Mutiny on the Bounty Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 21, 2013
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.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2012
"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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2011
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!
Super Reviewer
September 3, 2010
I was bored watching this movie, but I wasn't paying much attention, I should probably see it again.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
October 20, 2009
After writing over 200 movie reviews, I've gotten pretty good at taking mental notes. I don't use a notepad (anymore), I just make observations (such as "wow, Scott Bakula gave a pretty bad performance in The Informant") and recall them later as I write the review. However, when I'm watching a great movie, the mental note-taking can go out the window as I'm drawn into the fantastic world of film. Mutiny on the Bounty was so good, I debated whether or not to even bother writing a review of it at all, there's nothing I can write that will contribute to its greatness.

First of all, the performances by Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Charles Laughton were so amazing, all three were nominated for the "Best Actor" award that year (the only time three leads from the same movie have been nominated). I became a big Charles Laughton fan after his moving performance as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but Captain Bligh is as disparate from that character as he could possibly be. Laughton gives a performance that is somehow simultaneously broad and subtle. He's a petty, hate-filled little man whose biggest fear is losing control of his ship and the respect of his men, and yet his sadistic nature forces him to push his men to the breaking point. With his jutting lip and odd manner of speech, he seems the very air of pomposity (in fact, it was Laughton's Bligh that 'looney tunes' creators parodied the most when a ship's captain or some form of royalty). Clark Gable plays second-in-command, Fletcher Christian, an inscrutable and intensely just man who is torn between his love of his country and his sense of justice, as he watches the power-mad Bligh abuse his command.

This film could easily work as a stage play, that is to say, it relies almost entirely on the actors' performances (What special effects there are, are blended into the film almost unnoticeably). This goes for the leads on down to the extras, there's an emotional tide that runs through the entire production. As I've said before, I've written just over 200 reviews, which isn't alot in the grand scheme of things, and it's always more difficult to say why I liked a movie than it is to say why I didn't. Sometimes, the best movies have a certain indefinable quality about them that touches something within the viewer. What I can say about Mutiny on The Bounty is that it's an excellent production featuring great performances. It's also a high seas tale of adventure that, as far as high seas tales go, hasn't been equalled.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2007
1935 was a good year for seafaring adventure stories. this may be the best of all time and has to be laughton's greatest performance. clark gable's good too. not considered historically accurate but makes a great film :)
Super Reviewer
½ May 12, 2006
Captain Blight's terrible cruelty on the Bounty affirms his position as one of the greatest villians. However it is not the final result of the voyage that interests, but rather how an honorable officer of the British fleet could have turned on his Captain. The story focuses on the journeys to and from the island because it is more important than the actual arrival at Haiti . More than anything a fascinating study of ship psychology based on a true story.
Super Reviewer
½ August 19, 2007
good performances, avoid the Brando remake!!
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2014
There is a reason why Charles Laughton secured so many villain roles. He was absolutely brilliant at them. This film is no exception. He and Clark Gable are noble adversaries far away from native England
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2011
A Classic and inspiring tale of adventure and morality on the high seas. Both Charles Laughton and Clark Gable as well as all the other stars did an amazing job of portraying their characters with such vigor and care that you melt away into the film it's entire length. A great escapist fantasy film and one that has timeless themes that are always relevant, even today. Any great film is one in which you forget you are watching a movie, this is certainly one of the best to do so. Highly Recommended!
Super Reviewer
May 8, 2010
One of the great classic adventure epic of all time, skillfully directed by Frank Lloyd it is a magnificent production from MGM studios. It concerns the infamous mutiny by Fletcher Christian, played by the dashing Clark Gable in superlative Oscar nominated performance, due to inhuman treatment of the crew by the tyrannical Captain William Bligh, played by Charles Laughton in unforgettable Oscar nominated performance, Laughton plays the role with such relish, that he makes his legendary portrayal of Capt. Bigh into one of the great screen villains of in cinematic history.
Super Reviewer
February 19, 2008
An early Hollywood blockbuser and swashbuckler epic and it shows. Some of the direction is still a bit clunky but sparkling with that divine innocence and sheer passion for filmmaking that evens out all rough edges with delightful performances and sights. The film is based on a true story but the characters are fleshed out and the distinction between protagonist and antagonist is drawn very clearly, maybe too clear for my taste but I can see why it makes sense to go down that road for a feature film, especially in 1930ies Hollywood.

Charles Laughton eternalized the role of the villain who is not evil by screaming loudly or sporting some fangs in his mouth but by being so self-consciously malevolent and brutal that it makes your juices boil. Clark Gable plays the suave and good-hearted hero who cannot stand the military reign anymore and throws off the shackles. I love Clark Gable but he is not much of an actor but more or less a strongly charismatic fellow with a good screen presence, but sometimes the fine line between being the handsome womanizer with a bare chest and the morally irritated first mate becomes blurred. It is a shame he was such a homophobic arsehole.

Some of the island scenes are almost funny, because to us educated audiences they are of a silly and pornotopian disposition but within the context of the time as well as within the film's framework of emotional reference, absolutely accurate.

The supporting characters come across as slighlty bleak when compared to the lead actors and it is a shame, because we never really care for the fate of Franchot Tone's characters or all the others, which would have made the film all the more interesting.

A great sea-adventure with two of the finest early Hollywood actors and an exercise a what would become the classic Hollywood blockbuster.

Over the Rising Sun
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2010
Mutiny On The Bounty is a classic sea-epic with extravegant performances from Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, an electrifying ocean adventure, and slight outdatedness. Clark Gable stars as Fletcher Christian, who is second in command on a British trade ship, the Bounty, on route to Tahiti. First in command is Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), who is cruel and unmerciful to his inferiors, and Christian begins to find Bligh's methods intolerable. After arriving at Tahiti, Christian and his navigator friend (Franchot Tone) explore the island and discover its beauty and tranquility. When they return to the ship, Christian contrasts Bligh's inhumane punishments with Tahiti's serenity, then plans a mutiny on the Bounty. Throughout the story there are many comic relief characters, dull action sequences, and spontaneous romances that make the film a little outdated, but Frank Lloyd's direction enhances everything with visionary ocean spectacles. Frank Lloyd also shows how harsh life at sea can be and makes a beautiful mutiny, which is heavily contributed to by the supporting cast's great acting. Charles Laughton is wonderful in his villanous role and acts unforgettably malevolent. Clark Gable is a charming, witty, and very likable heroic figure who is easily identified as common sense. Franchot Tone overacts, but he's fun to watch and gets his message across. With a timeless plot and an outdated script, Mutiny On The Bounty is a classic swashbuckler film that has remarkable acting from Clark Gable and even better from Charles Laughton. 77/100
Lord Naseby
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2009
When I first rented this movie I thought it was going to be boring for me. I was very wrong. This film was absolutely stunning. I loved the Powerhouse performances by all three main actors. although I felt that Franchot Tone's performance was slightly overshadowed by The magnitude of the performances of Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. It was an absolutely amazing film. I loved the pure villainy of Captain Bligh. I felt that Laughton did it perfectly. I hated Bligh after the first five minutes that I saw him (that guy was practically begging to get punched in the face but he was in power so what can you do?) He didn't really get his due in the end but the British Navy realized "yeah you're a complete jerk". A superb film all around. Final Verdict: it deserved its Best Picture win and despite the fact that it didn't, it deserved to win Best Actor for either Gable or Laughton.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2008
I loved the Brando version and Gibson's was very good also.
½ March 17, 2013
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) -- [7.5] -- You know you're in for a harrowing journey when the captain gives a dead man 300 lashes before the ship even leaves port. Charles Laughton steals the show here as the torturous Captain Bligh, a greedy monster who plays recklessly with the lives of his crew. Clark Gable is charismatic as Fletcher Christian, the man who leads the uprising against Bligh (and without his trademark mustache, since facial hair wasn't permitted in the Royal Navy). Franchot Tone is very good as Roger Byam, a friend of Christian's who ultimately sides with Bligh... a decision that nearly costs him his life. All three actors were Oscar-nominated for their roles, and the film won the award for Best Picture. For all the ratcheting suspense that precedes it, the last twenty minutes of cross-cutting storylines loses the film some momentum, but "Mutiny on the Bounty" is great drama and solid escapist fare, supplemented with a fine cast that keeps you engaged to the very end.
March 18, 2010
While it works wonderfully as a great classic high-sea adventure, Mutiny on the Bounty is so much more. It tackles class warfare, the justice system, and the fairness of drafting citizens for government duty. It questions whether one should fight for what's right even when there is nothing to be gained and everything to be lost. It features our ability to not only find victory over one another, but of nature herself. Ultimately, it is a platform for two of Hollywood's greatest actors, Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, to face off against one another, highlighted by an admittedly hammy performance from Laughton as one of the most despicable characters in film, Captain Bligh.
June 19, 2010
I can say with complete surety that this is one of the greatest movies ever made. The cinematographic feats that were achieved in 1935 are still impressive to the viewer today. Gable and Laughton carry it all on their shoulders and are the perfect foils. Simply fantastic.
December 9, 2009
Mutiny on the Bounty is one of many adaptations of a novel of the same name. This is based on an actual mutiny aboard a British ship called the Bounty but this film is full of historical inaccuracies due in large part to being based on a novelization of what happened rather than what actually happened.

The film stars Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh who is abusive towards his crew. Leading the mutiny is Clark Gable. Both of them, along with Franchot Tone, were nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Despite having three nominees, all of them would lose. The film was nominated for several other Oscars and won only Best Picture. This film became the third film to win Best Picture and nothing else a feat which has not been duplicated since.

Overall, this was a fairly good film but not particularly great. It's certainly better than the last few best picture winners I've seen and it kept my interest throughout.

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