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The Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787. Its destination: to sail to Tahiti and load bread-fruit. Captain Bligh will do anything to get there as fast as possible, using any means to keep up a strict discipline. When they arrive at Tahiti, it is like a paradise for the crew, something completely different than the living hell aboard the ship. On the way back to England, officer Fletcher Christian becomes the leader of a mutiny. Written by
The final scene was filmed exactly a year after filming had begun. See more »
The film shows Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian sailing together for the first time. In reality, Bligh and Christian were friends and they had sailed together before the Bounty's voyage. See more »
A quality production, and one of the great epic movies of the 1960s.
MGM's 1962 remake of their own 1935 Mutiny on the Bounty, makes the older film look hokey at best, and like an outright joke at worst. The newer version takes a far more realistic and honest look at every facet of the legendary mutiny. The movie potrays the two key characters in the story, Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard), and Fletcher Christian (Marlon Brando), as real men, and not like the cardboard cutouts as was the case in the 1935 version.
Howard's Bligh is brilliant, and not at all like the prancing cartoonish Charles Laughton version in '35. And when it comes to Christian, the protaganist of the mutiny, Brando makes an admirable effort to capture the essence of the the fopish and aristocratic character as portrayed in the Nordhoff and Hall book upon which both MGM "Bountys" are based. Brando becomes Christian, in the 1935 movie Clark Gable as Christian is just Gable as Gable, and that's that. Richard Harris as crew member Mills, is another solid portrayal in the 1962 movie.
Don't get me wrong, the 1935 movie's fun, but the 1962 movie is infinitely more impressive in all respects, especially its use of a real ship made just for the film, the awesome "shots" of life at see in the late 1700s, and of course the spectacular location filming in Tahiti.
1935's Mutiny on the Bounty, was a fine film in its day, but it doesn't stand the test of time, 1962's film stands that test. Is it a great movie, probably not, but it is a very good one. Considering that MGM did not deliver the ship on time for filming before the bad weather set in in Tahiti, MGM's firing of legendary director Carol Reed, and other miscalculations mainly attributable to producer Aaron Rosenberg, the film is a remarkable achievement.
The studio used an off-form Lewis Milestone as a replacement for director Reed. Once they decided that Reed wasn't their cup of tea, they just tried to slide by with Milestone, instead of securing the services of one of the many still vital directing greats working in the early 1960s. A movie of epic proportions like 1962's Mutiny on the Bounty, cried out for a William Wyler, a David Lean, or a Fred Zinneman, to take over the helm once Reed was canned.
When the movie didn't hit like gangbusters, MGM's publicity machine moved quickly to "sandbag" their star, and the lemmings of the early 60s entertainment press corps swallowed the studio's propaganda whole. It was open-season on Brando, and it was shameful, but anybody who has seen the movie and also read the book, knows that Brando's Christian is a very solid performance. I'm sure Brando was peevish and nettlesome at times during production, Trevor Howard says as much in his biography, but to blame Brando for the film's bloated final cost and its lack of epic earnings is ludicrous.
I love 1962's Mutiny on the Bounty, it should have been better, but its still one beautiful movie. It is an under-appreciated and highly underrated movie. I strongly recommend it, to me calling Brando and Howard's Mutiny on the Bounty of 1962, a minor film, as one IMDb movie fan recently did, is blasphemous. The truth is MGM, just fumbled the ball on Mutiny on the Bounty in 1962, despite all of their ineptitude during production, they still had what should have been a major hit. But they opened it as a road-show movie in just a few theatres nation wide instead of in as many theatres as possible like the studios do with all major movies today. Despite MGM's poor efforts 41-years ago, movie fans today can scoop up the old lion's fumble and enjoy this exciting high seas adventure/love story.
It took a better book, Richard Hough's "Mr. Bligh and Mr. Christian," to produce a better movie rendition of the true life Mutiny on the Bounty. That book was the basis for the magnificent, "The Bounty," starring Anthony Hopkins as Bligh, and Mel Gibson as Christian. Also adding lustre to that movie were Liam Neeson, and Daniel Day-Lewis.
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