William Friedkin’s passing was coupled with anticipation for The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, a Venice-premiering and Showtime-bound adaptation of Herman Wouk’s legal thriller. It’s hardly the most splendid conclusion for a filmmaker who often operated with such bravado––most will only ever see it at home, for one thing––but early word claims it’s fitting: a strongly assembled, expertly played bit of dramatics that emphasizes Friedkin’s instincts for camera placement and cutting, two things it’s harder to come by in American cinema. (Or television, but whatever.) Ahead of its Paramount+ with Showtime premiere on October 6 and Showtime airing on October 9, we have a trailer.
As David Katz said in our review, “Friedkin excelled with action (which I use as a term of endearment), often sublimating everything in his films to spectacle (which I note with more skepticism). The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial is an action film with words, its cutting and command of space as sharp and rhythmic as the continuity edits splicing wides and close-ups in his car chases. What’s crucial is that there is no flashback to the tumultuous circumstances onboard; we receive alternating glosses on what happened, and who was responsible––especially regarding Maryk’s growing skepticism of Queeg and his possible mental instability across the ship’s whole campaign. It forces the unseen past events––a tense naval drama, in actuality––to vividly play in our head.”
Watch the preview below:
Barney Greenwald, a skeptical lawyer, reluctantly defends an officer of the navy who took control of the Caine from its captain, Lt. Philip Francis Queeg (Kiefer Sutherland), while caught in a violent sea storm. As the court-martial proceeds, however, Greenwald increasingly questions if it was truly a mutiny or rather the courageous acts of a group of sailors who could not trust their unstable leader. Written and directed by Academy Award®-celebrated filmmaker William Friedkin and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk of the same name.