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Mister Roberts (1955)

Henry Fonda , James Cagney , John Ford , Joshua Logan  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, Jack Lemmon, Betsy Palmer
  • Directors: John Ford, Joshua Logan, Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writers: Joshua Logan, Frank S. Nugent, Thomas Heggen
  • Producers: Leland Hayward
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 1998
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305225761
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,353 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mister Roberts" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Documentary excerpt of an 'Ed Sullivan'  The Ed Sullivan Show tribute episode featuring the movie's stars
  • Excerpt from the documentary
  • MFonda on Fonda profiling Henry Fonda's involvement with the play and movie
  • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1

Editorial Reviews

DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
144 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From boredom to hilarity and nobility July 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Watching this again many years after I first saw it, I expected to be disappointed. After all, the great films of our youth sometimes turn out to be something less than we had imagined. But Mister Roberts does not disappoint. This is one of the gems of the American cinema, a poignant comedy featuring a multitudinously clever and delightful script by Frank Nugent and Joshua Logan from a novel by Thomas Heggen made into a play by Logan and Heggen that ran for many years on Broadway. The movie features sterling performances from Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell and Jack Lemmon. Fonda is particularly brilliant in the kind of role from which legends are made. (He also played the part on Broadway.) You can take all your John Wayne classics and toss them overboard with the Captain's palm tree. Henry Fonda as Lt (j.g.) Doug Roberts, cargo officer of the USS Reluctant, shines forth as the noblest hero of them all. He is a quiet, strong, fair, courageous man in a story sure to mist up your eyes even if you're watching it for the twentieth time.

Jack Lemmon won a supporting Oscar for his performance as Ensign Pulver, a kind of lazy, but slyly resourceful Walter Mitty type who talks a great game but never follows through... James Cagney is the Captain, a sour, resentful man who mercilessly badgers Mister Roberts and grossly neglects the morale of his crew. He is just perfect. The way he bellows "Mister Roberts!" or way he trembles out the line, "Mister...Mister...this time you've gone too far" delights the audience. William Powell, in his last film, plays the ship's wise and ever diplomatic doc with graceful precision.
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Mr. Roberts April 27, 2000
Format:DVD
When Henry Fonda received the Kennedy Center honors in the late 70's, as part of his tribute, the Naval Academy glee club sang. Red River Valley saluted Grapes of Wrath, but the highlight was Anchors Away, when the Midshipman director of the glee club turned about face, saluted and said "Thank you, Mr. Roberts." As each Middie left the stage, he saluted and former Lt (jg) Fonda returned each one. Mr. Fonda was reported to have said that that was the greatest honor he received in a truly distinguished career.
This movie has that impact--it is a salute to "all those brave men who sailed from Apathy to Tedium, with an occasional side trip to Monotony" (I hope I have this right). When he died, the network news tribute was a dark screen and the sound track as Dolan and the others, having learned just what Mr. Roberts had done for them, each repeated those magic words "Good night, Mr. Roberts."
This is my favorite movie, one which I have watched at least 100 times. With marvelous performances by William Powell (Doc), James Cagney (the Captain), and Jack Lemmon (Ensign Pulver), as well as a fine supporting cast, this is a "must have" selection.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the BEST Casts EVER!! December 9, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This excellent war comedy/movie will always be one of my personal favorites. Based on the WWII guideline, the basic premise is a rather anal boat captain trying to make "ship shape" a merchant/transport type ship. (in the Pacific).

From an original play of Broadway, starring Hendy Fonda to the big screen. (My parents saw this Play on Broadway on their honeymoon and I still have the Playbill) So naturally I am biased.

Start with an assembled cast second to none.

Henry Fonda (Wry humor..this movie IS him.)

William Powell (The thin man returns...his sarcasm is perfect here)

James Cagney (Does his talent ever end? One of his best roles)

Lemmon (Ensign Pulver), shows his talent for the site gag and, lets say, driftiness, early. This perfomance spawned a few sequels on Pulver alone.

If you were ever in the Navy, you will see Cagney's Performance as uncanny, and see a little bit of each actor in your own experience.

This is meant to be seen in its entirety. Its not cut to pieces for TV, and when seen in this format is like a new movie, meant to be seen from start to finish.

Highly recommended, and will be seen again and again
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "How long have you been aboard Pulver?" February 21, 2005
Format:DVD
One of the few truly perfect movies of all time. Four legendary actors (Fonda, Cagney, Powell, and Lemmon) provide the chemistry in one of the most inspiring and highly regarded films from the WWII era.

Henry Fonda reprises his Broadway role as Lt.jg Doug Roberts, a "college boy" that dropped out of Med School to join the war effort in the Pacific, only to be assigned as a cargo officer far from the perils of action, but daily waging his own personal war with the Captain played by Jimmy Cagney, himself from the school of hard-knocks and invested with a world-class Napoleon complex. Fonda's primary motivation is get transferred off the "bucket" and into the war, while at the same time maintaining the morale and providing a shield for the crew against the irrational tirades of Cagney. The results are Hollywood history, very powerful, moving, touching, and with a good dose of humor.

There's just something about this movie that stays with you, and as Jack Lemmon himself said in the audio commentary when talking about the respect he had for his cast members of the film...with certain actors "...it's not what they're saying, it's what's coming from the inside..." And how.

The tensions of the cold war brewing between Roberts and the Captain are well balanced with plenty of comic relief and wry humor, much of it provided by the extraordinarily cool and laconic William Powell as Doc. John Ford debuted as the director only to leave during production, for causes still debated, to be replaced by the multi-talented Mervyn Leroy. I sometimes wonder if it's not the combined impact of their mutual genius that makes this film so great?
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