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The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial


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Editorial Reviews

Set in early 1945, during the height of World War II, this is a powerful drama of naval trial proceedings with an exceptional cast. Oscar(r)-nominated director Robert Altman (1970, M*A*S*H, 1992, The Player) takes on the much-adapted tale of Lt. Cmdr. Queeg (played by Brad Davis), picking up at the court-martial of Lt. Maryk (Jeff Daniels) for relieving Lt. Cmdr. Queeg of command of the destroyer U.S.S. Caine at the height of a storm. Eric Bogosian plays Lt. Greenwald, the defense attorney who, despite being ambivalent toward his client, is forced to mount a defense on his behalf. Expertly directed by Robert Altman, written and featuring a screenplay by Herman Wouk, this made-for-television movie excels at revealing the tensions between its central characters, including Lt. Cmdr. John Challee (Peter Gallagher) and Capt. Blakely (Michael Murphy). Newly remastered.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Eric Bogosian, Jeff Daniels, Daniel Jenkins, Kevin O'Connor, Peter Gallagher
  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: SPHE
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CZZZL8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,208 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Very different than the 1954 movie--more like the book.
C. Deyoe
It holds the viewer's attention admirably, but the 1988 film is a mere cinematic curiosity, really, and amounts to little more than that.
Gerald Parker
The starring actors, Eric Bogosian as defense attorney Greenwald and Brad Davis as Lieutenant Commander Queeg, are simply outstanding.
R. Shirley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By R. Shirley on November 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this made for TV version about the naval court martial proceedings from Herman Wouk's novel is a classic gem in itself.
This screenplay delves much deeper into the psychological and oranizational issues surrounding the relieving of the captain of the USS Caine by his junior officers than does the 1954 movie. There is much more substance relating to the pressures and conflicts between a leader in time of war and those that must serve under him.
And the performance of the actors is also much superior to those in the theatrical movie. The latter, although a "star studded cast", were probably hampered by the sterotypical expectations of the immediate post war era. This newer crew does an excellent job of quickly filling out their character's persona with very little "on screen" time to acomplish such a feat. The starring actors, Eric Bogosian as defense attorney Greenwald and Brad Davis as Lieutenant Commander Queeg, are simply outstanding. But it is the performances by the supporting cast that turn this version of the broadway play into a true jewel of naval story telling: Jeff Daniels as Steve Maryk the accused, Peter Gallagher as the prosecuting attorney, and Michael Murphy as the Captain Presiding Officer of the Court are all extremely believable. Even the character of Captain Southard, called in as an expert at destroyer seamanship, comes over as a very strong personality. And last but not least, Ken Michels, in the cameo role of Dr. Bird, the psychiatry witness, accomplishes a classic, detestable portrayal.
And believe it or not, the climatic scene where Queeg goes paranoid on the witness stand is even more dramatic than either the book version or the subsequent 1954 motion picture.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on May 2, 2004
Format: DVD
Anyone who fondly remembers the 1954 THE CAINE MUTINY should enjoy the made-for-television THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL. Some might even prefer this one.
Lt. Steve Maryk (Jeff Daniels) is being court-martialed for wrongly relieving Lt. Cmdr. Phillip Queeg (Brad Davis) of command while on active duty in the Pacific. Lt. Barney Greenwald (Eric Bogosian) is Maryk's ambitious and divided attorney. To win an acquittal for his client, Greenwald will have to convince the court that Queeg is unfit for command.
Unlike Humphrey Bogart's CAINE this one, save for the opening and closing scenes, never leaves the courtroom. I think that works well here. That one was Queeg's movie, this one is Greenwald's.
Brad Davis is effective in the demanding role of Queeg. Michael Murphy, as presiding judge Capt. Blakely, does a lot with facial expressions. His reaction shots during Queeg's testimony, reflecting a horrified realization of the depth of Queeg's dementia, work. Queeg is cooked. Jeff Daniels is excellent as the somewhat dense and manipulated mutineer.
The show belongs to Bogosian, though, and it's worth the price of admission to see the final scene where he tells his client what he really thinks of the whole thing. In the '54 CAINE this was a one-off line of dialogue by Jose Ferrer. Here it's a rather extended scene that goes into greater depth explaining Greenwald's disgust with his courtroom victory.
Fans of courtroom dramas will love this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 28, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
"The Caine Mutiny" is one of my favorite war novels and movies. This production solely focuses on the Court Martial trial, of course. This film will make zero sense to a viewer who has not either seen the movie or, preferably, read the book. The clear goal here was to portray the Court Martial as closely to the novel as possible. Here, it largely succeeds. This production deviates from the novel only in small, insignificant ways. Unlike 99% of my reviews, this one contains spoilers so be warned. The spoilers are allowed because, as I said, unless you know the story already this production would be very hard to understand and impossible to appreciate.

Jeff Daniels stars as Lt. Maryk and he is the only big name star in this production. He does a stellar job as the honest, well-meaning, capable, but not terribly bright Executive Officer of the Caine. One thing that this film should have brought out more was the fact that alone among the officers of the Caine, Maryk did not use the term "Old Yellow Stain" in referring to Queeg. This omission was unfortunate in my opinion because in the novel Maryk was the one officer who tried to hold the ship together and get Queeg through his tour as skipper of the Caine. In the novel it was Willie Keith's testimony that brought this out, and I was sorry to see this omitted in this much closer adaptation as well.

Erig Bogosian, the defense attorney, is competent in this key role but I will ask forgiveness for saying that no one could match the superb Jose Ferrar, who played Barney Greenwald in the original film. The roles of prosecutor, presiding officer, and other supporting roles are all extremely well-done, better than in the original film in my opinion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tgcorbett@msn.com on July 4, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This review is for ASIN: B004CZZZL8 If you are at all a fan of the book, movie and especially the stage play make sure you order this, the 121 minute version. It is not the truncated version originally shown on TNT (I think it was TNT) which was criminally paired down to come in at around 90 minutes to make space for commercials. This is the TNT version of the whole stage play with no expurgated scenes. There are no special features, subtitles or menu's. It just starts right in on the play. I had a VHS version in which the sound didn't quite sync up with the video but that problem is fixed here.

I have always thought the stage play was the most potent of the three versions of the story. The trial is pretty much the heart of the novel. (If you've only seen the movie let me just say that once you read the book or see the play the movie begins to seem kind of silly. Still a good movie though.) The performances are all top notch especially Bogosian as Barney Greenwald. Bogart's performance in the movie was so good that it is a little hard to get use to Brad Davis as Queeg but once you do you can really see the pathos in the character. Its a powerful performance. It would have been nice to see this as a theatrical release which would have given it more notoriety as I think its message is still a relevant counter to those of the intelligentsia who look down their noses at the military and find the existence of it and the lesser beings who support it pathetic and pitiable. Unfortunately I fear this would likely be lost on a modern audience. But perhaps I'm being too cynical, at least I hope I am.

My only complaint is the direction by Robert Altman, who I've always thought was highly overrated.
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