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Mister Roberts Details


Henry Fonda returned to films after an eight-year absence in this masterful adaptation of the actor's Broadway hit Mister Roberts. Written and partially directed by Joshua Logan, the film stars Fonda as Lt. Doug Roberts, chief cargo officer of the supply ship "Reluctant." WW2 is in its last few months, and Roberts is itching for combat duty. But the Reluctant's surly, despotic captain (James Cagney), anxious to use Roberts to expedite his own promotion, refuses to sign any of Roberts' transfer requests. Helping to brighten Mister Roberts' humdrum existence are his best friends, Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon, in an Oscar-winning performance) and the ship's philosophical doctor (William Powell, in his final film appearance). Most of the laughs are provided by Pulver, officer "in charge of laundry and morale." When he isn't wheeling and dealing to bring a bevy of beautiful nurses on board the Reluctant, Pulver is concocting elaborate schemes to avenge himself against the Captain -- even though he's spent 14 months on the Reluctant without ever meeting his nemesis. The film's highlights include the efforts by Roberts, Pulver, and Doc to mix a bottle of Scotch from Coca-Cola, Iodine, and other vital ingredients; and Mister Roberts' (and later Ensign Pulver's) assertion of manhood by tossing the Captain's precious palm tree overboard. Halfway through shooting, legendary director John Ford was replaced, ostensibly because of illness, by Mervyn LeRoy. One of the finest service comedies ever made, Mister Roberts spawned a less amusing sequel, Mervyn LeRoy (1964), as well as a 1965 TV sitcom. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:July 30, 1955


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jack Lemmon Best Supporting Actor 1955 Winner
Directors Guild of America John Ford Best Director 1955 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Mervyn LeRoy Best Director 1955 Nominee


Henry Fonda
as Lt. Doug Roberts
James Cagney
as Captain Morion
William Powell
as Doc
Jack Lemmon
as Ens. Frank Thurlowe Pulver
Betsy Palmer
as Lt. Ann Girard
Ward Bond
as C.P.O. Dowdy
Philip Carey
as Mannion
Nick Adams
as Reber
Ken Curtis
as Dolan
Fritz Ford
as Lindstrom
Buck Kartalian
as Mason
Harry Tenbrook
as Cookie
Perry Lopez
as Rodrigues
Robert Roark
as Insigna
Patrick Wayne
as Bookser
Jim Moloney
as Kennedy
Shug Fisher
as Johnson
Danny Borzage
as Jonesey
Kathleen O'Malley
as Nurse
Mimi Doyle
as Nurse
Lonnie Pierce
as Nurse
Gregory Walcott
as Shore Patrolman
James Flavin
as MP
Jack Pennick
as Marine Sergeant
Duke Kahanamoku
as Native Chief
Harry Carey, Jr.
as Stefanowski
William Henry
as Lt. Billings
Stubby Kruger
as Schlemmer
Martin Milner
as Shore Patrol Officer
Duke Kahanamoku
as Native Chief
Stubby Kruger
as Schlemmer
Harry Carey, Jr.
as Stefanowski
William Henry
as Lt. Billings


John Ford
Mervyn LeRoy
Joshua Logan
Joshua Logan
Play Author
Thomas Heggen
Play Author
Winton Hoch
Franz Waxman
Composer (Music Score)
Art Loel
Art Director
Moss Mabry
Costume Designer
Wingate Smith
First Assistant Director
Gordon Bau