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caine mutiny

THE CAINE MUTINY (1954)

A compelling sea-faring adventure and courtroom procedural, The Caine Mutiny tells the story of the troubled – and hated – Captain Queeg, whose conduct at the helm of the U.S.S. Caine drives his men to the edge of mutiny and lands him in court martial proceedings. Humphrey Bogart is excellent as the tormented Queeg, as is Van Johnson as first officer Maryk, who is drawn into the breach when the S.S. Caine is in danger of sinking and a fatally compromised Queeg is unable to act at a crucial moment.

The sterling cast includes: Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson, Robert Francis, Lee Marvin, E.G. Marshall, Claude Akins, and Fred MacMurray.

THE CAINE MUTINY was nominated for the Best Picture award.

Director, Edward Dmytryk, heated up the screen with this intense drama.

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The basic story involves the mutiny of Navy officers, Lt. Keefer (Fred MacMurray) Ensign Willie Keith (Robert Francis) and Lieutenant Steve Maryk (Van Johnson), aboard Captain Queeg's (Bogart) ship, and their subsequent gripping court-martial trial. When the Captain shows signs of mental instability in the form of paranoia, the first mate, Lieutenant Steve Maryk, takes over the command, supported by other officers. They all fear that this Captain, who is definitely not playing with a full deck, will endanger them as his grip on reality continues to deteriorate until he totally snaps under pressure. This act of relieving the Captain of command, lands them all in hot water with the Navy.

The film is a classic because of its exciting storm sequence, plot twists, gripping court room scenes, that climax with the stunning concluding courtroom scene, and the fantastic collection of acting talent picked to tell the story in this stellar screenplay, under the direction of Edward Dmytryk. The end product offers a film of outstanding quality.

The gripping, complex script, by Stanley Roberts, who got an oscar nomination for it, was adapted from Herman Wouk's Pulitzer prize winning novel, which keeps the audience at the edge of their seats, wondering what is going to happen on this rust bucket minesweeper ship with this crazy Captain, and what the verdict will be for these men. The audience is surprised with the plot contradictions. The creative writing in the storyline leads the audience to believe that the truths in various situations appear to be one way, when in reality they turn out to be something else.The lines between good and bad are blurred, offering multidimensional characters. The screenplay has incisive dialogue, particularly as delivered in strong performances by Bogart, Ferrer, and MacMurray.

Humphrey Bogart won an oscar nomination for his flawless portrayal of Captain Queeg, as a "neurotic, paranoid fool," a character type that was not the typical Bogart role. Bogart stretched himself artistically, showing the depth of his acting alert. Particularly noteworthy is Bogart's performance, as his character in the climatic court room scene where Captain Queeg suffers a mental meltdown and becomes unglued on the witness stand. Only his head and shoulders are shot in the scene, making the audience feel pity for this man who obviously was badly in need of a mental health professional.

Jose Ferrer gives a convincing, powerful performance as the defendants' lawyer, Greenwald, a real career -making effort, that shines brightly, enhancing the storyline and drama quality greatly. He is the outsider who can hold everyone accountable for their behavior, like a mirror, which can make the characters in the movie, and the audience as well feel really squirmy and uncomfortable.

Fred MacMurray, as the "supercilious but ultimately cowardly" Lt. Keefer, the "manipulative" communications officer, gives a riveting performance. His glib, cynical character is fascinating to watch. Those who are only familiar with MacMurray from his Disney films and TV's, "My Three Sons," will be particularly impressed to see one of MacMurray's finest dramatic performances, holding his own in scenes with Humphrey Bogart, producing dynamite cinematic moments.

The up-beat conclusion to this film is a crowd-pleaser, ending with the ongoing theme of the film that "it takes enormous personal courage to carry out one's duty, although this duty is not always clear-cut nor particularly heroic."

A must see for classic movie enthusiasts!

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