The Caine Mutiny DVD Review

(A warning from the editors: The second paragraph of this review contains spoilers to movies you may not have seen. So if there are ANY movies out there that you don’t want spoiled for you, DO NOT READ THE SECOND PARAGRAPH. You have been warned.)

Humphrey Bogart. What more needs to be said? A lot actually. As much as I like The Humph, he was not the only good thing about this movie. Don’t get me wrong; he was unbelievably good in his Academy Award nominated role as Captain Queeg, the seemingly unhinged captain of the Caine, a World War II mine sweeper ship. But the rest of the cast–José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, E.G. Marshall, Lee Marvin, and Claude Akins– stepped up to the challenge.

I think this is the only Van Johnson movie I have seen, and I really liked him as the second in command who does the deed that gives the movie its name. Fred MacMurray, known for his nice fatherly persona from My Three Sons, is great as a scumbag. (Oops, I might have given something away if you have not seen the movie. Oh, well. To make it up here are all the secrets to the M. Night Shyamalan’s movies I have seen: Bruce Willis is already dead, Samuel L. Jackson caused all the calamities, water is like acid to them, and it is set in the present day.)

…Anyway. Where was I? Oh yeah; the cast… Jose Ferrer is excellent as a defense attorney that would rather be prosecuting. Incidentally, I find it sad that Mr. Ferrer is best known now for being George Clooney’s uncle (he had 6 children with Rosemary Clooney). He should be known for is being Miguel Ferrer’s (Crossing Jordan) father. Wait, no…he should be best known for all the movies he did, the Academy Award he won for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), and all the Tonys he won (including one for directing Stalag 17).

The extras on this edition are two “behind the scenes” segments, which are not what you’d think; they are actually interviews with two film historians. There is also a commentary track you can listen to, featuring the same historians.

You might watch this movie and say, “Whatever happened to that guy who played Ensign Keith–he was good!”, or you might say, “The guy who played Ensign Keith SUCKED, and I am glad I haven’t seen him in anything else!”, or you may say, “Wake me up when they hit the iceberg.” What I learned from the extras was that Robert Francis–the then up-and-coming actor who played Ensign Keith–died when a plane that he was flying crashed about a year after this film was made.

On that note, I will say, “The Caine Mutiny is a must see, for those who haven’t; and a must see again for those who have!”

Randy Otteson

For more reviews from Randy, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.