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.


Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed (uncredited)


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... 1st Lt. Fletcher Christian
Trevor Howard ... Captain William Bligh
Richard Harris ... Seaman John Mills
Hugh Griffith ... Alexander Smith
Richard Haydn ... William Brown
Tarita ... Maimiti
Percy Herbert ... Seaman Matthew Quintal
Duncan Lamont ... John Williams
Gordon Jackson ... Seaman Edward Birkett
Chips Rafferty ... Michael Byrne
Noel Purcell ... Seaman William McCoy
Ashley Cowan Ashley Cowan ... Samuel Mack
Eddie Byrne ... John Fryer (Sailing Master)
Frank Silvera ... Minarii
Tim Seely Tim Seely ... Midshipman Edward 'Ned' Young


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


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


In reality, Captain Bligh was not a "flogging Captain". The ship's log shows that Bligh flogged less, not more, than most other Captains. But he had an acid tongue, believed he was always right, and did not hesitate to berate his officers in front of the men, destroying their authority. This was the real cause of the mutiny. See more »


When the seaman is keelhauled you can tell that there is no way this can be accomplished because the rope would need to be free of any encumbrances on the railing of the ship, this fact was preceded by the seaman being eaten by sharks. See more »


Fletcher Christian: [before putting Bligh in the longboat] As you know, Tafoa is due west, 40 leagues. You have your compass. This book is sufficient for its purpose. The sextant is my own, so you know it to be a good one. Now, Mr. William Bligh...
Captain Bligh: [smiling] Quite polite and formal, are we? Playing the gentleman again, you bloody traitor.
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Alternate Versions

The original 1962 print had a different opening scene, in which a ship's crew lands on Pitcairn and discovers an artifact belonging to the H.M.S. Bounty. They can barely read the name until William Brown (Richard Haydn), now aged, appears on the beach and says "Bounty". He then proceeds to tell the story of the famous mutiny, of which he is apparently the last surviving member. That is why we hear his voice narrating the story. In all current prints, including the one shown on Turner Classic Movies ca. 2005, this opening scene is omitted, so we do not know why Brown is telling the story in voiceover. However, the scene has been restored on the 2006 DVD release. See more »


Referenced in Private Screenings: Robert Osborne (2014) See more »


Follow Me
Words by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Performed by Chorus
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User Reviews

Breathtaking though overlong version based on historical deeds about known mutiny by Fletcher Christian against Bligh
24 September 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Spectacular and lavish second retelling with extraordinary performances and wonderful outdoors . This high-budgeted rendition contains the mightiest excitement that ever swept across the sea or the screen . The Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787 . It is commanded by captain Bligh , he was chosen for the mission to Tahiti because he was considered one of the most skilled navigators in the world , having been personally selected by Captain James Cook as Master , title now would be Navigator , on his third voyage around the world . Its objective : to sail to Tahiti and load bread-fruit . The Bounty's original reason for going to Tahiti was to transport breadfruit seedlings to Jamaica where they would be cultivated to provide inexpensive food for the slaves working on English plantations . Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard, he was initially reluctant to play , because he felt he was far too old for the part, the real life Lieutenant William Bligh was 33 when the Bounty set sail) will do anything to get there as fast as possible , utilizing any means to keep up a rigid discipline . When they arrive at Tahiti , it is like a paradise for the crew (Richard Harris , Richard Haydn , Hugh Griffith , Percy Herbert , Gordon Jackson , among others) and officers , something totally different than the living hell aboard the boat . On the way back to England, 1st Lt. Fletcher Christian (Marlon Brando) becomes the chief of a rebellion .

This is the second adaptation of the vintage story of mutiny during the turbulent voyage based on one of history's greatest true life sea adventure . It's the colorful classic version very well played and with marvelous scenarios . Interesting screenplay tough there are some gaps and flaws , as many writers did uncredited rewrites on the script, including Eric Ambler, William L. Driscoll, Borden Chase, John Gay and Ben Hecht . Big budget adaptation as the film cost an estimated $19 million in 1962 which was a huge expenditure at the time . The ship cost $750,000 to reconstruct ; for almost four decades, the ship used in this film, has been a popular tourist attraction in St. Petersburg, Florida. Visitors get to tour the ship itself and learn more about both the historical H.M.S. Bounty and MGM's two screen versions of the Nordhoff and Hall book . She was reused in ¨Caribbean pirates¨ and was also used in ¨Treasure island ¨ and sank during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

This account of the mutiny led by Fletcher Christian against captain Bligh is highlighted thanks to glamorous cinematography by Robert Surtees , as the last Ultra Panavision film to be shown in the extremely wide screen. Emotive as well as haunting musical score by Bronislau Kaper . Extremely memorable acting by Marlon Brando who brings his own powerful individualism to contrasting role of Trevor Howard with opposing attitude whose inevitable clash receives greatest importance . Interesting portrayal of Fletcher Christian's Marlon Brando and Bligh's Trevor Howard who bears little relation to Mel Gibson-Anthony Hopkins version . Furthermore , a sensual and romantic relationship between Marlon Brando and Tarita, the Tahitian beauty actress who played Maimiti, they met during filming and later married. Secondary cast is frankly excellent , such as Percy Herbert as Seaman Matthew , Duncan Lamont as John Williams , Gordon Jackson as Seaman Edward ,Noel Purcell a Seaman William , Eddie Byrne as John , Frank Silvera as Minarii and Hugh Griffith was fired during filming when his alcoholism became unmanageable , that is why his character disappears for large portions of the film . Compelling direction by Lewis Milestone who captures the feel of sea and harshness of the times . After the firing of Carol Reed, Marlon Brando began to usurp the power of replacement director Lewis Milestone , a well-respected veteran with two directing Oscars to his credit , in fact , it was last movie directed by Lewis Milestone ; he only did two TV episodes after this . Other renditions based on these historical events are the followings : Old and black and white take on titled 'Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)' by Frank LLoyd with Clark Gable , Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone and revisionist storytelling titled ¨Bounty¨ by Roger Donalson with Mel Gibson , Anthony Hopkins , Bernard Fox and Liam Neeson .

The real deeds are the following : In 1787, Captain Bligh was chose to command HMS Bounty on a voyage to Tahiti, where he was to collect breadfruit trees with the object of introducing them to the Caribbean . Ironically, the breadfruit seedlings which Bligh brought to Jamaica as an inexpensive food for the slaves working on English plantations were an utter failure , as the slaves took one bite, and refused to eat any more . Captain Bligh is determined to reach Tahiti and return with a hold full of breadfruit trees. When the ship sailed after a six-month stay on the island, Bligh's men mutinied , casting him and a handful of loyal crew members adrift with scant provisions and no chart. Bligh's incredible seamanship brought them safely to Timor after a voyage of 4000 miles. Fletcher Christian and the other mutineers sailed on to the island of Pitcairn. The mutineers' fate remained in mystery for 18 years until their island was discovered by an American whaling ship , they found one man , John Adams, with nine women and 23 children. What happened Fletcher Christian remains uncertain, some say he was murdered on Pitcairn island, but then there were reports that he returned safely to England . However the descendants live on Pitcairn island to this day.

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English | Polynesian | French | Dutch

Release Date:

8 November 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mutiny on the Bounty See more »


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arcola Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (35mm release) (some prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
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