Wouk and Remembrance

(Above image from trailer of ‘The Caine Mutiny.’ Source: YouTube video)

Writer Herman Wouk, who died Friday 10 days short of his 104th birthday, was behind some of the most iconic titles in TV and movie history: The Winds of War, War and Remembrance, and The Caine Mutiny.

TV Miniseries

In the 1980s, binge-watching meant immersing yourself in network miniseries that would go on day after day after day. Two of the biggest were based on equally epic Wouk novels: The Winds of War, which he also wrote for TV, and War and Remembrance, which he co-adapted.

Robert Mitchum starred in both ABC miniseries as Victor “Pug” Henry, whose life from 1939 to 1945 intersects with the history of World War II.  Notable co-stars included Ali McGraw, Jane Seymour, John Houseman and Jan Michael-Vincent.

The Winds of War (1983) totaled 14 hours over seven episodes, and War and Remembrance (1988-1989) 30 hours over 12 episodes.

In 2019, you can binge both miniseries – 44 hours in all — for free via Bill H’s YouTube channel. To get started, here’s episode one of The Winds of War:

The Caine Mutiny

The most successful movie adaptation of a Wouk novel was 1954’s Oscar-nominated The Caine Mutiny, starring Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg, commander of a US Navy minesweeper during World War II. Some crew members are convinced that Queeg, who rolls marbles in his hands when nervous, may actually be losing his marbles.

Wouk didn’t write the screenplay, but did adapt his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, which also premiered in 1954. Decades later, the play was filmed by Robert Altman and telecast by CBS – opposite episode nine of War and Remembrance!

Both versions of The Caine Mutiny can now be rented for $3.99 from various providers.

Other films

Other Wouk novels made into movies include Slattery’s Hurricane (1949), Youngblood Hawke (1964) and Marjorie Morningstar (1958), a romantic drama starring Gene Kelly and Natalie Wood. Click on each link to stream for free, or watch Marjorie Morningstar right here:

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About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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