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Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, History | 8 November 1962 (USA)
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4:26 | Trailer

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Airs Wed. Apr. 03, 3:00 PM on TCM

ON DISC
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.

Directors:

Lewis Milestone, Carol Reed (uncredited)

Writers:

Charles Lederer (screenplay), Charles Nordhoff (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:
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
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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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Polynesian | French

Release Date:

8 November 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Motín a bordo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$13,680,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Arcola Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.76 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not only did Marlon Brando improvise his lines in scenes with Trevor Howard, making it impossible for his co-star to pick up his cues, but he even started putting cotton in his ears so he couldn't hear Howard's lines. See more »

Goofs

Keelhauling 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

Captain Bligh: [On the main deck, next to the water cask] Mr. Christian...
Fletcher Christian: Yes, sir?
Captain Bligh: I'll have a sentry posted at the water cask, if you please.
Fletcher Christian: Aye, aye, sir.
Captain Bligh: [Holding a long-handled water ladle] I want this slung from the main t'gallant yardarm. Any man desiring water will climb and fetch it. He may have just as much water as this ladle holds, and no more. Then he will replace the ladle at the yardarm.
Fletcher Christian: Are we short of water, sir?
Captain Bligh: [Gruffly] Do you wish me to repeat the order?
Fletcher Christian: No, sir, it's perfectly clear... A ...
[...]
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Listen to Me Marlon (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Follow Me
Words by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Performed by Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superior entertainment in the grand old style!
7 June 2003 | by CinemaBrit@aol.comSee all my reviews

This is a fabulous movie. Sumptuous production, good screenplay, excellent performances, beautiful cinematography and a majestic musical score.

Story follows the crew of British Naval vessel 'The Bounty' on its mission to transport 'bread fruit' plants from Tahiti to Jamaica, as food for the slaves there. Unrest is almost immediate, with the Captain (Howard) and his first officer (Brando) disagreeing over the appropriate punishment for a sailor's minor infraction. Things only get worse during the voyage as the harsh Captain responds severely to anything that opposes his ambition to please the admiralty with a speedy voyage. The crew's time spent in the paradise of Tahiti (particularly with regard to the naked and willing women) fills them with such pleasure that the prospect of a return voyage under such cruelty is unbearable. Events finally reach a summit on the way to Jamaica, when a mutiny takes place and the Captain is set adrift with most of those in disagreement with the first officer. However, this is far from an absolution for both sides...

For many the film is measured by the performance of Marlon Brando in the lead role, and it is easy to see why. His first officer, Fletcher Christian, is unlike anything from him in memory; however, taken as it is: an effeminate, fair-minded character forced into an extreme dilemma, the result is a complicated man, extremely well played. Indeed, as the film progresses, Christian's predicament is increasingly sympathetic and it is to Brando's credit that he remains engaging throughout. His unexpected plea to his fellow mutineers at the end is an extraordinarily conceived and delivered moment in the film.

Trevor Howard plays Captain Bligh with poise and relish. The character is completely arrogant and utterly loathsome, but never less than believable. This villain is all the more frightening because his cruel methods never stray outside the 'official' Naval regulations, as he is keen to point out. Of the supporting players, Richard Harris' roguish Mills and Richard Haydn as the Royal botanist (and film's narrator) make the strongest impressions. Overall acting is very good.

Vivid use is made of the exotic island locations (on which a considerable time is spent) and the vast, isolating ocean vistas.

Overall impression is of grand scale and spectacle, but illustrated with the intelligence and humanity of the scenario. Near-perfect filmmaking in glorious, old-fashioned style!


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