The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, adapted by author Herman Wouk from his own novel, was a hit on Broadway, which led to a famous (and famously successful) screen adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Fred MacMurray, and José Ferrer. But there was also a television adaptation, presented on November 19, 1955, which preserved Lloyd Nolan's performance as Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg, and was as big a hit on the small screen as the movie was in theaters. This double LP preserves the audio component of that television special, and it holds up astonishingly well. Director Franklin Schaffner demonstrates a command of the audio as well as -- undoubtedly -- the visual aspects of the technical side of the production; listening to the drama, it's brilliantly effective on these terms. The only flaw -- one inherent in the medium, and preserved here -- in the listening takes the form of the breaks into commercials, but these are minimal, and not a real distraction, held as they are to a minimum. It's worth tracking down, for fans of the book or the drama, and raises the question of whether the video portion of the show might someday be unearthed and released.
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