I recently watched The Caine Mutiny and I was very impressed. The acting is top notch, the plot intense and the cast is excellent, which brings me to the true reason I watched the film- Humphrey Bogart.
Old Bogie is definitely one of my favorite actors. He always turned in a convincing performance in a number of versatile roles. The introverted tough guy made me feel for him and empathize every time out. In this film, I knew he would be playing the role of the hell which he did so well in The Roaring Twenties and my personal favorite, Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
However, this role required a bit more than just being a villain. It required something deeper below the surface which Bogie did so well. He made you understand why he did what he did, with his performance. The real understanding was spelled out for us by Jose Ferrer in the last scene.
While Bogart did act the brute and showed all the signs of paranoia and serious authoritarian complex, he did so for a reason. His men doubted him.
Sure, he made some mistakes, but when he asked the men if they had anything to say to him about his behavior or how he was running the ship and asked genuinely if they could help him, they sat silent.
The film took an entirely different direction, showing that those who choose to sit by and watch the ship go down are indeed guiltier than the one bringing it down. Bogart played the part masterfully, rolling the balls back and forth and each little movement displayed the outward appearance of a man in inner turmoil.
If you have not seen this movie, you may feel I have ruined it for you, but trust me. Like any great film, the true weight of the picture is not in what happens, but why it happens. You will be thinking about this one for weeks after seeing it. This was one film that truly held a high purpose and great lesson. Never leave your captain hanging out to dry, no matter how nasty he is.