Mutiny on the Bounty
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Mutiny on the Bounty

4.3 6
Director: Frank Lloyd

Cast: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone


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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 (


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 the crew. Christian despises Bligh and is sailing on the Bounty under protest. During the journey back to England, Bligh's cruelties become more than Christian can bear; and after the captain indirectly causes the death of the ship's doctor, the crew stages a mutiny, with Christian in charge. Bligh and a handful of officers loyal to him are set adrift in an open boat. Through sheer force of will, he guides the tiny vessel on a 49-day, 4000-mile journey to the Dutch East Indies without losing a man. Historians differ on whether Captain Bligh was truly such a monster or Christian such a paragon of virtue (some believe that the mutiny was largely inspired by Christian's lust for the Tahitian girls). The movie struck gold at the box office, and, in addition to the Best Picture Oscar, Gable, Laughton, and Franchot Tone as one of the Bounty's crew were all nominated for Best Actor (they all lost to Victor McLaglan in The Informer). The film was remade (badly) in 1962 and adapted into the "revisionist" 1984 feature The Bounty with Mel Gibson as Fletcher Christian and Anthony Hopkins as Captain Bligh.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The winner of 1935's Best Picture Oscar, this sumptuously produced adaptation of the Charles Nordhoff-James Norman Hall bestseller has weathered the intervening decades extremely well. It's just as powerful and exciting today and remains the best of several big-screen versions. Based on real-life events, Mutiny dramatizes a momentous voyage of HMS Bounty, an 18th-century cargo ship sent to Tahiti to gather supplies of breadfruit that will be sold to West Indian colonies. The ship's new first mate, Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable), discovers early on that Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), the Bounty's commanding officer, is a ruthless tyrant. A series of outrages gradually turns Christian against Bligh, and the mate leads his rebellious crew in a mutiny that culminates in the captain's expulsion from the ship. But that's only part of this unusually complex story line, beautifully developed by top screenwriters Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, and Carey Wilson. Legendary MGM executive Irving Thalberg personally supervised the production, insisting on period accuracy down to the most minute details: Although the film's Tahitian maidens were garbed somewhat more modestly than their real-life counterparts, the sets and costumes were flawlessly re-created and shipboard routine was realistically pictured. In actual fact, Bligh was not quite the heartless villain he's made out to be here, nor was Christian the altruistic humanist of Gable portrayal. But that doesn't matter, really. As a rousing historical drama, Mutiny on the Bounty is expertly constructed. It's one of several superb motion pictures directed by that underappreciated journeyman, Frank Lloyd, whose masterly touches made the film an instant classic -- and one that has withstood the test of time.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Mutiny on the Bounty represents the height of MGM filmmaking during the Irving Thalberg era. Filming on location in Tahiti, the studio spent $2 million in production costs, an astounding sum for 1935. Thalberg's boss, Louis B. Mayer, opposed the film, but the production chief prevailed, insisting that the public was fascinated by cruelty. Indeed, Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh is among the screen's most despicable villains, never mind that the historic Captain Bligh was a substantially more complex person, and the heroic Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) of the film is hardly the Fletcher Christian of history who kidnapped Tahitian natives and forced them to work as slaves for his mutineers. Mutiny on the Bounty holds up well as a grand tale of adventure, beautifully filmed, with charismatic lead performances and the quality of production that made Thalberg's work legendary. It is a rarity in Academy Awards history: a Best Picture winner that won only that one Oscar. The bigger winner for the night was John Ford's The Informer, which took four Oscars, all at Bounty's expense. Yet, as is common in Academy history, Bounty, a bigger box-office blockbuster, won the top award.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
[Full Frame]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

1935 short Pitcairn Island Today; Academy Awards newsreel; Theatrical trailers of this and the 1962 version

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clark Gable 1st Mate Fletcher Christian
Charles Laughton Capt. William Bligh
Franchot Tone Roger Byam
Dudley Digges Bachus
Herbert Mundin Smith
Donald Crisp Burkitt
Eddie Quillan Ellison
Movita Actor
Francis Lister Capt. Nelson
Henry Stephenson Sir Joseph Banks
Spring Byington Mrs. Byam
Ian Wolfe Samuel
Ivan Simpson Morgan
DeWitt Jennings Fryer
Stanley Fields Muspratt
Wallis Clark Morrison
Vernon P. Downing Hayward
Dick Winslow Tinkler
Lionel Belmore Innkeeper
James Cagney [uncredited]
Maria [Movita] Castaneda Tehani
Mamo Clark Maimiti
Marion Clayton Mary Ellison
Harry Cording Soldier
Alec Craig McCoy
Harold Entwistle Capt. Colpoys
Pat Flaherty Churchill
Mary Gordon Peddler
Winter Hall Chaplain
John Harrington Mr. Purcell
Charles Irwin Byrne
Crauford Kent Lt. Edwards
Robert Livingston Young
Doris Lloyd Cockney Moll
King Mojave Richard Skinner
David Niven (uncredited)
John Powers Hillebrandt
Byron Russell Quintal
William Stack Judge Advocate
Will Stanton Portsmouth Joe
David Thursby McIntosh
David Torrence Lord Hood
Douglas Walton Stewart
Percy Waram Coleman
Eric Wilton Captain of Board
Nadine Beresford Ellison's Mother
Hal LeSueur Millard

Technical Credits
Frank Lloyd Director
Margaret Booth Editor
Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Jules Furthman Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Art Director
Talbot Jennings Screenwriter
Albert Lewin Associate Producer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Irving G. Thalberg Producer
Carey Wilson Screenwriter


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Mutiny on the Bounty 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
joet37382013 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Mutiny On The Bounty' is a classic sea epic about the crew of a British tall ship who revolt after their captain (Charles Laughton) becomes tyrannical on the high seas. Clark Gable cuts a handsome swashbuckling figure as Fletcher Christian - king of the mutineers. His ability to insight revolt leads to a disastrous outcome for all concerned. Franchot Tone give a poignant performance as one of the wronged sea men, put on trial but eventually exonerated from the charge of mutiny. For adventure on the high seas there's none to touch this harrowing classic! Warner Brothers¿ transfer is a mixed blessing. Though much of the footage shot on indoor stages seems to have held up well over time the exterior and location photography is riddled with age related artifacts, slightly out of focus image quality and glaring film grain, dirt and grit. The gray scale sometimes has a well balanced look to it. At other times it appears to be suffering from low contrast levels. Blacks are never solid or deep. There are no digital anomalies. Fine details are never realized. The audio is mono but very nicely cleaned up. Extras include a couple of featurettes and a trailer. Ho-hum...the pirates life for me!
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