MovieChat Forums > Ensign Pulver (1964) Discussion > Questions About The Cast

Questions About The Cast

After 40 years, I finally got a chance and the time to see the sequel to my childhood favorite Mr. Roberts.. Does anyone know why James Cagney, William Powell and Jack Lemmon didn't reprise their roles from Mr. Roberts? In fact, it appears that none of the original cast members from Mister Roberts were used in the sequel Ensign Pulver when I went down the cast list and compared. Anyone have any facts (not ideas or guesses) why?

Thanks in advance for any factual answers you can provide.


I would guess that the actors simply had no interest in making an unnecessary sequel. Nine yrs had passed since 'Mr Roberts' was released. A very long time even now. 'Ensign Pulver', also did not include the main character (Mr. Roberts) that made their film 'Mr Roberts' a big hit! Who would be interested? The public wasn't as the film did not do well at the box office.

Just for the record, I'm not a Dude, I'm a Dudette!


Mr Roberts (Henry Fonda) was killed at the end of the movie "Mister Roberts"


I'm sure there were economical, personal and practical reasons.

I haven't heard anything to document my speculation, but here goes:

It was 9 years later - Jack Lemmon had aged 9 years as well, so there was no way he would look like "young" Ensign Pulver - keeping in mind the the movie "Ensign Pulver" had a storyline which required it take place within months after the plot of "Mister Roberts".

Jack Lemmon by that time had also blossomed into a major star in the mid-1960s. I'm sure he would not have come cheap.

Also - Lemmon may have had no interest in playing the role that put him on the map, especially knowing how much he had aged/grown since "Mister Roberts."

As for William Powell and James Cagney, they may have been too expensive as well - if they were up to health-wise. Cagney stayed around for many years but he kept his movie profile low, presumably because he had very little interest in making movies. Powell may simply have been too ill, since he was the oldest of the actors you mentioned - and, again keeping in mind the fact that the sequel movie's timeframe is just months after "Mister Roberts," Powell may have looked waaaaay too old to be a functioning naval officer.

"Don't call me 'honey', mac."
"Don't call me 'mac'... HONEY!"


^^That strikes me as a good assessment nycruise.

"Did you make coffee...? Make it!"--Cheyenne.


Cagney and Powell had both retired;Lemmon should definitely have been in sequel.


Wow, I forgot I posted this question 3 years ago, Just happened to find it again while exploring my posting history.. Life had gone on since my original question with divorce and child custody problems which had replaced my curiosity to this topic. If those who answered my question find their way back here like I did, I want to sincerely thank you all for your answers.

I knew the Henry Fonda link as to why he wouldn't be in the sequel, but missed that there was a 9 year gap between Mr. Roberts and Ensign Pulver. Your answers explained a lot for me. Thanks again and I'm so sorry that my gratitude was so long in coming.