Friday, February 01, 2008
cinema obscura: Joshua Logan's "Ensign Pulver" (1964)
Guilty pleasure, anyone?
Joshua Logan, who directed "Mister Roberts" on stage and helmed certain uncredited sequences for the John Ford-Mervyn LeRoy 1955 film version, got the bright idea of continuing Thomas Heggen's beloved story by speculating on what happened to Ensign Pulver (the Jack Lemmon character, natch) after Mister Roberts (Henry Fonda) died in combat.
The result was 1964's immediately forgettable but strangely likable "Ensign Pulver" with the Lemmon-esque Robert Walker Jr. (the lookalike son of Robert Walker) assuming the title role.
This is an excellent example of a film that's not especially good but that has a cast that makes it worthwhile.
The plot is negligble, but get this cast:
-Burl Ives, taking over for James Cagney as Captain Morton.
-Walter Matthau, excellent as Doc, the William Powell role.
-Kay Medford, always wonderful, this time as a tough head nurse who meets her match in Matthau's Doc.
-Millie Perkins as a young nurse and potential love interest for Ensign Pulver.
-Diana Sands and Al Freeman, Jr., hilarious as two rather worldly south-seas natives.
-Jack Nicholson, James Coco, Tommy Sands, Jerry Orbach, James Farentino, Larry Hagman, George Lindsey, Gerald O'Loughlin and Peter Marshall as assorted sailors on "The Bucket."
Put it out on DVD already!
Cinema Obscura is a recurring feature of The Passionate Moviegoer, devoted to those films that have been largely forgotten. Suggestions welcome.
(Artwork: Poster art for Joshua Logan's "Ensign Pulver")
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Anyone interested in perusing some 2060 of my film reviews, dating back to 1994, can do so by simply going to RottenTomatoes.Com
Posted by joe baltake at 2:01 PM