156. The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Film 63 in C4 Top 100 War Films

A mean captain takes over an undisciplined ship. He makes poor decisions and unreasonable demands, incurring  judgement on his character and mental health by his officers, until finally his lieutenant takes over command during a typhoon. This instigates a court-martial, where the defence try to prove he didn’t mutiny, but that the captain was incapable of doing his duty…dodgy ground, it seems…

Humphrey Bogart plays Queeg, the ship’s by-the-book captain and all-round hard ass and bureaucrat. Bogart plays it well, considering that the film was pretty poor – badly scripted with a cheesy tacked-on love interest. It’s melodramatic and only Jose Ferrer’s defence lawyer adds any real gravitas to the film. But Lee Marvin is in it, so it gets an extra point, just for that.


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