Mutiny on the Bounty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mutiny on the Bounty Reviews

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½ May 25, 2016
Im just not sure about that hasty halted ending and some of the historical inaccuracies. The real story seems to be rather complicated. However, other than that great film with colorful characters and performances. This movie has one of the best villains ever! I was fuming near the end of this movie, he made me so mad! I would've made him walk the plank! I could imagine being there myself and just miserable as it was directed well showing all the cruelty. Ive heard of keelhauling before and not sure if it was used much in actuality but thats the stuff of nightmares!! Also, i just love a good story about being at sea and if u can get thru the sailing jargon this film is totally worthwhile! Tyranny continues to exist today as it always has maybe not in such harsh ways as then but still in subtle soul crushing jobs and system oppression.
April 16, 2016
A great film. Gable is surprisingly a believable Christian but of course Laughton steals the show as Bligh. Very well made, and a fabulous Hollywood take on the true story.
April 16, 2016
½ April 9, 2016
When I saw this film was from 1935 and shot in black and white I really wasn't expecting much. However it did win the Best Picture Oscar so I thought it was worthy of a viewing.
How glad I am that I did view this film. I knew the basic story from faint 9memories of a 1984 version.
It basically follows as the title implies a mutiny by the lowly sailors over the mean Captain lead by officer Mr. Christian.
In this version Christian is actually played by an American, Clark Gable who has his trademark Lord Lucan like moustache removed for the role.
I really got into the film but was somewhat disappointed the film could not have been shot in colour like Gone With The Wind which I had watched a few hours earlier. The black and white images on a television screen mean the production design that the film is lauded for cannot be fully admired.
The mean Captain Bligh (excellently played by Charles Laughton) looks like a stuck up Conservative MP. Laughton puts in an excellent performance like Gable and deservedly received a Best Actor Oscar nomination alongside Franchot Tone). The only time that three performances in the same film were up for the Best Actor award.
I have to say it again. A film worthy of a remake using a modern cast and colour.
½ March 9, 2016
Of all the versions of this movie, this one's the best.
February 29, 2016
1787. HMS Bounty sets sail from England for Tahiti in the South Pacific. Her First Lieutenant is Fletcher Christian, an officer who cares about the welfare of his men. Her captain, Captain Bligh, on the other hand, drives his men mercilessly and punishes them for the most insignificant thing, to the point of manufacturing infractions. Bligh becomes universally hated by the crew and a confrontation with Christian appears inevitable...

Decent telling of the (true) story of the Bounty. The sailing scenes are quite authentic and you get a good feel for what life at sea must have been like in the late-1700s.

Good work by Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh - he captured the menace and maliciousness of Bligh very well. Clark Gable is fine as Christian, though at times maybe a bit too cavalier and cocky to be naval officer.

Not great though. The story does feel a bit dry at times and is fairly conventionally told. I much preferred the 1984 version starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson. (I haven't yet seen the 1962 version starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard).

Won the 1936 Best Picture Oscar.
½ February 28, 2016
It's not exactly an accurate representation of Captain Bligh, but none of the cinematic films regarding The Bounty Mutiny have been. Charles Laughton's oppressive representation of the Bligh does however provide for an entertaining account of what may have happened.
½ February 15, 2016
This is the cinematic recreation of the Norhoff and Hall 1932 book, Mutiny On The Bounty, which is itself somewhat historically inaccurate. This film sets the standard on the Mutiny On The Bounty story we all know. Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh establishes his historically inaccurate reputation as a villainous captain. Clark Gable's constant smile becomes somewhat wearisome. The film must be taken in the context of being the original Mutiny picture and establishing the standard of our beliefs of the ordeal. Truly one of the most fascinating real-life marine adventures of all time!
½ January 23, 2016
Well written and well acted. The only thing I would change is adding a bit more about how the mutineers got along on they're new island. Overall, a great movie.
January 1, 2016
The reason that Mutiny on the Bounty works is Charles Laughton. Captain Bligh is such a despicable character in this movie that you want the crew to start a mutiny. However, (no spoilers here, since it's in the title) once the mutiny does occur, the plot then becomes a "be careful what you wish for" scenario. Plus, the actual historical accounts add another layer of to this story. This film leaves an impression on you.
½ April 14, 2015
I really don't understand the hype around this epic adventure movie, which feels like one long missed opportunity, focused on sticking to the safety of generic 1930s melodramatic conventions as opposed to taking many narrative risks.

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, because the elements are all there. Clark Gable, though miscast as a young British naval officer, is entertaining as always in the role of Christian, the charming everyman who leads the mutiny, despite playing it no differently than any of his other roles, and Charles Laughton, great as Henry VIII, is once again very good as the villainous Captain Bligh here. Technically the film was also very good for its time, with lots of sweeping shots of The Bounty, hundreds of extras wearing excellent historical attire, and creative editing.

But the film simply didn't work for me. The music is generic and consistently incongruous with the events on screen, with the stereotypically high-pitched, optimistic music you'd expect to find in a romantic comedy of the day drowning out action-packed scenes, such as the obligatory scene where a storm hits the ship.

There is also about half an hour of a cheesy romantic subplot where the crew of The Bounty stop off in Tahiti and pair off with the women there. This is actually at the same time the best and worst part of the movie, as it has tons of entertainment value but is totally tonally different to the rest of the film. The most memorable shot - also the most cringeworthy I've seen in any Oscar-winning film up until this point - shows the close-up, soft-focused face of a Tahitian girl as she enters the room and seductively smiles at one of the Englishmen. The shot sums up everything dated about this kind of film; it's entertaining, but we wouldn't take it seriously today. These scenes of romance have charm, but little passion, and at times had me bursting out laughing.

My biggest problem with the film is that the last act, once the mutineers (well, some of them) are caught and brought back to trial in England, focuses mainly on the politics behind everything, almost completely skipping the in-between part where Captain Bligh, thrown on a lifeboat with a few of his loyalists, made his way back to England and sent the Navy back to capture the mutineers. If I were to make a film about this, I'd focus heavily on this potentially awesome third act, with a lot more on-ship action and drama as opposed to people sitting in chairs discussing the fates of the mutineers. I'd also have focused a lot more on the lives the mutineers had in Tahiti for the few years they lived there in peace, as there was a lot of mystery and intrigue there.

I'd probably like this film more on a second watch. As I said, the performances are good as are the production values. But the film as a whole seemed to cater more to the melodramatic tastes of the time as opposed to telling the raw, passionate, and epic story of The Bounty and getting to the core of one of the most interesting stories of all time.

And a 30-something Clark Gable as a 20-something Englishman? My arse.
April 1, 2015
Starring Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone. "Mutiny on the Bounty" still ranks as the greatest maritime adventure film of all time with its combination of thrilling action, tense dramatics and spectacular tropical locales. Although set in the late 18th century, the film's tale of a revolt against tyranny struck a chord with economically challenged audience members who often felt as trapped and oppressed as Captain Bligh's crew. Although its historical accuracy is questionable, the film remains the best screen rendition of what drove the crew of the H.M.S. Bounty to the historic mutiny in 1787. Along with his Henry VIII, Laughton's role as the villainous Captain Bligh remains his best-remembered screen performance. Directed by Frank Lloyd.
½ January 20, 2015
Increible film de aventuras, un motìn en un barco llamado Bounty. Frank Lloyd dirige con mucha garra este clà sico luego se hicieron dos versiones mas con Marlon Brando y Mel Gibson. Las actuaciones formidables especialmente del tirano y despreciable Capità n Blight interpretado por Charles Laughton.
½ December 11, 2014
This high sea adventure presents a harsh nature leading up to the great, climatic mutiny that was thought to be worth waiting for, but not in a fashion that was expected (and the harshness doesn't stop there). You can still however find some qualities of the winning adventure such as the performances of Gable, Laughton and Tone, and the effects on the operations of handling the ship.

The 1935 Best Picture winner is an adventure to check out if the harshness of Laughton's character won't bring down your spirits while watching the film, like the way he did to his crew. If so, Gable's rebellious character will answer the call. (B)

(Full review coming soon)
½ November 27, 2014
I really enjoyed this Sir Charles Laughton/Clark Gable rendition of the actual incident, though it's different seeing Clark without his patented moustache. I don't know how historically accurate the film is but the movie itself was wonderful. Looking forward to seeing the 1962 remake soon. It was neat seeing the documentary short Pitcairn Island Today, which was a bonus on the DVD, as well.
½ September 30, 2014
Oh, Clark, that is all.
½ August 2, 2014
(First and only viewing - 3/5/2011)
July 12, 2014
This is the closest thing to an action movie during this time and is never dull. Clark Gable as first mate Fletcher Christian is confident and dashing, which is juxtaposed vividly to his rival Capt. William Bligh played by Charles Laughton. Bligh is very unlikeable for his unnecessarily cruel treatment of his crew but Laughton's performance though his face and demeanor make his character truly contemptible. It's the story here that really holds your attention above all. This is the kind of film that makes your blood boil with indignation while director Frank Lloyd makes you wait for the inevitable mutiny. For a while you think there might be a final confrontation between Bligh and Christian but it never comes, and you are still left feeling frustrated as Bligh commits a few more injustices before it's over. All of the high budget sailing and sea shots don't feel dated in any way, the effort for authenticity still shows today. Most big budget films then and today feel the need for a love story so there is some more lighthearted romance when Christian and the second mate Roger Byam, (played by Franchot Tone who also give a noteworthy performance) meet some friendly island natives. This interlude is enjoyable but is just a piece of parsley on the side to the meat of the story.
½ June 18, 2014
"I'll live to see you - all of you - hanging from the highest yardarm in the British fleet."

One of the films I had extreme hopes when I decided to choose which classics I really wanted to watch this year is the one I'm about to review right now. Ever since I got into classic cinema, Mutiny on the Bounty, like many other classics, has intrigued me to watch, and to see if it was worth the hype it has, especially Mutiny, the 8th film to win Best Picture and remains the only film to have three actors for the same film be nominated for Best Actor in a single year. But not every classic film is a masterpiece (as evidenced in my still talked about controversial hate review for 2001), and while Mutiny on the Bounty is nowhere as awful as said film, I still felt a little underwhelmed by the final result, though the film still remains an entertaining adventure.

Based on a novel involving actual events, and set in 1789, the film revolves around the voyage of the HMS Bounty, led by the notorious Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), the most evil, vicious captain in the ocean. Bligh's evilness includes flogging much of his crew for ridiculous reasons, even going as far as flogging a dead man to earn respect for the crew, and forces an innocent man to torture himself on top of the mast during an extreme storm. Eventually, first mate Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) is fed up with Bligh's cruelty that he stages mutiny, and the rest is history.

One thing I have to give the film credit for is that it was one of the first sea adventures to actually be filmed on the open seas rather than a studio soundstage, making the voyage seem more realistic than other classics (Captain Blood, also released the same year, had this problem, despite it being very entertaining). It also has passable 1930's b&w cinematography that was likely great for its time. Plus the action was remarkably entertaining, particularly the mutiny.

But why was I underwhelmed by Mutiny on the Bounty? Well, first, it's about 30 minutes too long. Even at two hours, the film still seems to be a little two long. Though it happened in the real story, the subplot where Gable falls for some girls in Tahiti really distracted me from the true excitement of the film, being the buildup to the mutiny, since that was the interesting part of the film to begin with. Another issue is the debate on whether the film is historically accurate or not, which has been debated for years. Some say that Captain Bligh wasn't really that evil and that Christian only wanted a mutiny cause he loved those girls so much. Whether the events depicted on film are true or made up, unlike The Social Network, where I criticized the film for its inaccurate portrayal of recent events, for a story that wasn't too familiar with audiences until the novel came out (which was three years before the film came out), I'm able to forgive if the film was inaccurate or not, as the actual story is still debated among historians today.

Thankfully, all criticisms aside, the acting is most impressive about this motion picture. What's impressive is that the three main actors of the film (Clark Gable, Charles Loughton, and Franchot Tone) were nominated for Best Actor for the same film in the same year. Though Tone's role isn't really that noteworthy in any way, he still does a good job, and I give him credit for being nominated with so much competition that year. Clark Gable, a year after his "comeback" role in It Happened One Night, shows his strong charisma that made him a memorable actor to begin with, and makes a grand hero. But the true scene-stealer is easily Charles Loughton as Captain Bligh, and if anyone from this film deserved the Oscar that year, it would easily be Loughton. It's funny that the same year he played this sinister role, he was also an American immigrant in the moderately entertaining Ruggles of Red Gap, which was extremely different in tone than this. He does a flawless job in this role, nuff said!

Though a little overrated, and the pacing is a little too slow, and Franchot Tone is underused in his Oscar-nominated performance, Mutiny on the Bounty is still a decent Best Picture winner (though I would have given it to Captain Blood), with good cinematography, flawless acting from both Clark Gable and especially Charles Loughton, and the dramatic tension is enjoyable. While not an essential in my book, it's still a solid classic, and I wouldn't mind watching the 1962 remake starring the great Marlon Brando.
½ April 18, 2014
Clark Cable and Charles Laughton are at their best accompanied with a solid script, superb direction from Frank Llyod, and larger than life adventure making 'Mutiny on the Bounty' long remembered.
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