The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial


Drama / War

Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 77%
IMDb Rating 7 10 520

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 17, 2021 at 03:35 AM



Peter Gallagher as Lt. Com. John Challee
Jeff Daniels as Lt. Stephen Maryk
Kevin J. O'Connor as Lt. Thomas Keefer
Eric Bogosian as Lt. Barney Greenwald
1.1 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by WildBill-15 8 / 10

Complements Feature Film Nicely

I cannot improve on some of the fine comments by other users, so let me instead argue why this play for TV complements the film and the novel. (I refer to the 1954 feature film as the film and this 1988 teleplay as the play.) The play has virtues and the film has virtues and the virtues of each deepen the novel. If asked to choose, I refuse to do so. The novel plus the film plus this play make the story richer.

Eric Bogosian's defense attorney sustains guilt and ambivalence throughout the play, while Jose Ferrer's defender is a sardonic commentator until he shocks the victory party by explaining the moral of the story. Bogosian's Greenwald is darker and far less stentorian; Ferrer's polished drunk is more eloquent and less rowdy. A little eloquence and a little rawness together make for a cinematic cocktail that brings out the taste of the novel.

Jeff Daniels' defendant is far less motivated than was Van Johnson's in the film because the film dramatizes the events leading to the courtmartial while the play covers the courtmartial and the party only. Still, Daniels conveys a defendant who, once again, must decide whether an authority (his lawyer) knows what he is doing or is erratic and unreliable. Van Johnson's defendant is more about deciding what to do then learning after his acquittal that he did the wrong thing.

Each "author" of the Caine mutiny is a plausible bad guy who lends slightly different emphases to instigators who escape blame for what they goad others into doing.

Bogart's Queeg is far better at hiding his weirdness and flaws, which accentuates Wouk's lesson that Queeg, with truly loyal subordinates, might not have melted down. Davis's Queeg raises the intriguing possibility that an officer might be flat-out nutty in a way difficult for psychiatrists to detect but easy for an attorney to expose. I find Bogart's subtler characterization more interesting, but Brad Davis is terrific.

I agree that the caricature of the psychiatrist is hokey. I never thought that I should write that Whit Bissell was a superior performer, but that's the case.

Finally, the play has no hokey romance cluttering up the narrative. That makes the play better for me but perhaps less varied for others.

Reviewed by hankhanks12345 8 / 10

The Caine gets the Altman treatment

This was an good adaptation of the Caine story. I've read the original book on which the story was based, and have seen the 1950s film version many times, but hadn't seen a stage version of this film. (Wouk wrote both the book and this play.) This version is interesting on several levels. First, unlike the original story, everything is stripped out except the courtroom scenes and the party afterward. This allows us to experience the story without having seen it first, which allows us to view the Queeg story fresh, without having seen it ourselves and formed opinions about it.

Also, Altman wisely chose actors which were very unlike (in most cases) the 1954 version of the story. The most noteworth, of course, is Queeg himself, with Davis doing a very credible job that is very different from the Bogart portrayal. (For one thing, Davis is a very different physical type than Bogart and is a lot younger.) Keefer is good too - and again, different than the 1954 version, with Fred McMurray in the role.

And, of course, this film has the usual Altman technique of using a lot of side conversations that are barely heard and added noises to make the film seem more naturalistic. As others noted, this is most evident during the party scene at the end, but it used with good effect during the rest of the movie too.

Overall a nice piece of work.

Reviewed by helpless_dancer 7 / 10

Queeg wasn't fit to stand alongside Skipper Jonas Grumby

Excellent dramatic rendition of the final segment of Wouk's great novel. All the players made this picture come off looking like a real court marshall. Davis' portrayal of the oddball Queeg showed a man with a skewed personality and totally obsessed with an authority complex. Finally, Bogosian's Barney Greenwald's rant at the celebration party was the high point of the film. Courtroom enthusiasts should go for this one.

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