Mutiny on the Bounty

Clark Gable as the daring mutineer in the screen's most exciting adventure story!

Adventure Drama History
132 min     7.346     1935     USA


Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on revenge.


John Chard wrote:
When you're back in England with the fleet again, you'll hear the hue and cry against me. From now on they'll spell mutiny with my name. A tyrannical ships captain takes his reluctant crew on a two-year voyage that will change British maritime law forever... Directed by Frank Lloyd and starring Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone, this 1935 version of the often filmed tale of the "Mutiny on the Bounty" (book by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall) is the template by which other adaptations would come to be judged. We are in safe hands from the off due to the casting of Laughton as the strutting evil peacock that is Captain Bligh, and Gable as Fletcher Christian, the handsome hero who decides enough of tyranny and raises a sailor army to usurp the tyrannical Bligh. The pic positively thrives on the characterisations, instead of giving over to fanciful sea faring shenanigans, it's more concerned with the principal players and the conflicts that said characters partake in. Based upon an actual real life instance, there's a realism factor on show as the sailors of The Bounty deal with the harsh realities of sea voyage in the 1700's, this before their captain thinks nothing of flogging an already dead shipmate!. We witness the best and worst of men at sea, this be a time where loyalty and harsh discipline were in turn expected and meted out as a course of nature. It's a tragic tale, though it's a little let down in the mid-section when the ship gets to Tahiti and it's all jolification and frivolity, which belies the harsh nature of the core beast. Yet once Laughton and Gable square up against each other, we are in the presence of greatness, mortal enemies are born and they take us to a finale that asks us the audience if it is indeed justified? 9/10
CinemaSerf wrote:
A really outstanding adaptation of this story of the tyrannical behaviour of the Royal Navy Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) who was tasked with sailing round the world to procure breadfruit trees as cheap fodder for slaves in the Caribbean and in so doing brutalises his ill fed and thirsty crew to the point of mutiny lead by Lieutenant Christian (a very dashing Clark Gable). I found Franchot Tone a rather good looking but wooden "Byam" and Gable's accent is probably best to be glossed over but the production standards, and excellent maritime photography are proof positive of what could be done without computer animation. There is a rousing score from Herbert Stothard and a great supporting cast of professionals - especially Ian Wolfe's efforts as the odious ship's clerk "Maggs" and Herbert Mundin's rather hapless "Smith" - giving this story added depth, a soupçon of humour and lots of style as they battle the hostilities of the sea and the inhumanities of a brute. It's history, so not too much room for jeopardy with the narrative, but Laughton proves to be entirely convincing as a man never to be crossed.