Mister Roberts (guest)

January 13, 2010 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

MOVIE: Mister Roberts

GUEST: Lisa from Zuma

NUTSHELL: Honest and truthful WW II story without a single shot fired nor single drop of blood spilled. Yarn about not the dangers of war, but the indignities. A young Navy lieutenant battles a petty captain for the hearts and minds of the supply ship USS Reluctant.

GOOD THINGS: John Ford at the helm, so to speak. Henry Fonda in his finest hour and a half. Jack Lemmon at his best. Comraderie in spades. Laundry room explosions. WACs! (Hell, who doesn’t like a good WAC once in a while.) Fonda vs. Cagney for the Pacific Theater middleweight championship. “Order of the Palm” ceremony. I want one! Ahem… Anyway, back in the day when your television had but seven channels, “Mister Roberts” playing on Movies Till Dawn was better than sex. (I was 11 years old. Duh.) Jimmy Cagney as an a-hole. How rare. Busty broads in ill-fitting Navy uniforms.

BAD THINGS: None, unless you count Doug Roberts buying the farm.

FEATURES: Last film role for William Powell, playing the now-legendary “Doc,” a sage for the ages. Jack Lemmon, as the irrepressible Ensign Pulver, who would dock a sequel bearing his name, rank, and federal tax identification number.

UNCOMFORTABLE MOMENTS: James Cagney, microphone and captive audience in hand, emasculating his crew.

NOTABLE: John Ford fell ill, and Mervyn LeRoy cajoled “Mister Roberts” into history. Henry Fonda once said he considered playing Doug Roberts on Broadway (Tony-winner) and playing him again on screen was his life’s greatest honor. With “Gardens of Stone,” one of the few great films about war never to feature a weapon stronger than cheap whiskey or panty hose. Look close: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman are featured extras. Talk about a dreamboat? Oy. Fonda’s daughter years later was also near battle.

BEST PART: Henry Godamned Fonda climbing the bridge of that ship and pitching that captain’s prized palm tree into the drink. I’m not worthy.

BEST LINE: My name is Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your bloody palm tree overboard. Now what’s all this crap about no movie tonight?

CROWNS: 5 out of 5 palms

Entry filed under: Classic, Guest Review, Lisa from Zuma.

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