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MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935) 
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Post MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
Click here for the review of Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Best Picture winner at the 1936 Oscar ceremony.


Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:43 pm
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
In the 1930's, there were few characters more iconic than Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh. For years, actors and comedians imitated Laughton's slow sneering rendition of "Misster Chrisstian." Watch some of the classic cartoons from the era, and you're more than likely to see some Laughtonesque character imitating that phrase.


Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:50 pm
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
Hmmmmm....

The first version of "The Bounty" mutiny I ever saw was the 1984 version starring Mel Gibson as Christian and Anthony Hopkins as Bligh... it was years afterwards that I saw the 30s version with Gable and Laughton.... I haven't seen the version with Brando and Howard....

In comparing the two films I felt that the 80s "Bounty" was one of the most horrendously underrated movies I've ever seen in my life, and it soon became one of my all time favourite films... wheres I felt the 30s version was one of the most horrendously overrated movies I'd ever seen in my life, and soon became one of my least favourite films.

Oddly enough, the very reason I consider the 80s version superior to the 30s version is the same thing that James holds up as being what makes the 30s version better:
The 80s version paints both Christian and Bligh in shades of gray and leaves it ambiguous as to who was "in the right" (or if neither of them were)... whereas the 30s version has a clear cut "good guy" (Christian) and "bad guy" (Bligh) and makes it really incredibly obvious who we are supposed to be rooting for.

As James said in his review, Bligh comes across as a man with no redeeming features, and this one-dimensional characterisation made him both unrealistic and extremely boring to me - even with Laughton's charismatic thespian blustering I found him boring, because the characterisation was so lacking in depth.... as a result I found the 30s version a chore to sit through, whereas I was rivetted to the screen by the 80s version's layered and complex characterisation.

I'd like to read a full review of the 80s version by James (or the 60s one for that matter)


Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:39 am
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
I think both the 80's and 60's versions are underrated, possibly because neither one did well at the box office. In the 80's version, Anthony Hopkins did a great job, and this version was certainly the most historically accurate. But I'm not fond of the electronic score by Vangelis, which seems dated today.

The 60's version had spectacular photography and although Marlon Brando was badly miscast, Trevor Howard was great as Captain Bligh. He was at least as monstrous as Laughton's version, so if you want a more sympathetic Captain Bligh, you won't find it here. One of the real "stars" of this version was the fabulous score, which I think is one of the best of all time.

In the 30's version, it is important to remember that the movie was based on the Nordhoff-Hall novels, not on actual historical events. In the novels, Captain Bligh was not presented as a sympathetic character, except when he led the Bounty's longboat on its epic journey.

I won't say which version I like best. I liked all three, for different reasons.


Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:39 am
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
A great film that has well stood the test of time. As for Christian being wholly good, though, check the press-gang scenes at the beginning. Is this something a wholly good man would do? I view Christian as becoming more "noble" as the movie goes on, as the voyage brings out the worst in Bligh.

I like the feel of the film, of being in the middle of the ocean is what was really not that big a ship.

I don't really remember the 1962 film, which says something right there.

There's a lot to admire in "The Bounty," including the failed attempt to round Cape Horn, which is an amazing scene. I felt that the film presented Bligh as somewhat of a sexual neurotic, which I'm not sure is really that much of an improvement.

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Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:07 pm
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
We were mentioning iconic images somewhere in the forum. Laughton had three of them: Captain Bligh, his version of Henry VIII, and Quasimodo. When I picture three characters, it's Laughton's version I think of.

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Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:11 pm
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Post Re: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
Good review of a great film. As James and most everyone else has mentioned, this one definitely stands the test of time. While I agree that Bligh is painted as the evil villain, I would argue that he is seen in a somewhat more sympathetic manner after the mutiny. While Christian left them with supplies, it should be noted that those supplies were woefully inadequate. The film emphasizes that they only survived because of Bligh's remarkable command of the lifeboat.


Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:40 pm
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