March 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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DVD Review

Film: The Caine Mutiny with music by Max STEINER
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, Tom Tully and E.G. Marshall. From the novel by Herman Wouk. Directed by Edward Dmytryk. Produced by Stanley Kramer.
  [120 mins]

Caine Mutiny

 

This Columbia classic was nominated for seven 1954 Academy Awards including best picture and actor (Bogart), Tom Tully (supporting actor) and Max Steiner.

Steiner wrote one of his most stirring, swaggering marches for this film. He develops it astutely through the film underlining the drama of Captain Queeg (Bogart) the paranoid bullying and cowardly captain of the US minesweeper who unravels before his men and is relieved of his duties at the height of a typhoon when he refuses to turn the ship away from certain disaster. Steiner also uses source music the song ‘I can’t believe (that you’re in love with me)’ very much in the way he used ‘As Time Goes By’ in Casablanca

to underline the ups and downs of the on-screen romance between newcomer actors, Robert Francis and May Wynn. A certain amount of mickey-mousing is apparent in the score especially in early more light-hearted comic scenes during combat training.

Apart from Steiner’s music wartime drama can be enjoyed for the excellent ensemble

acting especially that of Bogart notably as he falls apart (agitatedly fingering those ball bearings) under the relentless examination by Jose Ferrar (another quite brilliant performance especially when he berates all Queeg’s officers at the end of the film – even though one senses that this scene was added as a sop to the pride of the US Navy) and the Iago-like and cowardly officer played by Fred MacMurray.

The DVD transfer shows up all the exceptional quality of the colour photography and the sound

Ian Lace

****

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