by guest writer
Mister Roberts (1955) reunited director John Ford with Henry Fonda, one of his favorites actors. Although it is argued that Ford’s involvement in finishing the film was minimal (Mervyn LeRoy took up the directorial reins), Mister Roberts became nevertheless one of the best comedies of the ’50s and a true classic. Captain Morgan (James Cagney) is the viciously dictatorial character wanting to get his way or no way at all. ‘Doug’ Roberts (Henry Fonda in a seemingly effortless performance) is chief cargo officer on the ship ‘Reluctant’ in the last days of WWII looking to get a transfer and join the real combat. The officer in charge of morale is Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon), whose lecherous character brings the most laughs on our faces than any of his fellow actors. Pulver is constantly looking out for schemes to revenge the behavior of the ship’s captain and to bring women on board. The wisest and most philosophical character is Lt ‘Doc’ (William Powell). Intelligent screenplay, great actors, a war story about would-be heroes that aptly combines comedy and tragedy.
PS: If you’d rather see a film more in tune with the holiday season, here are Ada’s All Time Favourite Christmas Movies.
photo: still from the film | Warner Borthers