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The Bounty (1984)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  4 May 1984 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 15,772 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 22 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Captain Greetham
...
...
William Cole
...
...
Wi Kuki Kaa ...
King Tynah
Tevaite Vernette ...
...
...
David Nelson
Malcolm Terris ...
Dr. John Huggan
Simon Adams ...
...
John Smith
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Storyline

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 Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were friends through hell. They became enemies in Paradise. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

4 May 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lawbreakers  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$8,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Cimino was offered the chance to direct this project but he turned it down. See more »

Goofs

The Tahitian chief and his daughter are shown wearing feathered headgear. The red/orange tipped feathers are from "Lady Amherst" pheasants. These are native to the remote mountains of SW China. None were brought out of that area until the 1820s. The mutiny happened in 1789. See more »

Quotes

Captain Greetham: [after learning at the trial that Bligh told King Tynah that Captain Cook is still alive] You told that to this man Tynah?
Bligh: King Tynah, sir.
Admiral Hood: A savage king.
Bligh: A king, milord, descended from many kings.
Admiral Hood: As our King George is descended from many kings?
Bligh: Yes, in a way, sir.
Captain Greetham: Then why did you lie to him? Why did you not tell him Captain Cook was murdered in Hawaii ten years before?
Bligh: Because they believe that Captain Cook is immortal.
Admiral Hood: Literally?
Bligh: Yes, I think so, sir. They seem to regard his likeness as a ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Captain Bligh: Mutiny on the Bounty (1996) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The best history of the mutiny so far
12 August 2005 | by (North Carolina, USA) – See all my reviews

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.


13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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