Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, Jose Ferrer
The Caine Mutiny is my favorite military drama. I really need to tell you a few things about my tastes. First of all, my favorite movies are pre-code talkies. This means most movies made between 1929 and 1933. In 1934 the Hays Code, Hollywood’s form of self-censorship, went into effect and took dialog, costuming, situations, and subject matter from films that wouldn’t be acceptable onscreen for another 20 to 30 years at least, when attitudes had lightened up or changed entirely. I love silent movies almost as much, but I’m moving forward from my favorite, not backward. Now the movies from 1934 – 1941 are my second favorite. When World War II started at the end of 1941, movies changed again. The main point I’m trying to make is that the newer the movie, the less likely I am to want to see it until about 1980, then the movies started getting better again. And there are very few movies from the 50’s I like, and almost no movies from the 60’s, in comparison to the 1930’s. So now you know what era of movies I like.
Now on to genre. I prefer comedies above all. My thinking is I have enough trouble in the real world, I don’t need to watch it in a movie too. There are certainly exceptions, but I pretty much have to make myself watch most straight dramas. So it goes from comedy, to mystery/crime, to musicals, to drama, to western/war (I have no preference on western vs. war, I don’t much like either one). Horror doesn’t even enter into it.
Now that you know my preferences, you can understand that for me to say I like “The Caine Mutiny” is really saying something. The movie was made in 1954, has some actors I don’t much care for, and is a military story. But I don’t like this movie, I love this movie. I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen it. I will tell you a little bit about it. The captain of the ship exhibits behaviors that several who serve under him consider irresponsible, dangerous, and crazy. Wackiness ensues. Great performance by Bogart as said captain, and then the supporting cast all do well also. I do not typically care for Fred MacMurray or Van Johnson, but, from time to time, they surprise me with good work. The young heart throb with mommy issues is played by Robert Francis, whose make up is terrible so he pretty much looks like a hot dog in uniform and would probably have been more famous had he not died in a plane crash after making only 4 movies. Jose Ferrer speaks. That’s all you need to know- that’s all he needs to do. His voice makes any scene good.
I consider this movie a must see, and also I advise you to mind your strawberries.