The Caine Mutiny

1954 | Courtroom Drama | 124 minutes | In English


Commander  Queeg’s minesweeper, the “USS Caine,”  is informed that a typhoon is approaching. It hits the “Caine” forcefully, creating damage and panic. The rolling sea threatens to capsize the “Caine.” The men look to Queeg for direction but Queeg is frozen and his judgment is impaired.  Lt. Maryk and Lt. Keefer relieve Queeg and take charge of the “Caine.” When the ship arrives in San Francisco, Maryk and Keefer are court-martialed. Wounded Naval Officer Barney Greenwald, a lawyer in civilian life, agrees to defend Maryk only  after eight Naval lawyers turned down the assignment. After a blistering interrogation by Greenwald, Queeg breaks down on the witness stand and Maryk is acquitted. Maryk, Keefer and their fellow officers throw a party celebrating their victory. Greenwald arrives half drunk. He berates Maryk and the officers of the “Caine” for not respecting Queeg’s long and exemplary service in the Navy. Greenwald fumes feeling that the officers should have given Queeg more support. Greenwald, leaving the room, throws a glass of champagne in Keefer’s face. The other officers follow Greenwald, leaving the stunned Keefer  alone in the room. 

Humphrey Bogart (Commander Philip Francis Queeg) / José Ferrer (Lt. Barney Greenwald) / Van Johnson (Lt. Steve Maryk) / Fred MacMurray (Lt. Tom Keefer)
Why Stream This Film?
The Caine Mutiny had the misfortune of opening the same year as On the Waterfront. Otherwise, Humphrey Bogart would have  won the Oscar. It went to Marlon Brando. The film vividly depicts the emotional breakdown of a proud Naval Commander, someone who  cracked up after many years of exemplary  service.  Even though the story is fictionalized, it’s a film that  upset the Naval Department. They didn’t want the public to see how one of their able commanders could wilt under fire. The Caine Mutiny is a riveting film but it will also break your heart. 
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 92%
  • Metacritic Score: 63
  • Academy Awards: Nominated: Best Picture, Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Best Screenplay (Stanley Roberts), Best Dramatic Score (Max Steiner).
  • It was the second highest grossing film in 1954.

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Humphrey Bogart gives one of his strongest performances as Captain Queeg, a presumably firm and tough officer in charge of a U.S. Navy destroyer-cum-minesweeper. In an emotionally tense, complex performance, Bogart deviates from his established screen image, revealing vulnerable and even neurotic sides to his persona not seen in other screen roles.
Emmanuel Levy

The body of the picture—the good, solid, masculine core—that has to do with the chafing of naval officers under a neurotic captain’s command is salty, exciting and revealing. And it is smartly and stingingly played by a cast of able performers, with Edward Dmytryk calling the turns,
Bosley Crowther

The New York Times

THE CAINE MUTINY is a highly recommendable motion picture drama, told on the screen as forcefully as it was in the Herman Wouk best-selling novel. The intelligently adapted screenplay retains all the essence of the novel.

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