Mister Roberts (1955) – Encore Review


“I looked down from our bridge and saw our captain’s palm tree! Our trophy for superior achievement! The Admiral John J. Finchley award for delivering more toothpaste and toilet paper than any other Navy cargo ship in the safe area of the Pacific.” – Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts

Number of Times Seen – Twice (11 Mar 2014 and 27 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Life on a supply ship in the Pacific during World War II is complicated ‘when the captain of the ship and his second in command don’t get along.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw a few years back and was curious to see if I would still find it as interesting the second time around.

They are able to show us the way that life on a small military supply ship could be during the waning days of war.

The men on this ship want to be more active in the war effort and make an impact on history and we can easily see how that directs their actions along the way.

This movie has a spectacular cast that includes Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Ward Bond and of course Jack Lemmon (in his first Oscar winning role).

The chemistry between these actors is so enjoyable to watch because it helps the story flow along.

Fonda stands out among them in the lead role and it’s great seeing how his methods of command differ from Cagney’s who is the captain of the ship.

The story is told in a very poignant way that allows us to see how things worked for these kind of men during the war.

The choice to keep this story as a mix between drama and comedy also works quite well in helping establish a lighter atmosphere deposit the obvious dangers lurking right around every corner for these men.

The film has amazing dialogue that is written so well that both the conversations and arguments between characters all help give us a stronger impression of who they all are which in turn brings them all to life before us.

Bottom Line – Really fun film that is able to show how life on a small supply ship could be for men itching to actually be in a position more influential in the war. The film has an amazing cast that works so well together throughout. Fonda stands out in the lead role and his chemistry with Cagney, Powell, Bond and of course Lemmon is so enjoyable to watch because of his methods of command. The story is quite poignant in showing us how things possibly worked for these kind of men during the war.  The movie does a great job mixing together comedy and drama in order to keep the atmosphere lighter despite the obvious dangers lurking around every corner.  The dialogue is superbly written and both the arguments and conversations between characters help make these characters come to life before us. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When John Ford met James Cagney at the airport, the director warned that they would “tangle asses,” which caught Cagney by surprise. Cagney later said: “I would have kicked his brains out. He was so goddamned mean to everybody. He was truly a nasty old man.” The next day, Cagney was slightly late on set, and Ford became incensed. Cagney cut short the imminent tirade, saying: “When I started this picture, you said that we would tangle asses before this was over. I’m ready now – are you?” Ford backed down and walked away and he and Cagney had no further conflicts on the set. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “Mister Roberts (1955) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1955 | MovieRob

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