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Ensign Pulver (1964)

Ensign Pulver (1964)

aka Ensign Pulver

Directed By: 
Written By:  Writer details not available
Details: 104 mins · English


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No_movie_poster Ensign Frank Pulver
Small Captain Morton
Small Doc
Small Lt. J.G. Billings
Small Dolan
Small Scotty
No_movie_poster Bruno
Small LaSueur
No_movie_poster Mila


Small Joshua Logan Director
Small Joshua Logan Production
Small Joshua Logan Other
Small Joshua Logan Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Thomas Heggen Story Contributor


U.S. Navy Ensign Frank Pulver (Robert Walker, Jr.) feels unappreciated, as usual. Even when he personally aims a sharp object into the hindquarters of the hated Captain Morton (Burl Ives), the happy crew cannot imagine that the all-talk, no-action Pulver could be behind it. A poll to guess at the identity of the "ass-sassin" results in votes for almost everyone except Pulver, which he bitterly resents.

Ship mates like Billings (Larry Hagman), Insigna (James Farentino), Skouras (James Coco) and Dolan (Jack Nicholson) don't take Pulver seriously while despising the captain, who refuses leave to a seaman named Bruno (Tommy Sands) to attend his daughter's funeral back home. Doc (Walter Matthau) is the only one aboard who believes in Pulver's potential at all.

At sea for months at a time, Pulver is unable to indulge his greatest interest, women, until a company of nurses land on a nearby atoll. The head nurse (Kay Medford) is pleased to meet him when Pulver introduces himself as a doctor serving on a destroyer, but young nurse Scotty (Millie Perkins) suspects the truth and a smitten Pulver confesses it to her, that he's no doctor and nothing more than a junior officer on "the worst ship in the Navy."

Bruno becomes so deranged, he attempts to kill the captain. Pulver reluctantly intervenes, but the captain falls overboard, and is about to drown until Pulver lowers a life raft and dives in to save him. Separated from their ship, with the crew unaware for hours that they are missing, Pulver and Morton bicker aboard the raft. The ensign takes notes while the delusional captain reveals dark secrets about his past.

In need of emergency surgery, Morton ends up owing his life yet again to Pulver, who follows Doc's instructions over a radio and removes the captain's appendix. Back aboard ship, Morton tries to return to his martinet ways, but Pulver has the goods on him now and convinces the captain to leave the ship, turning over command to the popular LaSeur (Gerald S. O'Loughlin).

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1964-07-31 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1964-10-02 : Finland

Theatrical : 1965-07-30 : United Kingdom