The USS Reluctant carries cargo along World War II''s forgotten Pacific seaways. Beyond the horizon, the real war passes its stir-crazy crew by.
Mister Roberts, directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, is the classic story of men fighting to survive not war''s dangers but it indignities. Henry Fonda''s reprise of his Tony-winning Broadway role returned him to movies after seven years away.
Jack Lemmon won his first Academy Award as hapless, lecherous Ensign Pulver. James Cagney''s petty, scrappy Captain makes a fierce adversary. In his final film, William Powell makes world-weary Doc a sage for the ages.
Mister Roberts has moments of unforgettable humor. But sadness tempers the comedy. No shot is fired. No blood is spilled. Yet Mister Roberts endures as one of our most truthful war sagas.