Thursday, 13 January 2011

Best Actor 1954: Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny

Humphrey Bogart received his third and final Oscar nomination for portraying Lt. Commander Philip Queeg in The Caine Mutiny.

The Caine Mutiny is an uneven yet mostly effective film when it focuses upon the central drama.

Humphrey Bogart really is more of a supporting player as the Captain of the World War II ship the Caine. He shows up and instantly everyone seems to be off put by him, and he himself seems very much upset.  Queeg is portrayed as a fairly incompetent Captain actually, and attempts to be a controlling although not cruel captain. He tries to attempt to keep a regular order. Bogart lacks command in his performance, which makes sense. He is properly pathetic I suppose as no one listens to him, he fails to command any respect. I suppose Bogart is fine as being the Captain without respect, and I will say does have one very good scene showing the sadness, and nervousness of the Captain well.  That is when he pleads with his crew to help him out, but the Captain receives no words of help of comfort. Bogart realizes the paranoid history in that scene quite effectively. He shows the man really reaching out for any help and reveals the cruelty when no one gives it to him.

Bogart excels throughout the rest of the film in portraying the slow deterioration of Queeg's psyche as the officers continue to disobey him as do all the man. Bogart reveals only a growing desperation in the man as he tries to get any respect yet receives none. Although Bogart portrays him as unappealing in these responses he does not actually show them to be entirely uncalled for, as he reveals again the fervent attempt to try to hold things together. As the story goes on though Bogart reveals the way this control becomes all the more unstable built up until he decides that there is a theft aboard the ship. In this scene there is a madness in Bogart but in that he shows really this almost fatal final attempt to try to regain any sort of order aboard the ship which he cannot find. This leads to his freezing up moment which Bogart is quite effective in as he  shows the man looking for any help, yet finding absolutely none which really puts him in the state of being completely unable to lead. This eventually leads to the court martial scene where Bogart is actually quite outstanding in scene that would be quite influential down the road. Bogart's brilliant in the scene by so effectively beginning as just the seasoned naval officer giving his testimony then slowly pulling it back to reveal all the man's desperation and paranoia. Bogart does this so well particularly in the moment of self-realization at the end of the breakdown that creates an empathy for the man who was done wrong just as he did wrong.


Anonymous said...

Never saw this one, mostly because I avoid Bogart.

Louis Morgan said...

Yeah that's understandable, I myself could not stand him when I first began watching his movies. I gotta say though that he has grown a little on me since then.

dinasztie said...

I have nothing against Bogart.