The Caine Mutiny ★★★

Film 4/31 of March 2017 Scavenger Hunt
Task #26: A film that, in your opinion, has a dumb tagline.

Somehow feeling both too long and too short, The Caine Mutiny is about a group of officers in World War 2 that grow disillusioned with their hardnosed, paranoid captain played by Humphrey Bogart.

There are parts of this film that really work, once Bogart steps on board the Caine and the crew starts struggling with him is when the film starts getting good, and the later courtroom scenes are also pretty good. Both these parts of the film seem like they could have been longer or better fleshed out, but instead too much time is spent with the protagonist Ensign Keith as he is assigned to the Caine, and has a weird romantic subplot about a nightclub singing girlfriend and an overbearing mother. Keith is a real wet blanket and as it turns out is ultimately completely superfluous to the story.

The acting is what salvages a lot of the film, and Humphrey Bogart as the irrascible Captain Queeg is the real scene stealer, giving a committed performance as the complicated captain with both negative and positive qualities. Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray also give good performances in their roles as officers, particularly MacMurray, who initially leads the charge against Queeg.

But some of the moralizing at the end, including a bizarre text overlay in the final shot dedicating the film to the US Navy, comes off as unfitting due to the film's mutinous subject matter and portrayal of multiple levels of incompetence in the Navy.

While it may spend too much time on the wrong things, The Caine Mutiny was still a fun naval World War 2 flick that is elevated by some nice performances. and makes a fine easy watch regardless.