Henry Fonda as Lt.(j.g.) Doug Roberts, U.S. Navy cargo ship executive officer
The Pacific Theater, Spring 1945
Film: Mister Roberts
Release Date: July 30, 1955
Director: John Ford, Mervyn Leroy, and Joshua Logan
Costume Designer: Moss Mabry
On Henry Fonda’s birthday, I want to celebrate one of the actor’s most famous roles among a talented cast of some of my favorite actors: Jack Lemmon, James Cagney, and William Powell.
Lieutenant (junior grade) Doug Roberts is a pragmatic executive officer on USS Reluctant, a cargo ship far from the action in “the waning days of World War II,” as we learn during the film’s opening credits. Despite his popularity on “the bucket”, Lt. Roberts is itching to see some combat… and to get away from useless martinets like the ship’s strict captain (Cagney).
Fonda had originated the role on stage. The play Mister Roberts had opened on Broadway in February 1948, a few years after Fonda and his pal James Stewart returned from their own service in the war.
Kenneth More as Charles Lightoller, Second Officer of the RMS Titanic
North Atlantic Ocean, April 1912
Film: A Night to Remember
Release Date: July 3, 1958
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Costume Designer: Yvonne Caffin
101 years ago at 2:20 a.m., the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg, resulting in the death of more than 1,500 passengers and crew. The story has remained at the forefront of public consciousness for generations to follow, an enduring historic tragedy that has resulted in scores of books, films, televised works, and more, perhaps most famously the 1997 blockbuster Titanic directed by James Cameron.
Cameron stated that he was inspired by scenes from the 1958 film A Night to Remember, a comparatively little-known film when compared to his expensive epic. However, many historians refer to A Night to Remember the definitive filmed adaptation of the disaster. Continue reading