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The Caine Mutiny (1954)

aka The Caine Mutiny

"As big as the ocean!"

Directed By: 
Details: 124 mins · English


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Small Seaman Lugatch
Small Lt. Barney Greenwald
Small Lt. Steve Maryk
Small Lt. Thomas 'Tom' Keefer
No_movie_poster Ens. Willis Seward 'Willie' Keith
Small May Wynn
Small Comdr. DeVriess
Small Lt. Comdr. Challee
Small Lt. JG H. Paynter Jr.
Small Meatball
No_movie_poster Capt. Blakely
Small Horrible
No_movie_poster Mrs. Keith
Small Ens. Barney Harding
Small Chief Budge
Small Seaman 1st Class Urban
Small Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg


No_movie_poster Franz Planer Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Max Steiner Original Music Composer
Small Stanley Kramer Producer
No_movie_poster Henry Batista Editor
Small Edward Dmytryk Director
No_movie_poster Herman Wouk Novel
No_movie_poster Stanley Roberts Screenplay
No_movie_poster Michael Blankfort Dialogue
No_movie_poster William A. Lyon Editor
No_movie_poster Herman Wouk Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Henry Batista Editing


"As big as the ocean!"

"Great As a Book! ...As a Picture The Greatest"


Callow, rich Ensign Willis Seward "Willie" Keith (Robert Francis) reports for duty aboard the Caine, his first assignment. Homeported in Pearl Harbor, he is disappointed to find the Caine to be a small, battle-scarred destroyer-minesweeper. Its gruff captain, Lieutenant Commander William H. DeVriess (Tom Tully), has almost completely discarded discipline, and the crew has become slovenly and superficially undisciplined – although their performance is, in fact, excellent. Keith has already met the executive officer, Lieutenant Stephen Maryk (Van Johnson), and is introduced to the cynical communications officer, novelist Lieutenant Thomas Keefer (Fred MacMurray).

The captain is soon replaced by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Queeg (Humphrey Bogart), a no-nonsense veteran and graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He quickly attempts to re-instill discipline into the crew.

The next day, the Caine is assigned to tow a target for gunnery practice. While Queeg is distracted berating Keith and Keefer over a crewman's appearance, he cuts off the helmsman's warning. After the Caine continues in a circle and cuts the towline, Queeg tries to cover up his responsibility.

Other incidents serve to undermine Queeg's authority. When strawberries go missing from the officers' mess, the captain goes to absurd lengths to hunt down the culprit. Despite being told by one of his officers that the mess boys had eaten them, Queeg insists on believing otherwise. He relates a story to Maryk and Keefer of when he, as an ensign, was commended for unmasking a cheese thief.

More seriously, under enemy fire, Queeg abandons escorting a group of landing craft during an amphibious assault long before they reach the fiercely defended shore, instead dropping a yellow dye marker in the water and leaving the landing craft to fend for themselves, much to the crew's disgust. Afterwards, Queeg speaks to his officers, not explicitly apologizing, but bending enough to ask for their support. His disgruntled subordinates do not respond.

Keefer begins trying to convince Maryk that he should relieve Queeg on the basis of mental illness under Article 184 of Navy Regulations. Maryk begins keeping a journal, documenting Queeg's behavior. Keefer then convinces Maryk and Keith to join him in presenting their case to Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.. While aboard Halsey's flagship, it occurs to Keefer that all of Queeg's documented actions could be interpreted as reasonable attempts to instill discipline, leaving them open to a charge of conspiring to mutiny. When Halsey's aide tells the Caine officers that Halsey will see them, Keefer talks Maryk and Keith out of it.

Matters come to a head during a violent typhoon. Maryk urgently recommends that they steer into the waves and take on ballast, but Queeg refuses to deviate from the fleet-ordered heading and declines Maryk's request for ballast, as he fears that it would foul the fuel lines with salt water. When Queeg appears to become paralyzed, Maryk relieves him, with Keith's support.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1955-02-25 : Portugal

Theatrical : Turkey

Theatrical : 1954-12-09 : Italy

Theatrical : 1954-09-10 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1954-07-28 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1954-11-15 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1954-11-26 : Belgium

Theatrical : 1954-10-28 : Spain

Theatrical : 1954-11-26 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 1955-02-25 : Finland

Theatrical : 1954-10-01 : France

Theatrical : 1954-10-04 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1954-09-15 : France

Theatrical : 1954-06-24 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1954-08-16 : Japan

Theatrical : 1954-12-22 : Mexico

Theatrical : 1954-12-17 : Austria

Television : 1970-03-02 : West Germany

DVD : 2007-05-08

DVD : 1998-12-15

DVD : 2005-03-08

DVD : 1999-09-01 : Germany