Mister Roberts | Chicago Reader

Mister Roberts

A lot of what John Ford, the original director, put into the film of Joshua Logan's Broadway smash was cut by the producer, Leyland Hayward, because it wasn't in Logan's original script. So says Ford, who dropped out of the film (which was finally completed by Mervyn LeRoy and earned an Oscar for newcomer Jack Lemmon in 1955). Logan reportedly demanded that much of Ford's original material be put back because it was funnier than the stuff Hayward liked. In any event, the film is still hilarious, though time has dimmed the luster of Lemmon's hamming in favor of James Cagney's superbly psychotic commanding officer. Henry Fonda stars, as brilliant as ever.

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