The Caine Mutiny

1954, Movie, NR, 123 mins


Complex, atypical Bogie performance is keynote for strong drama from Pulitzer-winning novel and Broadway show. Francis, Johnson, and MacMurray are shipmates early in WWII aboard a destroyer-cum-minesweeper. Bogart, in one of his greatest performances, boards the ship as her new captain and immediately establishes both his power over the men and his neurosis. When he clashes with Johnson, the latter is court-martialed, and Ferrer must defend him.

The scenes with Bogart disintegrating on the witness stand have become part of American film folklore, as he delineates the layers of perfectionism and obsessiveness overlaying an inferiority complex. This is a don't-miss picture, unnecessarily beefed up with a gratuitous, concocted love story between Wynn (using her own name in the film) and Francis. Bogart was later asked how he managed to totally capture the paranoid personality of Queeg. "Simple," growled Bogie, "everybody knows I'm nuts, anyway." leave a comment

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