Entertainment Weekly - 11/17/2006
"[T]his lush technicolor epic is no washout." -- Grade: B
Lewis Milestone replaced Carol Reed as director on this third version of Nordhoff and Hall's classic true account of naval rebellion. The film stars Marlon Brando as the spirited Fletcher Christian and Trevor Howard as the tyrannical Captain Bligh. Their ship, the Bounty, leaves Portsmouth in 1787, on a mission to gather breadfruit in Tahiti. As the journey progresses, however, the Captain reveals a penchant for ruthlessness that turns his entire crew against him. After they leave the paradisical Tahiti, it's only a matter of time before the situation explodes.
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, based on Nordhoff and Hall's factual narrative of the infamous mutiny in 1789, stars Marlon Brando as First Mate Fletcher Christian. Sailing from Portsmouth in 1787, under the tyrannical rule of Captain William Bligh (Trevor Howard), the H.M.S. Bounty begins an ill-timed voyage around Cape Horn in search of the South Pacific plant, the breadfruit. As the months wear on, Bligh's backbreaking discipline, including flogging and keelhauling as punishment for minor offenses, starts to create a powerful sense of ill-will among the crew. Eventually even Christian's aristocratic foppery begins to fade as he sympathizes with the crew's suffering. Despite the brutal winter storms that threaten to tear the ship apart, the Bounty and its battered crew manage to reach Tahiti, where they enjoy the warm sun and friendly native women while waiting for the plants to be harvested. When Bligh orders the ship home, and cuts off the crew's water ration to save the plants, Christian rebels and leads the men in a mutiny, with tragic results.
Essential Cinema |
High Seas |
Theatrical Release |
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY was released on November 8, 1962.
The film was shot at MGM Studios and on location in Tahiti, Pitcairn's Island, and Bora.
The replica of the Bounty, which was built by the Smith & Rhuland Shipyard for the film, was owned by Ted Turner, who later donated it to the Tall Ships Foundation.
Other screen versions of the Bounty incident are THE MUTINY OF THE BOUNTY (1916), IN THE WAKE OF BOUNTY (1933), MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935), and THE BOUNTY (1984).
Some versions of the film lack the prologue and epilogue, running only 179 minutes.
Captain Donald MacIntyre, Bengt Danielson, Aurora Natua, and Leo Langomazino served as technical advisors.