Watch Morituri

"Must mean something unusual"
  • Approved
  • 1965
  • 2 hr 3 min
  • 7.0  (4,367)

Morituri is a World War II era suspense-drama film directed by Bernhard Wicki and starring Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, and Janet Margolin. The movie is set in 1942 when the German Navy is facing loss of essential rubber supplies due to the Allied naval blockade. In response, the Germans decide to send an unarmed tanker named "St. Nikolai" across the Atlantic to Japan to collect a shipment of rubber. However, the shipment is placed under high security and the only way to infiltrate it is through a passenger on board posing as a replacement crew member for the ship's engine room. The Germans turn to Robert Crain (Marlon Brando), an American-born defector who has spent the last decade living in Germany and has the necessary engineering knowledge.

Crain reluctantly agrees to take part in this mission, but he makes it clear that he is not doing it for the Nazis or the German cause. The Germans assign him a tough and violent taskmaster named Muller (Yul Brynner), who will make sure Crain delivers the goods or face the consequences himself. However, as the voyage progresses, Crain begins to question his decision and realizes that his actions might lead to the death of innocent people, as the ship will likely be targeted by Allied forces.

The tension in Morituri comes not only from the moral dilemma faced by Crain, but also from the dangerous and unpredictable nature of the mission. The crew of the "St. Nikolai" consists of a diverse group of individuals, including Americans, Germans, and Japanese, each with their own agenda and loyalty. As Crain tries to gain their trust and learn more about the security measures protecting the rubber, he must also navigate the turbulent waters of interpersonal relationships and conflicting ideologies.

The film is a slow-burn, character-driven thriller that relies on the excellent performances of Brando and Brynner to create a sense of unease and claustrophobia. Brando, in particular, is mesmerizing as the conflicted and tormented Crain, who grapples with his past and present loyalties while trying to survive a perilous journey. Brynner, on the other hand, brings an air of cold and calculated menace to his role as Muller, a man who is not afraid to use violence to get what he wants.

The cinematography of Morituri is also worth noting, as it captures the cramped and suffocating environment of the ship beautifully. The camera lingers on the faces of the sailors and passengers, showcasing the subtle looks of suspicion, fear, and hope that play out on their faces. The score, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, adds to the tension with its haunting and ominous sound.

Overall, Morituri is a thought-provoking and gripping film that tackles complex themes of loyalty, morality, and sacrifice in the context of war. It offers a nuanced and sobering portrayal of the struggles faced by individuals caught between different sides of a conflict, and the toll that such a situation can take on one's psyche. It is a must-see for fans of suspenseful war films and those who appreciate nuanced characterizations and performances.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 3 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (4,367)