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Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

4.5 out of 5 stars 180 customer reviews


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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) (DVD)

Academy Award winner Clark Gable stars as the first mate who leads his ship's exploited and abused crew in the Mutiny on the Bounty.The South Pacific, 1789. On the far side of the Earth from their home inEngland, the crew of the H.M.S. Bounty suffers under the sadisticleadership of its captain, William Bligh (Academy Award winner CharlesLaughton). Months from its return to port, the ship's first mate,Fletcher Christian (Gable), realizes that many of the crewmembers willnot survive the voyage unless he takes control of the ship. But hisdecision to mutiny means that none of the crew can ever return home inthis enduring, true adventure.

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The highlight of Mutiny on the Bounty is undoubtedly Charles Laughton's bracingly evil performance as Captain Bligh, a man so mean that he insists on having a dead sailor flogged. Bligh pushes his men beyond physical endurance, slashes their rations for his own profit, and drastically cuts down their frolicking time with scantily clad Tahitians. Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for arrives: first mate Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) hits his limit and all hell breaks loose. Gable holds doggedly onto his American accent through the entire movie, but in a way it makes Christian come off as a Regular Guy in opposition to Bligh's institutionalized cruelty. Once you get past the hurdle of his diphthongs, Gable makes an excellent Fletcher Christian--strong, fair, and noble, and he effectively conveys the struggle of a man who loathes the idea of mutiny but can't stand see his men mistreated. And Charles Laughton is just superb. His Bligh is thoroughly appalling, yes, but it's far from a one-note performance--when he is cast adrift on the open sea in a lifeboat and tries to make an impossible journey to land, you can't help but root for him. Mutiny on the Bounty won the 1935 Academy Award for Best Picture and picked up a Leading Actor nomination for each of its male leads. Check it out or be tied to the mizzenmast. --Ali Davis

Special Features

Documentary: Vintage documentary: Pitcairn Island Today Newsreel: Academy Award newsreel Theatrical Trailer: Theatrical trailers of this and the 1962 remakeDocumentary: Vintage documentary: Pitcairn Island Today Newsreel: Academy Award newsreel Theatrical Trailer: Theatrical trailers of this and the 1962 remakeDocumentary: Vintage documentary: Pitcairn Island Today Newsreel: Academy Award newsreel Theatrical Trailer: Theatrical trailers of this and the 1962 remakeDocumentary: Vintage documentary: Pitcairn Island Today Newsreel: Academy Award newsreel Theatrical Trailer: Theatrical trailers of this and the 1962 remake

Product Details

  • Actors: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone, Herbert Mundin, Eddie Quillan
  • Directors: Frank Lloyd
  • Writers: Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, Carey Wilson
  • Producers: Irving Thalberg
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00011D1OK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,924 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Charles Laughton gives the standout performance in this classic retelling of the Bounty mutiny. Gable appears properly confounded and gives a believable and sympathetic rendering of Fletcher Christian. The movie holds up remarkably well despite some awkward editing and gaps in the story line. Still, at 133 minutes it is a relatively long film but it never drags. In spite of allegations made in other reviews there are no "white girls in blackface" or "boats in a bathtub" scenes. True, navels are concealed but the two female leads are obviously and revealingly topless in several scenes. As for "toy boats in a bathtub" there is only one sequence that obviously utilizes a model and it isn't all that obvious. Laughton is the luminary here and his Bligh stays with you. In fact it has stayed with the culture for sixty-five years. His performance is without fault and repeated watchings bear this out. A couple of sequences bear a closer look: The mutiny montage is startlingly effective and intense. It is a realistic portrayal of sudden violence; short, confusing, and graphic. The Sunday morning prayers on deck sequence is poetic and approaches the sublime. The ship's sails gleam translucent in the sun, the Union Jack floats majestically in the breeze, sunlight reflects brightly on faces as the Captain invokes God's blessings on the voyage. The extreme contrast of light and dark in the black and white print and the metaphorical contrast of good against Bligh, the epitome of evil, is subtle yet effective. It is a beautiful few moments. In every way but gloss this film is superior to the 1962 version. The 1984 "Bounty" with Mel Gibson is a fine film but it fades in the memory. This version lingers in the subconsious.
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Format: DVD
Based on the then-popular novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, the 1935 MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is among a series of legendary films of the 1930s that have been repeatedly celebrated for cinematic achievement. And small wonder: the film has a host of powerful assets.

The single most obvious among these is the star power involved: led by two Oscar-winning stars, the critically formidable Charles Laughton and the incredibly popular Clark Gable, the cast reads like a Who's Who of mid-1930s male actors ranging from leading man Franchot Tone to the memorable character actor Donald Crisp. In a visual sense, the film is also a knockout: filmed on location in a full-size replica of the Bounty, it set a new standard for capturing the sea on film. And the story itself is powerful, the tale of the battle between the cruel and autocratic Bligh and the humane and populist Fletcher Christian. Taken together, it makes for a powerful ride.

Still, some viewers may not find MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY all it is cracked to be. Then as now, Hollywood was less interested in getting the facts right than in telling a good story--and from a factual point of view the film is perhaps twenty percent accurate and eighty percent nothing more nor less than historical tarradiddle. That is no real hinderance per se; after all, we're not watching a documentary. But seen from a modern standpoint the cast now feels somewhat problematic.

Charles Laughton was so critically well regarded that he received star billing over Clark Gable for the film, and seen today his performance is easily the single most powerful in the entire film.
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Format: VHS Tape
This film doesn't seem to meet the criteria of what we call a great movie: it won't lift your spirit and soul, it doesn't really give us any lasting food for thought, it probably won't make you laugh hysterically( although I thought the swinging lantern bit was pretty funny), it probably won't really make you weep. So why is this such a respected movie?
It is a rolicking adventure of the sea. Everyone knows there were enough of those made in the old days. So why does this one stand out?
It's the acting. The rich man's son is extremely well portrayed and his speech at the end is well rendered. The entire cast is outstanding, making even the nobodys of the ship endearing and enduring. Clark Gable(no mustache?!! Horrors!) gives a deep introspective portrait of Fletcher Christian as a man that has been pushed and pushed and pushed again.
Laughton gives a Bligh that is truly one of the best villians ever to grace the screen. Gable and Laughton play off each other marvelously. As Gable reacts to Laughton's brutality, making the audience wonder what exactly will push him over the edge.
In short, what made this adventure movie so lasting? What made it a classic? I'll tell you. It's the deep introspective character development seen here. Highly recommended.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This Blu-ray transcription captures the resolution of the original 35mm film, but it cannot be expected to compensate for the limitations of 80-year-old technology. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY appears on today's high definition televisions only as sharp as it did originally in theaters, with the many instances of rear projection backgrounds looking fuzzy to the modern viewer. The movie was held in high regard in 1935, as indicated by its winning of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its three lead actors, Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone were all nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, thereby insuring that none of them would be able to win it. The Best Actor award went to the only non-BOUNTY nominee, Victor McLaglen, for his performance in The Informer. Emerging from a crowded field of twelve nominees for Best Picture, BOUNTY was praised not only for its actors, but for its dramatic screen presentation of an epic story and for the exotic South Pacific shooting locations which helped to make it the most expensive motion picture up to that time.

Compared to more recent films, including two remakes of Mutiny on the Bounty, the 1935 version might seem a bit stagey and confined, but consider the facts: it was made in the first decade of the sound era, depended heavily on primitive rear-projection effects for dramatic moments at sea, was subject to a production code so restrictive that it required women's navels to be either covered with clothing or obliterated with makeup, and did not have the benefit of color photography to emphasize the exotic nature of its location footage.
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