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Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Unrated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 8 November 1962 (USA)
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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.

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, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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William Brown
Tarita ...
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Duncan Lamont ...
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Chips Rafferty ...
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Ashley Cowan ...
Samuel Mack
Eddie Byrne ...
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Minarii
Tim Seely ...
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Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The mightiest excitement that ever swept across the sea or the screen! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

8 November 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Motín a bordo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| (35mm release) (some prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Richard Harris heard that Carol Reed was being replaced, he groaned, "We're in the hands of bloody philistines now". See more »

Goofs

The term "key-holed", referring to dragging a sailor beneath the bottom, or "keel" of the ship, is actually "keel-hauled". It was a form of punishment in the British Navy in the 18th and early 19th century. It was actually an indirect death sentence because the sailor would (a) drown, (b) be torn to shreds by the rough wood and barnacles on the ships hull or (c) attacked by sharks attracted by the blood from (b). See more »

Quotes

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

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Follow Me
Words by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Performed by Chorus
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
When the Legend Becomes Fact, Film the Legend
11 February 2005 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

When the legend becomes fact, film the legend (to adapt the famous quotation from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance). The story is the well-known one of how a British naval crew, while on a voyage to transport breadfruit from Tahiti to the West Indies, revolt against their brutal and sadistic captain under the leadership of the humane first mate and sail off to make a new life for themselves with their Tahitian sweethearts on the remote Pacific island of Pitcairn. Historical evidence, in fact, suggests that Captain William Bligh was not particularly brutal or sadistic, but this film, like its 1935 predecessor, is a film based upon legend rather than upon strict historical fact.

The late 18th century is often described as the Age of Revolution, and as the Bounty mutiny took place in 1787, midway between the American and French Revolutions, there would have been an obvious temptation to play Bligh as a decadent aristocrat and Fletcher Christian, the leader of the rebels, as a man of the people, standing up for the Rights of the Common Man. The temptation to portray Christian as a proto-Jacobin is, however, firmly resisted. In this film, it is Christian who is the aristocrat and Bligh, ever insecure about his social status, who is from a humbler background.

This is sometimes regarded as the film which started the decline in Brando's reputation. In his previous film, One Eyed Jacks, which he had also directed, he had gained a reputation as an obsessive perfectionist, but, artistically, the result was a very fine film with an excellent performance from Brando himself. In Mutiny on the Bounty, however, Brando proved to be equally obsessive, but the resulting film is not quite in the same class. Moreover, Brando's performance is one of his weaker ones. Much of the criticism (on this side of the Atlantic, at least) has centred upon his British accent. In terms of phonetic sound-values, in fact, Brando's effort is quite a reasonable attempt at an upper-class drawl- the real Fletcher Christian, the son of a Cumberland farmer, would probably have spoken with a strong northern accent- but it always sounds strained and unnatural. This sort of linguistic accuracy is probably unnecessary in period dramas, anyway. We do not know exactly how people spoke in the 18th century, but the available evidence suggests that the difference between British and American accents was much less marked than it is today. I was struck by the contrast with another big American star playing a British naval officer, Gregory Peck in Captain Horatio Hornblower. Although Peck's accent still sounds American, it also sounds more natural and is less distracting to the viewer.

The main problem, however, is not Brando's accent, but rather the way in which his character is played. Christian is played not only as an aristocrat, but also as a languid, foppish dandy. Bligh accuses him of hating both effort and ambition, and there appears to be some justice in the accusation. For too long Christian remains a passive, emotionless character, so the clash of temperaments between him and Bligh remains a muted one. Only during the mutiny itself does he come alive. The idea was presumably to show that Bligh was such a tyrant that even a passionless fop could be roused to anger by his behaviour, but this conception seems to me to waste much of the dramatic potential inherent in the story.

Brando apart, however, I found this a reasonably good film. Trevor Howard's portrayal of Bligh as a tyrannical martinet may have been historically inaccurate, but it was certainly convincing. (Even so, I still think that the best of the three actors to play the part was Anthony Hopkins in the 1984 version, which portrayed Bligh in a less one-dimensional way. Clark Gable remains the best Christian). The film is attractively shot, especially the Tahitian scenes, and Lewis Milestone handles the direction in such a way as to ensure that the story does not drag, as it easily could have done in a film of this length. (The film takes three hours to tell a story that the 1935 and 1984 versions told in just over two). Although it is not quite as good as the 1935 version, it is still a very watchable epic of the sea. 7/10


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Best line in this movie - and many others tireless_crank
Probably one of the funniest films ever with a GREAT script arjunkaul
Ridiculous accent simlawrence
A great film ncand3d
What's with Brando's introduction? unbend_5440
Puts 'Master and Command:Far blah blah' to shame arthurwycliff
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