Mister Roberts

Year of release: 1955.
MPAA rating: not rated.
Run time: 123 minutes.

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      "The film represents Henry Fonda's return to the screen after an absence of seven years, part of which was spent playing the eponymous officer in the immensely successful stage version of Thomas Heggen's novel.  As cargo officer and second in command on a supply ship during World War II, the easygoing Lt. Doug Roberts is excluded from a much desired combat role while playing whipping boy to dyspeptic tyrant Captain Morion (James Cagney).  Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon), a brash yet cowardly wheeler-dealer, entertains Roberts with his elaborate pranks while the fatherly Doc (William Powell in his last screen appearance) offers advice.  The young crew tries every available means of killing boredom, including eyeballing the nurses on a nearby island through a telescope, and Roberts does what he can to get them the R-and-R they badly need.  The film had a troubled production history, mostly because of conflicts between Fonda, a friend of author Thomas Heggen's, and Ford, who wished to make changes that Fonda disliked.  Shortly after physically attacking Fonda, Ford suffered a ruptured gallbladder and was replaced by Mervyn LeRoy.  Fonda is excellent, and Lemmon gives an inspired, Oscar-winning performance in a film that flows evenly from the comic to the tragic and stands among the best World War II films produced in the 1950s."

      This movie always reminds me of my grandfather, since he was in the U.S. Navy for thirty years and served in the Pacific during World War II.  It is also my favorite movie with Henry Fonda.

Henry Fonda - Lieutenant Douglas Roberts
James Cagney - Captain
William Powell - Doc
Jack Lemmon - Ensign Pulver
Betsy Palmer - Lieutenant Ann Girard
Ward Bond - Chief Petty Officer Dowdy
Phil Carey - Mannion
Martin Milner - Shore Patrol Officer

Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Director: John Ford & Mervyn LeRoy
Producer: Leland Hayward
Screenwriter: Joshua Logan & Frank S. Nugent
Art Director: Art Loell
Cinematographer: Winton C. Hoch
Composer: Franz Waxman
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
Editor: Jack Murray
Set Designer: William L. Kuehl

Academy Award:
Best Supporting Actor - Jack Lemmon

Academy Award Nominations:
Best Picture of 1955
Best Sound

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures
Nominated for 10 Best Films of 1955

New York Film Critic's Circle (1955)
Best Film (nominated)
Best Direction (nominated)

Learn more about the USS Virgo, the real U.S. Navy
ship that inspired the creation of "Mister Roberts".

Information gathered from numerous websites including:

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