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The Bounty

515 customer reviews

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(Nov 21, 2000)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

OscarÂ(r) winners* Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson lead a stellar cast that includes Sir Laurence Olivier, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson in this action-packed adventure bursting with sensational battles, raging storms, and an intensity as powerful as the mighty sea itself! Bristling with commanding performances, blazing dialogue and "superb action scenes" (Los Angeles Times), this "spectacular movie" (New York) is "everything a high-adventure fan could want" (Variety)! Hopkins delivers "a brilliant portrayal" (Boxoffice) as William Bligh, a real-life sea captain who, in 1787, steered The Bounty on a 27,000-mile voyage into danger, chaos and madness. After 31 days of battling severe sea squalls and Bligh's ever-increasing cruelty, the weary crew is relieved to finally land on a remote island. But soon their tyrannical captain wants tosail again, and the desperate men turn to first mate Fletcher Christian (Gibson) to help them take the ship by force or die trying. *Hopkins: Actor, The Silence of the Lambs (1991); Gibson: Director, Producer, Braveheart (1995)

Director Roger Donaldson (Thirteen Days) has breathed vibrant new life into the classic story of the mutiny on the Bounty. With a dream cast--Mel Gibson, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier, Liam Neeson, and Daniel Day-Lewis--and a script by Robert Bolt (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia), The Bounty takes a revisionist tack through the well-charted waters of an oft-told tale. Hopkins's Captain Bligh is no raving sadist in the Charles Laughton mode. (Laughton played Bligh in the first Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935.) Instead, Sir Anthony plays Bligh as a hard-nosed imperialist explorer simply trying to get the job done in the time-honored manner: on the backs of the poor gobs under his command. Still, when Bligh's suppressed powder keg of rage finally blows, Hopkins is formidable indeed. Mel Gibson gives one of the most soulful performances of his career as mutiny leader Fletcher Christian. He's also at the height of his blue-eyed, buff good looks, and his romance with Tahitian maiden Mauatua (lovely Tevaite Vernette) is decidedly erotic. Liam Neeson is a veritable force of nature as the scrappy seaman Charles Churchill, and Daniel Day-Lewis is sublimely hateful as Master John Fryer, a pompous toady. With special effects to rival those of The Perfect Storm, the alluring eye candy of a tall-masted schooner under full sail, lush tropical greenery, and bevies of bodacious South Sea Islands babes, plus a gripping story line, The Bounty deserves a rescue from undeserved obscurity. --Laura Mirsky

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox, Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Directors: Roger Donaldson
  • Writers: Richard Hough, Robert Bolt
  • Producers: Bernard Williams, Dino De Laurentiis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2000
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (515 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Y87L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Bounty" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Govinda108 on October 20, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I've seen both the Brando and the Gibson versions, and I feel the latter is far, far superior--as a story that holds together, that has a focal point, and that is entirely believable.

The suspense is high on two levels--1. when will Christian and the seamen become so enraged that they will flout Hopkins' order and mutiny, and 2. what will be the final judgement on Hopkins in the trial being conducted on whether or not he was responsible for the mutiny. As the story develops, the suspense keeps intensifying and escalating.

I think Hopkins and Gibson played their parts much better than did Howard and Brando. Hopkins expressed many levels of the Bligh character, showing the inner conflict that gripped him--i.e., trying to be fair and human to the seamen and yet needing to exercise stern discipline to enable the ship to accomplish its purpose. His acting was absolutely marvelous, showing how he was being torn apart while at the same time trying to maintain his sanity. However, in the Howard version, all we see is a viciously sadistic personality--one note--without much depth or dimension. Gibson's performance was also excellent as his tension and anger gradually build to a breaking point, but even here he refrained from exerting the violence that he could have. You can't help but sympathize with him.

There are many touching moments in the story that make this a most memorable film. I was never bored or uninterested for even a moment--the suspense and drama just kept building and developing as I eagerly wondered how the story would finally end.

Well worth buying and seeing more than once.
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Format: VHS Tape
Deftly directed by Roger Donaldson and beautifully acted, this is a well nuanced film. Based upon a true story and adapted from the book, "Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian", by Richard Hough, the film relates the series of events that brought about the eventual mutiny of the English vessel, The Bounty, by its crew. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian, the Master's Mate, and friend of Lt. William Bligh, Captain of the ship. The film opens with the trial of Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) before the Admiralty Board, where he is questioned by Captain Greetham (Edward Fox) and Admiral Hood (Laurence Olivier). Captain Bligh then relates his account of why it was that he lost a ship under his command.

The star-crossed voyage of "The Bounty" started innocuously enough. Captain William Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) convinced his friend, Fletcher Christian (Mel Gibson), to set sail with him as Master's Mate to Ship Master John Fryer (Daniel Day Lewis). "The Bounty" was commissioned to set sail for Tahiti in order to obtain breadfruit plants for transport to Jamaica. In order to save time, the Captain would navigate a little used route around the horn of Africa to save time. It was to be a voyage to remember.

During the voyage, the viewer sees the tension build amongst the crew, as well as amongst the officers. The innate savagery and baseness of some of the seamen is personified by Charles Churchill (Liam Neeson), a seaman who needs little provocation. The disdain of the officers for the crew is best exemplified by John Fryer, the ship's Master, who seems to relish the cruelty of the punishments meted out to those crewmen found guilty of infractions. Tension then spills over between the crew and officers, as the rigors of the voyage eats away at morale.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Wuchak on December 5, 2007
Format: DVD
The 1935 black & White version of "Mutiny on the bounty" may have won an oscar for Best Picture at the time, but will likely strike modern viewers as dated and unrealistic. Marlon Brando's 1962 remake is the most epic, captivating and compelling version even though it failed at the box office when first released; indeed the '62 version is a masterpiece (see my Amazon review). But Mel Gibson's 1984 version, simply called
"The Bounty," is without doubt the most historically accurate and realistic film version of the infamous mutiny.

THE PLOT: The Bounty mutiny story is so fascinating because it's TRUE. William Bligh, as acting captain, was sent on a mission in December 1787 to bring breadfruit plants from Tahiti back to England. Bligh intended on circumnavigating the globe in fulfilling the mission. Unfortunately he and his crew failed to get around Cape Horn, South America, and had to go the long way around Africa. It thus took them 10 months to reach Tahiti, wherein they were forced to stay another 5 months due to the breadfruit's "dormant" period. The natives were friendly and the women beautiful. It comes as no surprise that the crew naturally fell under the spell of the Polynesian paradise; Fletcher Christian even married the King's daughter, Maimiti. But after 5 months they had to get on with their mission and return to Naval discipline and England. Three and a half weeks later on April 28, 1789, Fletcher took over the ship with 18 other mutineers. 22 remained loyal to Bligh and 2 others were neutral. Christian set bligh and 18 loyalists adrift in the ship's launch boat and then sailed back to Tahiti where he dropped off 16 men but picked up 6 Tahitian men and 11 native women, including Maimiti.
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Topic From this Discussion
The Bounty; long overdue for a blu ray release
It will happen when the studio suits decide that it'll be profitable enough, not before. I do wonder about their marketing decisions sometimes. The DVD of "Bounty" isn't a bad one. I just hope that when the Blu-ray arrives, it'll be a decent transfer. Too many studios seem to be... Read More
Dec 20, 2013 by John Smith |  See all 3 posts
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