William Friedkin: A Hollywood Legend’s Final Work

William Friedkin: A Hollywood Legend’s Final Work

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Caine Mutiny in Court: Overview
  3. The Plot
  4. Legacy of William Friedkin
  5. Conclusion


William Friedkin, renowned for his direction in films like “French Connection Brooklyn Focal Point” and “The Exorcist,” became a Hollywood legend. His successful remake of the court drama “The 12 Jurors” in the 90s further solidified his reputation. Unfortunately, he passed away last year due to heart failure and pneumonia. His last work, “The Caine Mutiny in Court,” was posthumously published.

The Caine Mutiny in Court: Overview

“The Caine Mutiny in Court” is available on the Paramount+ streaming service. This courtroom thriller, based on the novel “The Caine was her Destiny” by Herman Wouk, has been filmed twice before. In Friedkin’s version, the plot was updated to a modern setting and focuses solely on the court proceedings, with the mutiny being discussed rather than shown.

The Plot

Marine officer Lieutenant Stephen Maryk (The White Lotus-Star Jake Lacy) is charged with mutiny. He must answer for this before a US Navy military court. During the mutiny, Maryk helped the captain, Lieutenant Commander Phillip Queeg (Kiefer Sutherland), withdrawn from command. The reason for this is said to have been signs of mental instability on the part of the captain.

Legacy of William Friedkin

William Friedkin was part of the New Hollywood of the 1970s. During this time, traditional Hollywood cinema was modernized. This era is still considered one of the most artistically important phases of American film. Together with directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese Friedkin created films that are considered classics today. Friedkin’s French Connection – Focus on Brooklyn was one of the groundbreaking films of the New Hollywood. His police drama is now considered a prototype for the genre. He was able to surpass his success with The Exorcist two years later. The horror film was not only commercially successful, but also controversial. He was able to complete his last film, The Caine Mutiny in Court, before his death, but died before its premiere at the Venice Film Festival.


“The Caine Mutiny in Court” serves as a fitting farewell to a great director. This sentiment is reflected in the film’s Metacritic rating, where it has a review average of 71. David Fear, writing for Rolling Stone, described it as the “perfect farewell,” praising Friedkin’s ability to recognize great acting and knowing when to let his actors take the lead.

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