Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, ...
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In 1787, British ship Bounty leaves Portsmouth to bring a cargo of bread-fruit from Tahiti but the savage on-board conditions imposed by Captain Bligh trigger a mutiny led by officer Fletcher Christian.
A cavalcade of English life from New Year's Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot. Amongst events touching their family are the Boer War,... See full summary »
Midshipman Roger Byam joins Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian aboard HMS Bounty for a voyage to Tahiti. Bligh proves to be a brutal tyrant and, after six pleasant months on Tahiti, Christian leads the crew to mutiny on the homeward voyage. Even though Byam takes no part in the mutiny, he must defend himself against charges that he supported Christian. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
Clark Gable was initially disappointed when Franchot Tone was cast as Byam. The two actors had been bitter rivals for the affections of Joan Crawford while filming Dancing Lady (1933), and they did not like each other at all. However, during filming Gable surprisingly became close friends with Tone when they discovered a mutual interest in alcohol and women, both of which were abundantly available in Avalon, the island of Catalina's famous pleasure town. See more »
Captain Bligh is shown keel hauling a sailor for a minor offense. The British Navy discontinued the practice around 1720, decades before the Bounty sailed. The French and Dutch navies discontinued keel hauling in 1750, 37 years before the Bounty's voyage. See more »
Lavish, Interesting, & Memorable (Whether Historical Or Not)
With three fine leading performances, lavish settings and scenery, and an engrossing story, the 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" is certainly the best cinema version of the familiar story, whether or not it is historically accurate. The 1962 version had some quality aspects, but it seemed to suffer from some odd casting and from over-extending itself. The revisionist 80's version made claims to being more historically accurate than the others, which may or may not be the case, and it was interesting for Anthony Hopkins's distinctive portrayal of Captain Bligh, but it was otherwise an unremarkable and not especially creative film.
The trio of Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, and Franchot Tone set a standard that none of the rest could come close to equaling. Laughton is perfect as Bligh, or at least as the kind of captain that Bligh is/was commonly assumed to have been. Gable does very well in adapting Fletcher Christian just enough to fit his own strengths - Gable is not quite what you expect of a British naval officer, but if he had tried to force himself into that mold, it probably would have been rather unconvincing. In themselves, Gable's charisma, decisiveness, and energetic personality seem just right for Christian. Tone also fits smoothly into the role of Byam, giving it the right combination of earnestness and restraint.
Their performances are set off nicely by the carefully detailed and interesting settings, and by a supporting cast that gets its share of good moments. The historical truths of the Bounty incident can be fairly debated, since it's unlikely that anyone now knows the inside story. But setting aside those questions, and purely as a movie, it would be hard to argue the virtues of this version of the story.
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