Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: 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.


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 … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama , Action & Adventure , Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Nordhoff , James Norman Hall , Jules Furthman , Talbot Jennings , Carey Wilson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 3, 2004
Runtime:
MGM

Cast


as Christian

as Burkitt

as Sir Joseph Banks

as Capt. Nelson

as Mrs. Byam

as Tehani

as Maimiti

as Maggs

as Morrison

as Tinkler

as Coleman

as Lord Hood

as Mr. Purcell

as Cockney Moll

as Captain of Board

as Innkeeper

as Ellison's Mother

as Mary Ellison

as Peddler

as Chaplain

as Millard

as McIntosh

as Lt. Edwards

as Churchill

as Hillebrandt

as Richard Skinner

as Judge Advocate

as Capt. Colpoys

as Portsmouth Joe

as Millard
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Mutiny on the Bounty

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (8)

The case of the crew against the insane cruelty and avariciousness of Capt. Bligh is so powerfully presented that the injustice done to the men gets under one's skin to stir up a variety of emotion.

Full Review… | February 17, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | February 17, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 19, 2008
Variety
Top 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.

Full Review… | December 13, 2006
Chicago Tribune
Top 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.

Full Review… | December 12, 2006
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Mutiny on the Bounty

½

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.

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.

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

½

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.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Mutiny on the Bounty Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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