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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mutiny On The Bounty (1962)

In 1787, the HMAV Bounty sets sail from Britain to Tahiti with a mission to gather breadfruit from the island and transport it to Jamaica. The cold blooded cruelty of the ship's Captain (Trevor Howard) pushes his men to their limits and after a respite on Tahiti, the men won't tolerate his inhumanity any longer. Based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall which was previously filmed in 1935. Though the film is officially credited to Lewis Milestone, the film was started with Carol Reed (THIRD MAN) who eventually left the project. Scourged by the critics at the time of its release, I consider it the best of the three film versions (the third is 1984's THE BOUNTY). Visually, the film is more appealing thanks to Robert L. Surtees eye catching cinematography and there's a knock out underscore by Bronislau Kaper. Marlon Brando gives us a more layered Fletcher Christian than Gable: more wit, more complexity and a British accent which Gable didn't even try. Charles Laughton was a brilliant Captain Bligh in the 1935 film but Trevor Howard's Bligh isn't so black and white. The massive cast includes Richard Harris, Hugh Griffith, Richard Haydn, Frank Silvera, Henry Daniell, Percy Herbert, Gordon Jackson, Antoinette Bower and Tarita. 


  1. Just watched a superb high definition print on French television and have to agree it is the best of the three versions. Howard gives a nuanced performance as Bligh to be much admired.

    1. Glad to find another fan of the 1962 version as almost everyone seems to prefer the 1935 version or The Bounty.