The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Courtroom Drama, Sea Adventure  |   Release Date - Jun 24, 1954 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 125 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
  • AllMovie Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Share on

Review by

In bringing Herman Wouk's novel about life aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific during World War II to the screen, producer Stanley Kramer was working under numerous constraints. Knowing that The Caine Mutiny would be Kramer's final film for the company, Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn made sure the budget on The Caine Mutiny was cut to the absolute bone, and took the chance that Bogart's name, coupled with the popularity of the book, would ensure a hit film. From such a financial and creative straightjacket, a great film was made, mostly by virtue of Edward Dmytryk's direction and some excellent central performances: not just Humphrey Bogart's tired, troubled Lt. Comdr. Queeg, but also Van Johnson as the well-meaning but ultimately foolhardy first officer Lt. Maryk; Robert Francis as the naïve and very foolish Ensign Keith; Fred MacMurray as the glib-tongued, manipulative Lt. Keefer; and Jose Ferrer as the unwilling defense attorney Barney Greenwald, who achieves a victory that has nothing to do with justice, right and wrong, or truth. Bogart gives one of his finest late-career performances, calling up the same mixture of bravado, fear, and irrationality that informed his performance as Fred C. Dobbs in John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre six years before, crawling with little neurotic affects that make him startling to watch. Coupled with MacMurray's smooth-talking treacherousness and Johnson's stalwart performance, plus Francis' bright-eyed, bushy-tailed enthusiasm, the characters make for a memorable and compelling two-hour-plus dramatic experience.