Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mister Roberts

John Ford, 1955 (8.8*)
Western directing legend Ford breaks the mold in perhaps his most accessible film, with a terrific cast and a perfect comedy play that required little transformation to become a comedy classic film. James Cagney is the skipper of a tiny naval vessal used for training, while the real heroes are off killing our WW2 enemies, so he takes his frustrations out on his crew. Henry Fonda is perfect as Cagney's foil, Mister Roberts, second-in-command, who has the crew's respect and affection as they all hate the skipper. He has the perfect well-mannered demeanor with Cagney, which further drives him batty. William Powell, in his last film role, is the ship's doctor, and a young Jack Lemmon won a supporting actor Oscar as a junior officer, always stymied by, and fearful of Cagney and with whom he's always at silent war.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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