Mutiny on the Bounty (Blu-Ray)
Led by the brutal tyrant Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), the HMS Bounty is setting sail in 1789 on a two-year voyage to collect breadfruit plants from Tahiti. The First Mate Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) is sympathetic to the abused crew and is confused by Captain Bligh’s methods until finally he is pushed too far and declares mutiny on the ship. Christian’s friend and Midshipman Roger Byam (Franchot Tone) also disagrees with Bligh’s ways but ultimately believes it to be more wrong to overtake the ship. However, after taking no part in the mutiny he must defend himself against charges by the villainous Bligh.
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is one of the highest revered films of all time. It is rated number 86 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Films 100 Years. It also won the Academy Award for Best Picture while receiving nominations for Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Score, Best Screenplay and Best Actor in a Leading Role for all three of it’s stars, Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone.
Since the acting got three lead nominations, I think it’s only right that I discuss their performances. Everyone here plays the part with the extremity necessary. If Bligh and Christian were on opposite sides of the spectrum, Byum would be caught in the middle. Charles Laughton gives Bligh a weight and command to be feared and hated. His portrayal is one of the blue prints for bad guys today. His fight against the sea with the barest of supplies is admirable. Clark Gable can’t help but look charming at all times. It was fun watching him because you got a real feel for a Hollywood star like Gable. People don’t really want to see him as a character they want to see him as the good-looking movie star. He did that well. He delivers his likable but sometime selfish character with ease, always with a sure attitude and smile as if he is posing for the camera. Franchot Tone as the young Byum is underrated in a much more subtle performance. Now I use subtle loosely in these old films because they usually are anything but. However, Tone pulls off the difficult task in a less flashy part for a character that could be argued as the lead by the end of the film.
The production and detail is really nothing short of amazing for a film made in 1935. They filmed on site in Tahiti and really brought the audience into the life and hardships of the British Royal Navy ship (although from the accents you would have never guessed). The music and action pushes this multilayered story at a nice pace that surprising holds up well today.
Based on true historic events MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is a story that is just as relevant today. I’m sure everyone has been in a situation where you basically can’t win. If Christian continues to do his job he and his conscience must lay witness to injustice, brutality and death to the innocent. If he stands up and fights back he will be rebuked and sentenced to death. I can relate to Christian…on perhaps a smaller scale, but relate nonetheless.
Video: (1080p High Definition 16×9 1.33:1) The black and white picture gets a clear transfer.
Audio: (Dolby Digital 1.0) The sound is not much improved upon with a static similar to the sound of a record player as the film is played.
Pitcairn Island Today (9:39) A short documentary about the actual mutiny and what happened to the following generations of Christian’s crew on their secret island.
1939 Newsreel Mutiny On The Bounty Wins 1935 Award (1.00) A short typical acceptance speech for winning the Academy Award.
Theatrical Trailers: Two trailers one for this film and the other for the 1962 version with Marlon Brando.
32-Page Digibook: Pictures and information on the movie.