|Mutiny on the Bounty |
Actors: Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris, Hugh Griffith, Richard Haydn
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
The Bounty is on a mission in the South Seas. The brutal and arrogant Captain Bligh becomes antagonized by the genteel manner of the First Officer Christian Fletcher. While in Tahiti, the men of The Bounty are seduced by t... more »
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K. K. (GAMER)
Reviewed on 11/17/2019...
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An excellent motion picture.
flickjunkie | 04/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the news broke that MGM had the audacity to remake the hallowed 1935 classic "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, the critics were aghast. As the news leaked out about trouble in production, they whipped themselves into a self-righteous frenzy. Brando was a lightening rod for criticism because he was renowned as arrogant hothead. Compared with Gable, who was universally loved and adored, Brando was a boor. It was almost sacrilegious to put Brando in any part Gable had played. When the film opened, it never had a chance. It was ripped to shreds. Brando was ridiculed as a lower class character actor who couldn't step up to the part, and derided for his dreadful attempt at an English accent. The film was a box office loser and critics smugly declared they told us so.The film was beset by problems throughout production. The full-scale replica of the Bounty arrived on location two months after the film was scheduled to begin shooting. There were three deaths among the film's personnel and the film ran well over budget. The biggest problems were the result of Brando's constant temper tantrums as he tried to rewrite the entire film from the set. At least six writers came and went. After countless confrontations, director Carol Reed gave up and quit to be replaced by Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet on the Western Front'). Milestone was an utterly intractable director that Brando couldn't bully. The result was a battle between the immovable object and the irresistible force, with daily emotional pyrotechnics that further delayed the film. Although Milestone usually prevailed in the fracases, this film turned out to be his last in a 37-year career.Over the years, the critics have continued to pillory the film, but the public generally receives it more favorably as time passes. Though I often disagree with the masses, in this case I concur. Having seen both the 1935 and 1962 versions, I prefer the latter. Gable is clearly more charming and dashing in the role, but Brando gives the more complete performance. Gable's Christian seems far less ruffled by the events that transpire on the Bounty, whereas Brando accomplishes a believable transition from the cavalier rogue to an honorable hero who endures self-torment over the treasonous act. Though Brando's English accent is oft ridiculed, I have heard far worse. Part of the problem probably stemmed from the fact that the accent he attempted to imitate was very upper crust and he delivered it with a certain sneering tone that made it seem like he was mocking the English. Just hearing that accent from the same lips that gave us, "I coulda been a contenda" was a kind of ironic comedy unto itself.Between the Bligh portrayed by Charles Laughton and that depicted by Trevor Howard in the remake, Howard wins hands down for pure detestability. Most of the production values, such as music, set design and costumes were superior in the remake. Moreover, the remake was more historically accurate than the original.The film features a youthful Richard Harris in the role of Mills, who gives an excellent performance of the petulant sailor. Also noteworthy is the lovely Tarita, a native Tahitian who plays Christian's love interest Maimiti, and does a scorching belly dance. This was Tarita's only film, but to anyone who has seen the film, she will not be soon forgotten.This is an excellent film. It was nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, but it was shut out, trampled by "Lawrence of Arabia". It is highly entertaining with wonderful costumes, props and sets, fabulous locations and photography, and some terrific performances. Though many will disagree, I rated it a 10/10. If one can step back from the controversy that swirled around this film when it debuted, it is an easy film to enjoy."
An entertaing work of fiction
C. J. Bennett | Plymouth, England | 03/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ok. First things first. Let us not forget that this film is based on the trilogy of books by Charles Nordorff and James Norman Hall. These books are fictional accounts based on actual events, and portray William Bligh as a sadistic, brutal tyrant instead of the accomplished seaman he truly was. After all he was one of the best foul-weather commanders of his day and a navigator of such quality that the charts he drew were still used by the British navy right up until the second world war.
I have read among other reviewers of Bligh's "trademark discipline and lashings". This is just not true. Bligh himself was determined that he would not lose a single member of the ship's crew on his expedition, and in fact, only flogged one man on the outward voyage (an act which he bitterly regretted!).
He was a passionate man, that had risen through the ranks and he was determined to succeed on the mission appointed to him. His only downfall was that he lacked imagination, he was a pedantic man that did everything by the book, this made him inflexible to situations. There was no more a caring individual that attempted to round Cape Horn for 30 days, do you think that a crew that had suffered extreme punishment from the start of their journey would then suffer such grueling conditions for so long and not choose this point to mutiny? It is testiment to Bligh's ability to command tha his men carried on working for him until he decided theirs was a lost cause.
From the time the Bounty landed at Tahiti, Bligh let his men down. He allowed them to carry on for the next 5 months doing whatever they chose, while he isolated himself in scientific studies. If Bligh had mustered his crew regularly and spent time sailing the Pacific whilst his gardeners prepared their cargo, discipline would have been maintained. Ultimately, when the ship Weighed anchor and departed Matavai Bay, complacency and sloth had taken root among the crew. This then would understandably lead to bitterness and resentment for the return to naval discipline.
I have read also, that the mutiny, when it happened, happened very (too) quickly and suddenly in the film. Well, this IS exactly what happened, Christian had decided to escape the ship and his abuser alone and on a makeshift raft. It was only after speaking to Edward Young that he found that there would be others amongst the crew who would be willing to help him seize the ship and return to Tahiti. Thus events were put into place that happened very quickly indeed, events that Christian would bitterly regret for the rest of his life.
This film also suggests that Bligh and Christian were unaquainted before the fateful voyage, this again is not true as they had sailed together on three previous occasions. Richard Hough, in his excellent book, Capt. Bilgh and Mr. Christian, suggests that their relationship could have had undertones of a homosexual nature. This could be quite possible, as it was not uncommon for sailors who were living in such close quarters for long periods of time to look to each other for relief, although the Articles of War forbade it, and anyone found guilty of this "crime" faced the death penalty! It is certainly true that Bligh showed the young Master's Mate a good deal of favouritism, promoting him to Acting Lieutenant after landing at Tenerife. It is also well documented that Bligh frequently invited Christian to his cabin. In fact Bigh had sent an invitation to him on the night before the mutiny, which Christian had declined. It is possible that Bligh had become resentful of Christian's relationship with Isobella (Christian's name for Miamiti, after his aunt), and took his jealousy out on him by humiliating Christian in front of the crew. This would go some way to explain Christian's reapeted cries of "I AM IN HELL!".
It should be noted that Bligh was recognised as a national hero on his retrun to England and absolved of all blame for the loss of his ship. It wasn't until he left again on another voyage that the Courts Martial for the remain mutineers, who had now been bought home,took place and that public opinion started to turn against him, and he began to be portrayed as the tyrant shown in this film. But, it should be remembered that at the time of his death, Bligh ahd reached the rank of Vice Admiral of The Blue, no mean feat for such an "abusive" man!
Brando's Foppish, Arrogant aristocratic picture of Christian is off target. Christian's family were not aristocratic. They were a well-to-do family from Cumberland, but not so high up the social ladder as shown here.
Enjoy this film, I did. But enjoy it for what it is, a fictional tale of adventure on the high seas. Brando is on top form, camping it up in his role (obviously out of the control of the director!), the photography is beautiful as are the locations. The script is engaging and amusing, and the rest of the cast terrific. Trevor Howard's Bligh is a little too one dimensional, but then that is exactly what this picture is trying to show.
I give this film four stars just for the sheer enjotment I got from it. The missing fifth star is for the truth. I won't draw comparisons with the earlier Laughton/Gable film, or the later Hopkins/Gibson film, as they are each enjoyable films in their own right and are definately worth viewing. Although the latter goes a little more for the truth."
A great movie! Let's get it on DVD now!
Roger J. Buffington | Huntington Beach, CA United States | 05/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the second production of the famous "Mutiny on the Bounty" story, and it is a great story. Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard turn in terrific performances as Fletcher Christian and William Bligh, respectively. Brando has been criticized by some, but I thought he was superb as Fletcher Christian. Brando's interpretation of the character has him morph from a rather foppish aristocrat to a decent shipboard leader and later a mutineer against the dreadful tyranny of Bligh (Howard).
Trevor Howard, as Bligh, is nearly the embodiment of evil. Howard really gets into the part, and portrays an evil, ambitious Captain Bligh who quite literally despises his crew, and has little care for their well-being. This is a great role and story, but it needs to be said that this is not how the true Captain Bligh was at all. Many historical accounts have corroborated and established that Bligh was a nagging, fastidious captain who was if anything overly solicitous of his crew's well-being, often perceived as overbearing due to his concerns about diet, cleanliness, etc. He did believe in discipline, that is a fact. Where he went wrong was trying to assert the rigid disclipline of the Navy to men who were experiencing beautiful women, good food, and easy living for the first time in their lives. That is not the story told here, but that is OK. This is a great story. Just know that it probably is not in line with the historical interpretations of most historians.
I love this movie and hope that it will soon be released on a quality DVD."