Herman Wouks’ The Caine Mutiny

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On this day in literature Herman Wouk was born.

1915: Herman Wouk is born.

As happenstance would have it his obituary was just these last few days:

At the beach and poolside in the Catskills holiday resorts popular with Jewish New Yorkers in the 1950s, along with the straw hats, suntan lotion and one-piece bathing suits, the novels of Herman Wouk reigned supreme. Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud may have received lavish praise from critics in the New York Times, but Wouk’s bestsellers easily outsold the work of every other Jewish writer in the US. Wouk, who has died aged 103, was an award-winning novelist whose books were made into Hollywood movies, a playwright and an author of screenplays. He wrote books about Judaism and modern belief. Throughout, he voiced a conservative view of ethics and morality that remained largely unamended in the course of a writing career of more than six decades. The Caine Mutiny (1951), awarded the Pulitzer prize for fiction, was made into a popular movie by Edward Dmytryk in 1954.

The book was good:

The Caine Mutiny is the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk. The novel grew out of Wouk’s personal experiences aboard a destroyer-minesweeper in the Pacific Theater in World War II. Among its themes, it deals with the moral and ethical decisions made at sea by ship captains. The mutiny of the title is legalistic, not violent, and takes place during Typhoon Cobra, in December 1944. The court-martial that results provides the dramatic climax to the plot.

The movie is often regarded as the better work:

The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 American film. A fictional Navy drama set in the Pacific during World War II, it was directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Stanley Kramer, and stars Humphrey Bogart, José Ferrer, Van Johnson, and Fred MacMurray. The film is based on The Caine Mutiny, the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel written by Herman Wouk. It depicts the events on board a fictitious World War II U.S. Navy minesweeper and a subsequent court-martial for mutiny. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Bogart), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Tully), Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording, Best Film Editing and Best Dramatic Score (Max Steiner).[4] Dmytryk was also nominated for a Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. It was the second highest-grossing film in the United States in 1954.

A Few Good Men has more than the occasional echo, no?

Available online of course: The Caine Mutiny

Or the movie: The Caine Mutiny

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The Caine Mutiny Court Martial that followed in 1988 wasn’t too shabby either!