. Made all the better by being shot on a real ship, not some Hollywood set.
½ September 2, 2008
a cracker WW2 film with Brando and Brynner - what more could anyone want - great cinematography, brando as usual simmers
July 23, 2008
Great thriller with one of my favorites Marlon Brando.
July 3, 2008
This is the good part of trying to see all of Brando's films -- there are a couple of really good ones in there. Well-acted, well-paced, beautifully photographed film.
March 19, 2008
Marlon Brando, bitches! He plays a Anti-Nazi German.. pretending to be an SS agent. hot. Brando's lisp with a Nazi accent.. what more could you want?
January 8, 2008
Morituri is a pretty good movie. The strength in the film is without a doubt the performances by Brando and Brynner who carry the picture, as the story and script aren't enough to hold it up by itself. My main problem with the picture is my major pet peeve which is charactors speaking in broken or accented English. Charactors should either be speaking in German or perfect English, not somewhere in between. The beautiful Janet Margolin and the rest of the cast do pretty good jobs as well. Worth seeing for Brando or Brynner fans, or huge WWII movie buffs, but that's about it. Overall 2.5/4 Stars Grade = B-
September 24, 2007
This was a really good movie. Seeing Brando & Yul Brynner together was awesome.
August 14, 2007
For some reason, no one knows about this movie; nonetheless, it's epic.
August 5, 2007
One of Brando's more underrated films.
July 28, 2007
unknown film staring two of the greats. seen it once,love to get a copy. see it if you get the chance.
June 3, 2007
as you can tell i love marlon brando..he is amazing on screen and as always plays his character very well...yul brynner is amazing on screen to as the captain fo teh ship..and in the end...turns out to be not a bad guy after all...check it out definitely! :D
½ May 30, 2007
Marlo an Yule create strong roles in this 65 movie!
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