1st Lt. Fletcher Christian
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Quotes for
1st Lt. Fletcher Christian (Character)
from Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

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Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
Fletcher Christian: I was just thinking, sir, that our little errand for groceries might wind up in a page of naval history if we succeed in negotiating The Horn in the dead of winter.
Captain Bligh: Why shouldn't we succeed? Admiral Anderson did.
Fletcher Christian: Yes, but of course he didn't choose to attempt it in a ninety-one-foot chamber pot. In any event, his was the only ship to do it and I believe he lost fifty percent of his crew.

Captain Bligh: I wonder why an alleged gentleman should give his first loyalty to ordinary seamen.
Fletcher Christian: Instead of to other alleged gentlemen?
Captain Bligh: Impertinence noted.It shall be logged. Do you care to enlarge the entry?
Fletcher Christian: Yes, only with this observation, which I will report to the Admiralty in any case: in my years of service I have never met an officer who inflicted punishment upon men with such incredible relish. Sickening.
Captain Bligh: Then go and be sick in your cabin, Mr Christian. I have never met a naval officer who was so proud of a weak stomach.

Fletcher Christian: There'll be no more killing aboard this ship, not even Captain Bligh.
Captain Bligh: If that's an attempt to earn clemency,I spit on it.

Fletcher Christian: I believe I did what honour dictated and that belief sustains me, except for a slight desire to be dead which I'm sure will pass.

Captain Bligh: In a civilised soceity, certain lewd intentions towards the female members of one's family would be regarded as a, well, as an insult. Do you follow me?
Fletcher Christian: I think so, sir.
Captain Bligh: But in Tahiti, the insult lies in the omission of those lewd intentions. Manners that would offend a dock-side harlot seem to be the only acceptable behaviour to King Hitihiti.

Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: Fletcher, I'm proud to be with you.
Fletcher Christian: Well you've done rather well, Ned. Promoted to the rank of criminal. Not even 20 and a death sentence on your head.

Fletcher Christian: We need only persuade the British people of something they already know - that inhumanity is its poorest servant.

Fletcher Christian: [to Captain Bligh] You remarkable pig. You can thank whatever pig god you pray to that you haven't turned me into a murderer.

Fletcher Christian: [to Captain Bligh] But I assure you, sir, that the execution of my duties is entirely unaffected by my private opinion of you.

Fletcher Christian: [Lying on the beach in Pitcairn] So, it was your work, the burning. Was it? You filth.
John Mills: I had no want in me to harm you. For the love of God, believe I regret what has happened to you. We all do. But each man has to follow his own belief, no matter what. You said this many times after the mutiny. So I did what I thought I had to do. I burned the Bounty for the good of all. It wasn't in bad faith. It was just bad luck.
Fletcher Christian: For the good of all, Mills?
John Mills: Yes, sir.
Fletcher Christian: But why did you have to burn the Bounty? You had no reason to fear me.
John Mills: We were afraid, Mr. Christian. We were afraid that you were going to take us to London by force. We are sick and sorry for what has happened to you. We will never forget what you've done for us.
Fletcher Christian: It's alright, Mills. It wasn't your fault. Bligh left his mark on all of us.
John Mills: Goodbye, Mr. Christian.

Captain Bligh: [On the main deck, next to the water cask] Mr. Christian...
Fletcher Christian: Yes, sir?
Captain Bligh: I'll have a sentry posted at the water cask, if you please.
Fletcher Christian: Aye, aye, sir.
Captain Bligh: [Holding a long-handled water ladle] I want this slung from the main t'gallant yardarm. Any man desiring water will climb and fetch it. He may have just as much water as this ladle holds, and no more. Then he will replace the ladle at the yardarm.
Fletcher Christian: Are we short of water, sir?
Captain Bligh: [Gruffly] Do you wish me to repeat the order?
Fletcher Christian: No, sir, it's perfectly clear... A bit bewildering, but clear.
Captain Bligh: Then do it! Don't think about it... thinking seems to confuse you!

Fletcher Christian: You're in prison now, Mills. With one slight difference. We're not locked in. We're locked out.

Fletcher Christian: [regarding Norman] Since we are not at war, sir, I would hope to give him a decent burial. Yes, sir.
Captain Bligh: I am at war. Against ill winds, contrary currents and incompetent officers. You'd best join my war, Mr. Christian, for if I don't start winning soon, the casualty list will be real enough.

Fletcher Christian: [after striking Captain Bligh] You bloody bastard! You'll not put your foot on me again!
Captain Bligh: [laughing] Thank you! Thank you! I've been puzzling for a means to take the strut out of you, you posturing snob. Now, you've solved that for me, haven't you? You have witnessed Mr. Christian's act of violence toward a superior officer. He will be placed in confinement until a court martial can be convened. In Jamaica, I expect. And will your fashionable friends be there to witness your execution, I wonder? Let's hope so. Pity if your last function were to be a social failure. Mr. Fryer, take him below.

Fletcher Christian: [wanting to flog Bligh before putting him in the boat, but he slowly puts the flog on Bligh's shoulder] Take your flag with you.
Captain Bligh: [chuckling while rolling the flog, then throws it on the deck] I don't need a flag, Mr. Christian. Unlike you, I still have a country. What a big price to pay for a little show of temper. I pity you.

Fletcher Christian: [before putting Bligh in the longboat] As you know, Tafoa is due west, 40 leagues. You have your compass. This book is sufficient for its purpose. The sextant is my own, so you know it to be a good one. Now, Mr. William Bligh...
Captain Bligh: [smiling] Quite polite and formal, are we? Playing the gentleman again, you bloody traitor.

Captain Bligh: [three deserters are brought before Bligh] Quite an interesting gathering. What are those deserters doing here? Why aren't these men in irons?
Fletcher Christian: The men are being bandaged, sir. As to whether they are deserters, I'm a naval officer, I'm not a judge.
Captain Bligh: To my mind, you are neither.

Fletcher Christian: We may all very well be hanged. But decency is worth fighting for. You can't live without it. And hiding here, shivering like convicts, when we've a just case to present to the courts, is just another way of dying. And a far less bearable one.

Captain Bligh: [speaking to his officers during supper] You will all of you, no doubt, command your own ships someday. Let us suppose that your vessel is running in heavy seas. The shrouds are covered with ice. A gale is blowing. It becomes necessary, in your opinion, to order a seaman aloft. He realizes, of course, that if his fingers slip from the icy shrouds in a split second, he'll perish immediately. Now, this is a typical seaman, a half-witted, wife-beating, habitual drunkard. His whole life is spent evading and defying authority. Tell me, sir. What is it that makes this man go aloft?
Fletcher Christian: I think, depending on the man, sir, any number of reasons.
Captain Bligh: You can put it in one word. Fear. Fear of what you'll do to him. Fear of punishment so vivid in his mind that he fears it even more than sudden death.

Fletcher Christian: Would you care for a drink?
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: No, thank you.
Fletcher Christian: [seeing that Ned doesn't leave] Well, what are you standing there for? Did you come here to watch my Adam's apple bob about while I drink?
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: No, I'm thirsty.
Fletcher Christian: Well, take some water, then.
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: I couldn't. I couldn't get it down.
Fletcher Christian: [throwing the ladle angrily] Puking hell, you're a bore!
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: Is it a bore to want to help men whose lives are being torn out of them by a madman?
Fletcher Christian: Why don't you have the carpenter build you a cross, so you can drag about the ship and put ashes on your head? That would suit you, wouldn't it?
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: I've known you all my life, but I've never really known you till this moment. You're just exactly what you seem to be. A supercilious poseur without the slightest trace of humanity or compassion.
Fletcher Christian: Are you quite finished with your impertinence?
Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young: Not quite. One needn't look further for you character than the pomade in your hair.
Fletcher Christian: You'll close your arrogant mouth, Mr. Midshipman Young, or I'll have you on the rack. That's a promise and an order.


The Bounty (1984)
Christian: William, about your decision to go around the Horn.
Bligh: "William"? Not "Sir", not "Captain"; "William"?
Christian: I don't think the men will have it.
Bligh: Oh, the men won't have it. Are they in charge of the Bounty?
Christian: They might be if you insist.
Bligh: Again, would you repeat that please. "The men might be in charge." What are you threatening me with?
Christian: It's not a threat, it's a warning.
Bligh: [sarcastically] Oh, there are rumblings, are there?
Christian: No, there is fear.
Bligh: Around the Horn is the easiest way, the better way, and that is how we will go. Anything more?
Christian: Don't put Adams under the lash.
Bligh: He was insubordinate, cowardly and insubordinate, he frightened the men, I did not put that fear there, he did. So he will be lashed and we will go around the Horn. Are you frightened to go around the Horn, Mr. Christian? Are you a coward too, sir?

Bligh: Three men jumped ship last night. Churchill was one of them. You don't seem surprised?
Christian: Well no, now that it's happened I'm not, I'm not surprised.
Bligh: Well, I must say I'm no longer surprised myself now that I see the example that's being set by my first officer. Just look at yourself, man, look at the way your dressed. Come on, you're no better than one of these natives.
Christian: Well, at least I am no worse.
Bligh: Mr. Christian, I think your brain has received too much sunlight and your body overindulged in sexual excess.
Christian: I have done no more than any natural man would do.
Bligh: No, you've done no more than any wild animal would do. It always makes me laugh that whenever men lose their self-restraint they always say they're "natural".
Christian: They are more natural than men who have nothing to restrain.
Bligh: Mr. Christian, you will report to the ship by sundown tonight.
Christian: No.
Bligh: What did you say? No? Is that what you said? Is that what you said? No? All right, you will report to the ship immediately and you will stay on the ship. There'll be no more fraternizing with the damned degenerate natives of these islands by any of my officers or any of my crew. You comprehend my meaning, sir?
[shouts]
Bligh: Good!

Bligh: [shouting] Filth, sir! Filthy, Mr. Christian! Still filthy! Look!
Christian: I see nothing, sir, but your finger.
Bligh: [shouting] I'll not have your vile ways brought aboard my ship, sir! Do you understand? Now you'll call up the swabbing party yet again! And this time you will make bloody sure that the decks are clean, or by God you will answer for it, sir! I'll not have any of your foul, filthy, gutter ways on board my ship! Do you understand? Good God, pigs in a sty have more comprehension of cleanliness than you buggers have! Now you'll get these decks clean, or by God I'll make you lick them clean with your tongue if you don't mend your ways!

Bligh: My dear God. I had hoped to avoid this.
Christian: Avoid what, sir?
Bligh: Damn it all, man. I'm expected to sleep with her. She's one of King Tynah's wives. A gift from one chief to another, as it were. Now look, five minutes after I go below you must call me up on some important business, all right?
Christian: Yes, sir. What business?
Bligh: Business, damn it; any bloody business.

Bligh: [Bligh is nervously waiting for Christian to get him so he won't have to sleep with one of King Tynah's wives] Enter.
Christian: Uh, excuse me, sir.
Bligh: Mr. Christian.
Christian: Sir.
Bligh: What demands my immediate attention?
Christian: Well it could wait until tomorrow, sir.
Bligh: [quietly] What is it, damn you?
Christian: The ship is sinking, sir.
Bligh: Good.

Christian: I am in hell, sir! I am in hell!

Bligh: Do you really think you'll be able to command this rabble?
Christian: I'll do my best.
Bligh: Well I did my best, and I had the authority of the law. You're a dead man Fletcher.

Edward Young: [after seeing Christian improvising a raft to escape the ship at night] That isn't a raft, it's a coffin. There's a five-knot current running between us and that island.
Christian: I'll take my chance.
Edward Young: You think a lot of us haven't thought of this? You're not the only one to have left a woman behind. Fletcher, the men are ready for anything.
Christian: What are you saying, Ned? Are you inciting me to mutiny?
Edward Young: If I were you, I'd take the ship. That's all.
Christian: Why don't you, then?
Edward Young: I said if I were you. I'm not.

Christian: [in his log] I am committed to a desperate enterprise. I have said farewell to everything I've been accustomed to regard as indispensable. But I suppose I have found freedom.

Christian: I am in hell! Hell, sir! Why are you being so damn reasonable now? Goddamn your blood to hell with mine, sir! Goddamn your blood!
Bligh: Mr. Christian, get a hold of yourself!
Christian: You will be quiet or I will run you through!
Seaman Matthew Quintal: Do it, Christian! Kill him!
Christian: Just shut your mouth! You shut your mouth! I will run you through and then I will kill myself after. You get him dressed now! Get him dressed!

John Fryer: Captain Bligh is surprised that he hasn't had the pleasure of your company at supper for some weeks.
Christian: Do you still do that?
John Fryer: And the Captain said he'd expect you this evening.
Christian: Well, today... today is not Friday.
John Fryer: Six o'clock. Prompt, if you please.

Edward Young: [after Heywood falls on his seat and bumps into Christian] Striking a superior officer.
Thomas Heywood: No, I didn't.
Christian: It's a hanging offence, sir.
Thomas Heywood: [nervous] Sorry, sir.
Christian: Can't be helped. We shall get to know each other pretty closely, I believe.
Edward Young: I wonder we shall find out.
Christian: Depends on how inquisitive are, Mr. Young.


Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Lt. Fletcher Christian: When you're back in England with the fleet again, you'll hear the hue and cry against me. From now on they'll spell mutiny with my name.

Lt. Fletcher Christian: He doesn't punish men for discipline. He likes to see men crawl.

Lt. Fletcher Christian: But the prisoner is dead sir!
Captain William Bligh: Never mind, continue with the punishment!

Captain William Bligh: [before being set adrift] Mr. Christian, I give you your last chance to return to duty.
Lt. Fletcher Christian: I'll take my chance against the law. You'll take yours against the sea.
Captain William Bligh: But you're taking my ship. My ship!
Lt. Fletcher Christian: Your ship? The King's ship, you mean! And you're not fit to command it! Into the boat!

Lt. Fletcher Christian: [about Bligh] Murdering butcher! I've had enough of this blood ship! He's no master of life and death on a quarterdeck above the angels!

Lt. Fletcher Christian: Bligh, you've given your last command on this ship! We'll be men again if we hang for it!

Lt. Fletcher Christian: There's something I want you to do.
Byam: Gladly. What is it?
Lt. Fletcher Christian: One never knows what may happen on a voyage like this. If, for any reason, I don't return to England, I want you to see my parents.
Byam: Well, why shouldn't you return to England.
Lt. Fletcher Christian: Why? Because I can't stand this devil's work much longer. One day I'll forget this discipline and break his neck.
Byam: Wait until we're back in England. The Admiralty will save you the trouble.
Lt. Fletcher Christian: Well, in any case, I'd like you to see my parents.
Byam: Of course. Where do they live?
Lt. Fletcher Christian: In Cumberland at Maincordare. I've almost forgotten what the old place looks like. I haven't seen in ten years. But I do remember a tapestry in the hall with ships and islands on it. Perhaps that's what sent me off to sea. I don't know. In any case, I'd like you to see my home. If anything should happen, tell my father and mother that you knew me.
Byam: You can count on me.

Lt. Fletcher Christian: [after looking at the book with the supplies] Mr. Bligh, I can't sign this book. No such amounts have been issued to the men.
Captain William Bligh: You've signed with extra kegs the ship never carried.
Lt. Fletcher Christian: I have, sir.
Captain William Bligh: Then, why not? We all do it. We'd be fools if we didn't do it on a lieutenant's pay. I want to stow away enough to keep me out of the gutter when I'm too old for service.
Lt. Fletcher Christian: I understand. A captain's prerogative. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind.
Captain William Bligh: Why is this case different?
Lt. Fletcher Christian: Because the captains I've served with before didn't starve their men. They didn't save money by buying up the stinking meat that you put aboard in Tenerife. They didn't buy yams that would sicken a pig
Captain William Bligh: [shouts] Silence!
Lt. Fletcher Christian: They didn't call their men thieves and flog them in the bone because they've complained about it.
Captain William Bligh: You impudent scoundrel! Sign that book!
Lt. Fletcher Christian: I refuse! And you have no authority that can make me.
Captain William Bligh: I haven't? I'll show you authority. Lay all hands aft! All hands aft!