7.1/10
21,066
104 user 33 critic

The Bounty (1984)

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Fed up with their captain's harsh discipline, a sailing ship's crew decides to take action.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writers:

Richard Hough (book), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,964 ( 2,491)
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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
Stars: Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris
The River (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A farming family battles severe storms, a bank is threatening to repossess their farm, and there are other hard times in a battle to save and hold on to their farm.

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Mel Gibson, Sissy Spacek, Shane Bailey
Nanou (1986)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During a holiday study in France, a girl meets the great love of her life, but the boy is involved in terrorist activities and that puts serious crisis on their relationship.

Director: Conny Templeman
Stars: Imogen Stubbs, Jean-Philippe Écoffey, Christophe Lindon
Air America (1990)
Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A young pilot finds himself recruited unwittingly into a covert and corrupt C.I.A. airlift organization operating in Vietnam War-era Laos.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Mel Gibson, Robert Downey Jr., Nancy Travis
Gallipoli (1981)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two Australian sprinters face the brutal realities of war when they are sent to fight in the Gallipoli campaign in Turkey during World War I.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A former L.A. drug dealer tries to go straight but his past and his underworld connections bring him into the focus of the DEA, the Mexican feds and the Mexican drug cartels.

Director: Robert Towne
Stars: Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell
Forever Young (1992)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During a cryogenics test, a pilot frozen in 1939 awakes in 1992 but time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly.

Director: Steve Miner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood
The Boxer (1997)
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Young Danny Flynn is released from prison 14 years after "taking the rap" for the IRA and tries to rebuild his life in his old Belfast neighborhood.

Director: Jim Sheridan
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, Daragh Donnelly
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Fletcher Christian Master's Mate
Anthony Hopkins ... Lieutenant William Bligh
Laurence Olivier ... Admiral Hood
Edward Fox ... Captain Greetham
Daniel Day-Lewis ... John Fryer
Bernard Hill ... William Cole
Phil Davis ... Edward Young (as Philip Davis)
Liam Neeson ... Seaman Charles Churchill
Wi Kuki Kaa Wi Kuki Kaa ... King Tynah
Tevaite Vernette Tevaite Vernette ... Mauatua
Philip Martin Brown ... Seaman John Adams
Simon Chandler ... David Nelson
Malcolm Terris ... Dr. John Huggan
Simon Adams Simon Adams ... Thomas Heywood
John Sessions ... John Smith
Edit

Storyline

The story of Lieutenant Bligh, whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. 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:

After 200 years, the truth behind the legend. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lawbreakers See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,622,306, 6 May 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Three of the film's cast have won the Best Actor Academy Award - Sir Anthony Hopkins for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Sir Laurence Olivier for Hamlet (1948), and Daniel Day-Lewis three times for Lincoln (2012), There Will Be Blood (2007), and My Left Foot (1989). Also, two of the cast have won Best Director Oscars, Mel Gibson for Braveheart (1995), and Olivier two Honorary Awards, one "for the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career, and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film", and one "for his outstanding achievement as an actor, producer, and director, in bringing 'Henry V' to the screen." See more »

Goofs

Just before reaching Tahiti, Capt Bligh is seen shooting the sun with a sextant. Christian is taking notes with a modern pencil complete with a metal banded eraser on top. See more »

Quotes

Bligh: [Bligh is nervously waiting for Christian to get him so he won't have to sleep with one of King Tynah's wives] Enter.
Christian: Uh, excuse me, sir.
Bligh: Mr. Christian.
Christian: Sir.
Bligh: What demands my immediate attention?
Christian: Well it could wait until tomorrow, sir.
Bligh: [quietly] What is it, damn you?
Christian: The ship is sinking, sir.
Bligh: Good.
See more »

Alternate Versions

German version misses ca. 26 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Casting By (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Better Interpretation Based on Hough's Book
29 March 2006 | by blackhawk66See all my reviews

Not only is the story of Bligh and Christian the most famous mutiny in history, it is also the most filmed. It started with an Australian silent movie in 1916. The Aussies took another shot at filming the Bounty mutiny in 1933, providing a young Errol Flynn (as Fletcher Christian) with his first movie role. That was followed only two years later by the first American try with Charles Laughton in a tour-de-force performance as a sadistic Captain Bligh. Nearly thirty years passed before another movie attempted the story. The 1962 production remains controversial, as does Marlon Brando's affected turn as Christian. These earlier movies were based on the books by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall that portrayed the Bounty's commander, William Bligh, as a brutal disciplinarian and the second in command, Fletcher Christian, as a hero. The actual story is not so black and white. In Captain Bligh and Mister Christian: The Men and the Mutiny (1972), Richard Hough presented a more balanced account of the famous mutiny that is meticulously researched and shows keen psychological insight into the characters of the men involved. It is on Hough's book that The Bounty is based.

The Bounty has a lot going for it. It is based on Hough's book, perhaps the best account of the mutiny. The screenplay was written by Robert Bolt, who also wrote such classics as Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Man for All Seasons, and Ryan's Daughter. His work shows in the complex, fully realized characters that are the center of this story. And those characters are brought to life by an amazingly strong cast - Anthony Hopkins (an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs) as William Bligh, Mel Gibson (an Oscar for directing Braveheart) as Fletcher Christian, Daniel Day-Lewis (an Oscar for My Left Foot) as John Fryer, and Liam Neeson (nominated for an Oscar for Schindler's List) as Churchill. Of course, none of these actors were famous yet when they performed in The Bounty. Two film giants, Laurence Olivier and James Fox, make cameo appearances as Admiral Hood and Captain Greenham, respectively, members of the Court Martial that tries Bligh on his return to Britain. The rest of the cast is not so well known, but they are all excellent.

Anthony Hopkins' Bligh is definitely not a villain, but he is at best a flawed hero. Hopkins, as he always does, makes the character of Bligh completely believable. He is a superb seaman and a man of unquestioned courage. He is also a very capable leader in the right circumstances, but he has a quick temper and a tendency to shift responsibility from himself to others. And he is an ambitious man with no connections or influence in a society where those weigh as heavily as skill and competency. When the chance to make a name for himself seems to be drifting from his grasp, his frustration and anger is turned on those around him. Hopkins never seems to be acting. He becomes Bligh.

Mel Gibson was a bigger name actor than Hopkins even when this movie was made, but it is obvious that he is not quite in the same league. His is the weakest performance of the primary actors, but that's still not bad considering the caliber of this cast. He does a nice job of letting Fletcher Christian evolve from a rather shallow, genial fop into a tortured leader of a mutiny. He seems to work a little too hard at being the tormented soul during the mutiny but it's a good overall performance and does not detract from the story.

The Bounty does an especially fine job of showing the Tahitians as real people. The costumes and behavior feel completely authentic. Wi Kuki Kaa as King Tynah, although not on screen for very long, manages to create a fully realized and sympathetic character. Tevaite Vernette as Mauatua, Christian's Tahitian wife, is lovely but a bit bland at first. Once the mutineers have left Tahiti on the Bounty, she develops into a stronger character who backs Christian when the other mutineers turn against him.

Roger Donaldson's direction is deliberate. He builds the story slowly and purposefully, piling small scenes one atop another to build a foundation for the intense, emotion-laden scenes of the mutiny and its consequences. The pace may be too slow for modern viewers grown accustomed to the quick-cut editing of contemporary action/adventure movies, but the pay-off is worth the effort for those with some patience.

The Bounty is a beautiful movie. Wonderful cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson makes full use of the sea and tropical islands. There's nothing quite like the appeal of a full rigged ship under sail and we get plenty of the Bounty - brilliant, sun-drenched shots, towering waves and howling winds around the Horn, silhouettes of the ship against color saturated evening skies, and more.

Of the three movies I've seen based on the story of the mutiny on the Bounty, this is my favorite. It is more historically accurate in its presentation of the events, the characters, the ship, and the Tahitian people and culture. A brilliant screen play and fine performances from an exceptional cast are the core of the movie. It is well crafted and beautifully filmed. The pacing may be slow for some, but for anyone interested in this famous mutiny or sea stories, in general, it is highly recommended.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 104 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed