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Mister Roberts (1955)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, War | 30 July 1955 (USA)
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4:07 | Trailer
In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay) (as Frank Nugent), Joshua Logan (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts
James Cagney ... The Captain
William Powell ... Doc
Jack Lemmon ... Ensign Frank Thurlowe Pulver
Betsy Palmer ... Lt. Ann Girard
Ward Bond ... Chief Petty Officer Dowdy
Philip Carey ... Mannion (as Phil Carey)
Nick Adams ... Reber
Perry Lopez ... Rodrigues
Ken Curtis ... Dolan
Robert Roark ... Insigna
Harry Carey Jr. ... Stefanowski
Patrick Wayne ... Bookser (as Pat Wayne)
Frank Aletter ... Gerhart
Tige Andrews ... Wiley (as Tiger Andrews)
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Storyline

Mister Roberts is aboard a US cargo ship, working in the Pacific during the Second World War. He'd do anything to leave the quiet of the ship to join in the "action". Trouble is, the captain of the ship, is a bit of a tyrant, and isn't willing to sign Roberts' transfer requests. Also on board is Ensign Pulver, who avoids work as best he can, whilst living off the riches of his buying and selling. Roberts and the crew are in constant battle, even over the smallest of disagreements. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. happily bring to the screen the happiest play that ever played! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Keine Zeit für Heldentum See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$21,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Orange Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The announcement for Sweepers is very close. On USS Ranger (CVA-61) from 1968-'70, the announcement was "Sweepers, sweepers, start your brooms. Get a clean sweep down fore and aft. Sweep down all lower decks, ladders and passageways. The fantail is/is not open." At sea, the trash would be dumped over the fantail so the ship's screws would chop it up and water log it so it would sink. The fantail was not open when planes were coming in for a landing. In the movie, they were told not to throw the trash over the fantail as they were not under way and the screws were not turning so the trash would simply float. See more »

Goofs

The sailor on the LCM wants to trade the film, "The Sheriff's Daughter" with Hoot Gibson, to Mister Roberts. However, although there are five silent films entitled 'The Sheriff's Daughter" and two silent films entitled "The Daughter of the Sheriff", none of these feature Hoot Gibson. It is also unlikely that sailors would be watching silent films. The Hoot Gibson film nearest in name is "The Marshal's Daughter", but this was not made until 1952. See more »

Quotes

Lt. j.g. Douglas A. Roberts: Doc, that new hospital hasn't got nurses, has it?
Doc: It didn't have yesterday.
Ensign Frank Thurlowe Pulver: It has today.
Doc: And how did you find out they were there?
Ensign Frank Thurlowe Pulver: It just came to me all of a sudden. I was lying on my bunk this morning, thinking. And there wasn't a breath of air. And all of a sudden, a funny thing happened. A little breeze came up, and I took a big, deep breath, and I said to myself "Pulver, boy, there's women on that island!"
See more »

Crazy Credits

The seven top-billed actors listed in the opening credits are not listed with the other players in the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Television and the standard VHS prints substitute a different march that is played over the loudspeakers during the scene where Henry Fonda is listening to the VE Day celebrations and throws the captain's palm tree overboard. Also eliminated is the voice-over of Fonda humming the march as he walks up the gang ladder leaving the scene. See more »


Soundtracks

Army Air Corps Song
(uncredited)
Written by Robert Crawford
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well done story of the under-appreciated support personnel who also serve during times of war.
12 August 2004 | by anthrogailSee all my reviews

'Mister Roberts' is one of two movies that I sometimes name as my all-time favorite movies. The other is 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' with Errol Flynn. I definitely believe that this is one of Henry Fonda's finest roles.

When my now nineteen year old nephew was younger, he would ask to watch my copy of 'Mister Roberts' on VHS just for the hilarious scene where Pulver blows up the laundry and the ship starts to fill up with soap suds. I have a copy of the play which includes pictures from when Fonda played the role of Doug Roberts on stage, and there are some differences from the play, but those differences certainly work in this movie.

I can't imagine better casting for any of these parts--

Henry Fonda as Doug Roberts

Jack Lemmon as Ensign Pulver

Ward Bond as Dowdy

William Powell as Doc

This is an excellent story of a man who yearns to serve in a war, but yet not to be a hero. He just wants to do his part, and he thinks that in order for his part to be important he has to be in combat. It takes him a while, and a few lectures from Doc, to realize that what he and the crew on the 'bucket' on which they serve do a necessary and important job even as they sail from boredom to tedium and back again, as Roberts says in his letter to Pulver in one of the movie's last scenes. The men are bored, and they can't stand their captain; and during the scene where the captain calls them to their battle stations after finding his special palm tree missing most of them aren't even sure where their battle stations are! The character of Doc has never even seen a battleship and he's in the navy. The entire movie is worth just the scenes of the crew returning from liberty, the making of the scotch, and the soap suds incident.

For a while when I was up at Northern Arizona University I had these lines from the opening scene as part of my answering machine message:

"Now here this. Now here this. Revelry. I repeat...revelry! Attention all hands..."

I recommend this movie very highly and rate it nine out of ten stars!


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