sovay: (Claude Rains)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2016-02-23 10:59 pm

I don't want to upset you too much, but at the moment you have an excellent chance of being hanged

I associate José Ferrer so strongly with the role of Cyrano de Bergerac, I always forget what he looks like when he doesn't have a nose thirteen different modes of insult can be improvised on. Clean-shaven and sarcastic in The Caine Mutiny (1954), with a cropped brush of a military haircut, he looks strikingly like his son Miguel, who will probably always look like Albert Rosenfield to me. His Lieutenant Greenwald is sharp and efficient in the courtroom, sardonically expansive when drunk after the case: "The Caine's favorite author! The Shakespeare who nearly sunk us all! . . . Here's to the real author of the Caine mutiny. Here's to you, Mr. Keefer." Of course Keefer is an author; that's his problem. The other mutineers are reacting to what they perceive as a real threat—the paranoid captain, dangerously unstable, not the desperately combat-fatigued one in need of support. Keefer is telling a story with other people's lives. "You'll publish your novel," Greenwald sneers, "you'll make a million bucks, you'll marry a big movie star and for the rest of your life you'll live with your conscience, if you have one." His novel is the courtroom transcripts, the situation he set up aboard the Caine. If Fred MacMurray made any good movies where he didn't play a heel, I haven't found them yet.