|The USS Caine is a rundown minesweeper, stationed at Pearl Harbor. During sea exercises there is an embarrassing incident, there are further mistakes by the commander as the ship's duties continue, the crew become convinced that Queeg, their Captain, is a coward. His continued excessive behaviour leads the senior officers to believe Queeg is mentally unstable. Running into a storm Queeg endangers the ship and is relieved of his command. On return to harbor two of the officers, Maryk and Keith, are then court martialled for mutiny. Initially the trial goes badly for the officers, but Queeg goes to pieces under cross-examination.