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Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 2

The historical inaccuracies in this high-seas adventure are more then offset by its timeless themes, larger-than-life performances from Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and Frank Lloyd's superb direction.

86

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

The historical inaccuracies in this high-seas adventure are more then offset by its timeless themes, larger-than-life performances from Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, and Frank Lloyd's superb direction.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 7,763

My Rating

Movie Info

The 1932 publication of Charles Nordhoff and James Norton Hall's Mutiny on the Bounty sparked a revival of interest in the titular 1789 ship mutiny, and this 1935 MGM movie version won the Oscar for Best Picture. Clark Gable stars as Fletcher Christian, first mate of the infamous HMS Bounty, skippered by Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton), the cruelest taskmaster on the Seven Seas. Bligh's villainy knows no bounds: he is even willing to flog a dead man if it will strengthen his hold over

Feb 3, 2004

MGM

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (2) | DVD (17)

Despite the efforts of Producer Irving Thalberg, Director Frank Lloyd, three scenarists and $2,000,000 to give it balance, polish and direction, the picture lacks all three.

February 17, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's nothing to stand in the way of Mutiny qualifying for box office dynamite rating.

February 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story is spellbinding, the acting lusty and the spectacle everything you could expect from a Golden Age MGM production -- though sometimes it's a bit too much on the monumental side.

December 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's tainted by a fair amount of middlebrow stuffiness, but it's a fleet piece of storytelling and serves to enshrine one of the great ham performances of all time, Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh.

December 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An exotic and gripping piece of Hollywood mythology, made with all the technical skill and gloss one associates with Irving Thalberg's MGM.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is superlatively thrilling.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] lavish and stirring adventure on the high seas.

January 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

it lives beyond its 65 years to be a film that is watchable and exciting today

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Oh yeah--Laughton and Gable--pour me another one bartender.

November 20, 2007
ColeSmithey.com

Its theme of rebellion against that which binds us resonates today. Mutiny on the Bounty is well acted and well scripted.

October 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

The first and best of the three versions of the famous mutiny is a big budget production, a stirring sea adventure praised at the time for its narrative pull, great acting of the three leads, and exotic locales.

July 27, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

True MGM classic with memorable Gable and Laughton. Fine production overall.

June 8, 2006
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

One of Hollywood's best achievements.

November 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Not as good as it's rep.

December 21, 2004 | Comments (2)
Greenwich Village Gazette

Laughton & Gable! What a team!

July 16, 2004
FilmsInReview.com

It may not be history, but with Laughton out of control and Gable as the hero, who cares?

May 23, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Historically accurate or not, the movie works as a seagoing adventure; and the performances by [Clark] Gable and Charles Laughton are terrific.

April 9, 2004

An exciting, perfectly executed production that features Gable at his most magnetic and Laughton at his most commanding.

February 4, 2004
Creative Loafing

It's an epic adventure that's still imitated today.

January 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Gable makes a great Fletcher Christian, in his last movie without a mustache. The emotions which cross his face as Bligh commits one indignity after another upon various crew members is great 1930s dramatic acting.

July 28, 2003
Matt's Movie Reviews

Epic stuff, beautifully cast, handsomely mounted and directed with passionate conviction.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for Mutiny on the Bounty

A first officer, popular with the sailors, challenges an imperious captain.
If you were to choose an actor to play an imperious, severe, and often malicious character, you could find no one better than the legendary Charles Laughton. He steals every scene. His protruding lower lip, his hard eyes, and his posture, which makes him look like a spent slug, all convey an immobility and hard-heartedness that make this film a work of art. All this is from the man who could also convey the breadth of human misery in the face of Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
The plot is rendered ably enough by director Frank Lloyd, and Clark Gable, while nowhere near Laughton's equal, delivers a strong performance, going toe to toe with Laughton and fairly holding his own. The film is remarkable for its special effects, its acting, and its story, which though rendered many time before, still feels fresh and interesting.
Overall, Laughton makes this good film great.
October 21, 2013
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

"Mutiny on the Bounty," winner of 1935's Best Picture Oscar, is an adventurous delight. Charles Laughton owns the role of Captain Bligh, playing him with resolute, forceful evil. But Clark Gable and Franchot Tone really own the movie, playing close friends who go up against Bligh each in his own way.

The at-sea photography is extraordinary, with expert direction from Frank Lloyd. Also beautiful is the photography on what was supposed to be Tahiti, but which was probably Hawaii.

The pristine restored print that was pressed on DVD (and which is available from Netflix) gives you the chance to see this top-notch production in all its glory. It feels as if it could have been directed last year -- it isn't dated in the slightest. It's as crisp, taut and emotionally engaging as it was back in '35.
February 19, 2012
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

Old Hollywood sure knew how to do epics, and this film is no exception. Despite a number of inaccuracies and liberties with the story (mostly for the purpose of dramatic effect), this is a very well done take on the classic story with the central issue of fun/freedom versus hardwork and accomplishment (that comes at the cost of suffering tyranny).

The performances from Laughton and Gable are awesome. Gable looks weird clean shaven, but that's actually something the film gets historically accurate. The rest of the cast isn't too shabby either, even though the time period kept more "authentic" people getting cast as islanders.

This must have really been something of a spectacle when it came out. It's impact isn't quite as grand as it once was, but it still packs a punch, reminding modern viewers of how to make a compelling epic the old fashioned way.

Give this one a shot. It isn't perfect, but it has a reputation for being one of the better film versions of the story, and I can see why.
May 17, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

actually the movie is a metaphor of american revolution against england centuries ago. clark gable represents the testicular american who stands up against the unjust tyranny of english authority, charles laughton. gable's character exiles himself in dahiti and marries a local beauty after revolting laughton's evil captain. to escape the captain's paranoiac man-hunt, he leads his crew man in search of a brand-new island which no man has found in the world as a land of freedom of his own where no man could enslave any other man, and man does his work driven by the holy sense of duty. sounds familiar, huh? no doubt, it's a man's picture (guy flick, for sure)..

maybe the fun to watch this movie for me is the envy of men's world. their conflicts are grandly embodied on the stage with straight-arrow bomb-fire, direct physical collisions, passion exploded like dynamites in straight-forward ACTIONS!!! they conquer the spaces by the belief of themselves in the open sea. you want something, you reach out your hand to rob it and call it your own! in blood and sweat! even you just die for it, so what!

okay, the reality behind it might just be a bunch of BS, a system of lies they invent to justify their own sins and vices. i had this dvd for quite some time without watching it, because i know what it will be about: one-sided self-indulgent myth on manhood and brotherhood. but sometimes in life, you're so overflown with abjections that you just escape somewhere in which you cannot find a trace of yourself, your gender and your social group! i haven't seen the sea for quite some time, and a poor subsitute is better than nothing!
April 3, 2011
dietmountaindew
Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer

    1. Capt. William Bligh: Mr. Christian!
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) (DE)
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) (UK)
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