Mister Roberts (Warner 1955, James Cagney, Henry Fonda)

Mister Roberts is one of the great WWII comedies, this tale of day-to-day life on the cargo ship “Reluctant” satirizes the boredom, pettiness, cruelty and illogic of the military.

Fonda re-creates his acclaimed Broadway role of the decent Lieutenant Roberts who, while enduring a crew of half-wits and a nasty captain with an inferiority complex (Cagney), fears the Pacific naval war will be over before he ever sees anything more explosive than a fire extinguisher of home-brewed “jungle juice.”

Director John Ford includes a number of his stock company, such as Curtis and Bond. Followed by “Ensign Pulver” in 1964.

James Cagney Mister Roberts

Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Picture.

Cast: James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Ward Bond, Betsy Palmer, William Powell

Director: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy
Producer: Leland Hayward
Editor: Jack Murray
Composer: Franz Waxman
Screenwriters: Thomas Heggen, Frank S. Nugent
Art Director: Art Loel
Cinematographer: Winton C. Hoch

USA / Warner Bros. / 123 minutes / 1955

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