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Mister Roberts Blu-ray Review

“Mister Roberts” is a classic 50’s movie.

Directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy (who finished the film after Ford fell ill), “Mister Roberts” is a drama-comedy based on a novel and a stage play. The film takes place at the tail end of WWII on board a U.S. Navy cargo ship called The Reluctant AKA The Bucket. The tired and bored crew are stuck on this boat and haven’t had shore leave in ages due to their selfish uptight Captain Morton who is more concerned with his palm tree than he is his crew. The story mainly revolves around the misadventures of the crew and focuses on the smart, kind, ambitious cargo officer (Doug Roberts) who wants to be transferred to a combat ship, the wise old Doc, and the cowardly ladies man Ensign Pulver who tends to avoid his duties.

While many WWII era films focus on the action and conflicts of war, 1955’s “Mister Roberts” focuses on the inaction of war on board a cargo ship. What it lacks in story, the Ford/LeRoy film makes up for in characters. Make no mistake, this is a talky character comedy-drama that makes one for heck of an acting showcase (I’ll get to that in a bit). Through the characters, we get a story about camaraderie, primal man, the chain of command, life’s simple pleasures,standing your ground, dreams, and life not turning out the way one would hope. 

Notably, the movie ends in a decidedly un-Hollywood fashion with a reveal that is both melancholy and heartfelt. I won’t get into what happens, but I can say the movie refreshingly goes in directions you might not expect.

Going back to the cast, it’s simply a stunning collection of talent containing the likes of Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney, William Powell, Ward Bond, and Betsy Palmer. Fonda is the heart and soul of the picture, but it’s Lemmon who makes an impact in one his earliest roles. To no surprise, lemmon even won an Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work here (and had his career take off after this).


Presentation: 2.55:1 1080p. How does it look? The Cinemascope film has never looked better or more colorful.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? Expect a nice crisp 5.1 track.

Extras include a “Mister Roberts” theatrical trailer and an insightful commentary on select scenes by Jack Lemmon who talks about the film’s production, what the part meant to him and more.

January 11, 2021 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. will be sure to check this one our Nick, keep up the great work with these reviews.

    Comment by Mykal K Grimm | January 12, 2021 | Reply

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