Mutiny on the Bounty Reviews
The music has a bombastic and yet low tone to it, leaving the audience with a sense of viewing a mature epic, and not just another MGM blockbuster.
Use of the wide angle 70mm lenses seem to prevent any real close ups and the film is almost epic for epic's sake. But it works well, and is entertaining. It is no Ben Hur and the 1984 version, "The Bounty" is still better in my view, but this is certainly the grandest voyage of the Bounty you're ever likely to see.
Though long and deliberative and stretched to grandiose proportions, this Bounty escapes much of the pompous emptiness that characterizes many of the Hollywood epics so popular during the era, primarily because the simmering antipathies between Brando's Fletcher Christian and Howard's Bligh are so tangible and emotionally involving, but also because the two characters are crafted into more than just stock adventure cut-outs.
Brando no doubt willfully courted disapproval (though he pulls it all off with fine understatement) in affecting a dandified, insouciant, and eventually conscious-ridden gentleman Christian, through whose mounting dissatisfaction we come to grasp the stark divide between the grim realities of the British Navy (and British society) and the idyllic atmosphere of exotic, flowery Tahiti. Trevor Howard's Bligh, on the other hand, is all coiled discipline and imperious earnestness, a banty rooster of a self-made man who abides not fools. This is a wonderfully nuanced performance by Howard, whose portrayal lives on indelibly in the imagination.
The moment of reckoning between these two characters is a gripping scene that reveals the terrifying consequences of rising against an inescapable, unfeeling authority, and the sometimes exterminating doubt (and possibly questionable motivations) of those who stand for justice. This introspective anxiety colors the subsequent development of the yarn, which finds an ending of desperation amid tragic futility. All very good.