The familiar story of Lieutenant Bligh, whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. This version follows both the efforts of Fletcher Christian to get his men beyond the reach of British ...
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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 ... See full summary »
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The familiar story of Lieutenant Bligh, whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. This version follows both the efforts of Fletcher Christian to get his men beyond the reach of British retribution, and the epic voyage of Lieutenant Bligh to get his loyalists safely to East Timor in a tiny lifeboat. Written by
When Bligh, Fryer and Christian are in Bligh's home planning the voyage, Bligh refers to a route that would take them around the coast of 'Australia'. But at the time of the Bounty's voyage in 1789 what we now know as Australia was instead universally called New Holland - a name which also appears on Bligh's map and which he later uses after being cast adrift. 'Australia' only came into common usage in the early 19th century; it gained official status in 1824. See more »
My dear God. I had hoped to avoid this.
Avoid what, sir?
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?
Yes, sir. What business?
Business, damn it; any bloody business.
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I'm only giving this film 8 stars, because as good as it is "the Bounty" still leaves some undeserved blots on the reputation of a great and courageous man. A bit more truth and this film would get a TEN from me.
There have been many film treatments of this amazing story, but only "The Bounty" gets it even halfway right. The 1935 Lawton/Gable "Mutiny on the Bounty" is 49% balderdash and 51% falsehood. The Trevor Howard/Marlon Bando stinker is even less factual. "The Bounty", however is pretty good history in many places, especially Bligh's court-martial and the actual mutiny sequence, which is almost word-for-word what Bligh recorded in his own writings on the matter. The ship itself is correctly represented, right down to the figurehead a woman in a blue riding habit, which makes no sense until one realizes that HMAV Bounty was originally a merchant ship called the Bethia.
The movie does take liberties with history. Some characters are composites and some important figures are absent entirely. In the plot Bligh seeks out Christian to be his second officer. In reality Christian was a friend of Bligh's wife's family, and it was he who sought a posting on Bounty; Bligh didn't solicit his participation. In fact Bligh jiggered the ship's roster to make room for Christian.
But the worst departure from fact is the business about Cape Horn and circumnavigation. The movie wants us to believe that Bligh chose the route for his own glory. Not true. Bligh complained to the Admiralty about the chosen course before they set sail from England, thinking it too dangerous for such a small vessel. But he was overruled. The return trip was never intended to go by way of Cape Horn. The cargo was breadfruit seedlings, a tropical plant that can't endure the kind of temperatures encountered in the Drake Passage or the Straits of Magellan. Bligh was forbidden to return via this route. Even if he wanted to such a course of action would have ruined his career. Also the mutiny occurred near Tofua, about 1300 miles west of Tahiti, the wrong direction to sail if you're bound for Cape Horn.
Bligh was a man and a professional. Christian was a silly, overwrought upper class schoolboy who committed a vile crime over puppy love of a Polynesian girl. He got away with attempted mass murder, and 200 years later people still praise him. Bligh was a true hero who hasn't got justice yet.
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