The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial

1988

Action / Drama / War

6
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 77% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.9/10 10 713 713

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Plot summary

A full-length adaptation, originally staged as a play, of the court-martial segment from the novel "The Caine Mutiny".


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
April 17, 2021 at 06:48 AM

Director

Top cast

Eric Bogosian as Lt. Barney Greenwald
Jeff Daniels as Lt. Stephen Maryk
Peter Gallagher as Lt. Com. John Challee
Kevin J. O'Connor as Lt. Thomas Keefer
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.1 GB
956*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
Seeds 5
2.03 GB
1424*1072
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 2 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mark.waltz 8 / 10

Quite a different view of the classic tale of Naval scandal.

One thing you notice immediately in this TV version of the novel which became a successful Broadway play and was later re-written for the screen is how youthful the good majority of the cast is. That's gives it at first a jarring viewpoint, but then you quickly realize that this is not the Hollywood version of the Herman Wouke story but in spite of a few familiar faces, this is a really fresh peek into what we had viewed in 1954 as an ensemble film that got Humphrey Bogart his last Oscar nomination. The character of Captain Queeg is simply a part of the ensemble, played here with cool assurance by Brad Davis, but one that breaks down when his resolve fails.

The bulk of the material is given to the defense attorney, played by Eric Bogosian who gets the majority of the dialog and Jeff Daniels who is on trial for mutiny, determined to prove his justification. Daniels gets a ton of chilling closeups that indicates his malevolence towards Queeg so you are not sure from the start whether he's sinister or absolutely correct in his determination to bring Queeg down. You certainly can't default the direction of the legendary Robert Altman who has another triumph with his variation of the film.

Davis is excellent in his few extended scenes where you can't tell until the end if Daniels is correct, and it's absolutely chilling. That's what the theme of this film becomes, questioning those in authority over whether they are actually stable enough to be in authority, an issue that is still debated to this day. While the film has more details of the events leading up to the court-martial, the focus on the trial itself is more psychological intense and that really changes the impact of how you hear the story. It certainly is one of the great ensemble casts of a TV movie ever, certainly very theatrical in nature and riveting as it unfolds.

Reviewed by theowinthrop 8 / 10

An Interesting Variant on the story

The television movie version of THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL is a nice production by Robert Altman. It lacks the briny spirit of the film - so much of which was shot on ships or at sea (including a typhoon sequence). But it is taught and claustrophobic for most of the story - it being set in the Court-Martial room (a bit of the end of the play is at the post-trial acquittal party). The results is a different telling of the story, and one relying on the audience's own evaluation of the truth or lies of the different witnesses. While it still ends in the revelation of Queeg's (Brad Davis's) behavior on the stand, there is more that comes out.

I've mentioned this when reviewing the movie. Queeg is first taken down a peg by Greenwald (Eric Bogosian) not on issues of fitness of command, but on his honesty. It turns out that Queeg (like other commanders of the naval ships) were allowed a certain level of tax free purchases from Hawaii to the mainland of various luxury items, such as alcohol. Queeg had overused this right - actually exceeded the legal limit, and was chastised for this by the Pearl Harbor command. Queeg denies this happened, but Greenwald explains that he can ask for an hour's delay to get the necessary officers to come and testify if necessary. So Queeg suddenly "remembers" there was some kind of chastisement. It is the first misstep the Captain makes in his testimony.

Greenwald also faces secret hostility (not shown in the film, by the way) as a Jewish officer. There is an undercurrent working against Greenwald and his clients in the anti-Semitism of the Navy brass, especially the prosecutor. At the end of the trial, aware that Greenwald has destroyed what should have been an open-and-shut case of mutiny, the prosecutor actually reveals his anti-Semitic feelings about the "tricks" used by Greenwald.

The other major change is at the conclusion. In the film, a drunken Greenwald (Jose Ferrer) confronts Lt. Tom Keefer (Fred MacMurray) at the celebration party as the real manipulator of the Caine Mutiny, who kept himself clean at the expense of Maryk and Keith), and after tossing a drink into his face and saying if he wants to make anything of it to come outside. Greenwald also tells off the crew officers present that they failed to give Queeg the support he asked for at one point - that Queeg for all his flaws was defending the country while they were nice and safe. The stunned men leave the party one by one, leaving a disgraced Keefer all alone.

In the play, Greenwald does show up, and does tell off Keefer and the crew's officers, but all the officers (except Keefer, who is disgraced), are already drunk, and they don't listen to what Greenwald is saying. Not even Maryk and Keith (Jeff Daniels and Daniel Jenkins) - who are too busy celebrating to care. It is an interesting difference from the movie's conclusion. Nice production, with a different style and angle to the story.

Reviewed by cherold 7 / 10

engrossing

Wouk's play is an ingenious bit of storytelling, and it's wonderful that he managed to convey so much information in such an absorbing fashion in the dry world of the courtroom. Altman strikes me as an odd choice as director of a play, since he insists as usual on periodically drowning out the dialog in background noise. The courtroom scenes that are the bulk of the movie are a good example of how distracting and artificial this technique is; it often feels like he just does offers these cutaways and miscellaneous chatter out of habit rather than necessity. Even Altman must recognize how distracting it is, as he jettisons this technique in Queeq's final testimony. On the other hand, the same chaotic, lost sound technique is quite effective in the final scene, where it actually makes sense and creates a sense of drunken anarchy that fits well with the scene.

Bogosian is excellent, exuding his usual caged tiger intensity to great effect. After seeing Humphrey Bogart's terrific performance it's a little difficult to accept Davis's pursed martinet, yet in the end he is probably closer to what such a character would really be like and his last scene is effective, with Davis and Altman both underplaying what in other hands could be an over-the-top scene.

Daniels is pretty forgettable, but it's a small role. All in all well worth watching.

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