A German living in India during World War II is blackmailed by the English to impersonate an SS officer on board a cargo ship leaving Japan for Germany carrying a large supply of rubber for tyres. His mission is to disable the scuttling charges so the captain cannot sink the ship if they are stopped by English warships.


***WWII suspense/drama about a freighter in the Pacific with Brando and Brynner*** A German expatriate pacifist (Marlon Brando) is forced to pose as an SS Standard Leader for the purpose of disabling the scuttling charges on a merchant ship carrying rubber vital to the German war effort. Yul Brynner plays the disillusioned captain (Mueller), Martin Benrath the gun-ho first officer (Kruse), Janet Margolin an abused Jewess captive (Esther) and Hans Christian Blech a notable crewman (Donkeyman). Released in 1965 and unfortunately shot in B&W, “Morituri” is a suspense/drama taking place almost entirely on the freighter in the Pacific. The first 50 minutes are kinda meh as “Mr. Kyle” (Brando) sneaks around the ship disabling explosives and it’s not very believable. From there, though, the dramatics get interesting as suspense builds to an unexpected climax. Margolin’s character is desirable, but sad. The inscrutable title comes from the Latin morituri te salutant meaning “We who are about to die salute you.” At the end of the day “Morituri” is a must for fans of Brando or Brynner, not to mention those interested in 60’s WWII flicks. While not great, it’s a worthwhile antidote to modern blockbuster drivel (speaking as someone who enjoys a CGI-laden blockbuster now and then). The film runs 2 hours, 3 minutes. GRADE: B/B-

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