The Caine Mutiny

  • Directors: Edward Dmytryk
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: Herman Wouk, Stanley Roberts, Michael Blankfort
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray

Callow Ensign Willis Seward “Willie” Keith (Robert Francis, in his film debut) reports for duty aboard the Caine, his first assignment out of officer candidate school. He is disappointed to find the Caine to be a small, battle-scarred destroyer-minesweeper. Its captain, Commander DeVriess (Tom Tully), has discarded spit-and-polish discipline, and the crew of the Caine has become slovenly and superficially undisciplined – although their performance of their duties 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 Lt. Thomas Keefer (Fred MacMurray).

DeVriess thinks Keith has attempted to duck duty aboard the Caine by using family influence, and rides him hard. But DeVriess is soon replaced by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Francis Queeg (Humphrey Bogart), a no-nonsense veteran officer, who has seen years of continuous duty. He quickly attempts to re-instill discipline into the crew, warning: “[T]here are four ways of doing things: the right way, the wrong way, the Navy way, and my way. If they do things my way, we’ll get along.”

The next day, the Caine is assigned to tow a target for gunnery practice. Afterwards, Queeg berates both Keith and Keefer over a crewman’s appearance and, while distracted, cuts off the helmsman’s warning; as a result, the Caine runs over and cuts the towline to the target. Queeg refuses to accept responsibility for the accident and tries to cover it up. Other incidents serve to undermine Queeg’s authority. When the remains of a quart of strawberries is stolen from the officers’ mess, the captain goes to absurd lengths to try to find the culprit. More seriously, in combat, Queeg breaks off escorting a group of landing craft during an amphibious assault long before they reach the fiercely-defended shore, dropping a yellow marker in the water instead and leaving them unsupported. Afterwards, Queeg makes a speech to his officers, not explicitly apologizing for his behavior, but bending enough to ask for their support. His disgruntled subordinates do not respond.

A few days later, Keith reports to his new ship and is surprised to find himself once again serving under Commander DeVriess. However, his new commanding officer lets Keith know that he will start with a clean slate.

High Noon

  • Directors: Fred Zinnemann
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer, Carl Foreman
  • Writers: John W Cunningham, Carl Foreman
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Grace Kelly

Will Kane (Gary Cooper), the longtime Marshal of Hadleyville, New Mexico Territory, has just married pacifist Quaker Amy (Grace Kelly), turned in his badge, and is preparing to move away to become a storekeeper. Soon after, the town learns that Frank Miller (Ian MacDonald), a criminal Kane brought to justice, is due to arrive on the noon train. Miller had been sentenced to the gallows, but was pardoned for reasons never stated in the film. In court, he had vowed to get revenge on Kane and anyone who got in his way. His three gang members wait for him at the station. The worried townspeople encourage Kane to leave, hoping to defuse the situation.

Kane and his wife leave, but Kane has a crisis of conscience and turns back. He reclaims his badge and tries to swear in help, but it becomes clear that no one is willing to get involved. His deputy, Harvey Pell (Lloyd Bridges), resigns. Only his former lover, Helen RamГ­rez (Katy Jurado), supports him, but there is little she can do to help. Disgusted, she sells her business and prepares to leave town. His wife threatens to leave on the noon train with or without him, but he stubbornly refuses to give in.

In the end, Kane faces the four gunmen alone. He guns down two of Miller’s men, though he himself is wounded. Helen Ramirez and Amy both board the train, but Amy gets off when she hears the sound of gunfire. Amy chooses her husband’s life over her religious beliefs and kills the third gunman by shooting him in the back. Miller then takes her hostage and offers to trade her for Kane. Kane agrees, coming out into the open. Amy, however, claws Miller’s face, causing him to release her. Kane then shoots and kills him. Then, as the cowardly townspeople emerge, Kane contemptuously throws his marshal’s star in the dirt and leaves town with his wife.