A hilarious and heartfelt military comedy-drama co-directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, Mister Roberts stars Henry Fonda as an officer who's yearning for battle but is stuck in the backwaters of World War II on a noncommissioned Navy ship run by the bullying Capt. Morton (James Cagney). Jack Lemmon enjoys a star-making turn as the freewheeling Ensign Pulver, and William Powell stars as the ship's doctor in his last screen role. Based on the 1946 novel with the same name, by Thomas Heggen, and the 1948 Broadway play, written by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan. Henry Fonda also starred in the original Broadway production. Warner Bros. didn't want Fonda to star in the film, as they thought he was too old, and had been a stage player for so long (8 years), that he no longer was box office material. However, John Ford insisted on Fonda and the company eventually agreed..