Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Classic film, classic story

Old style might not sit well with everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Mutiny on the Bounty

Studio:  MGM

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  November 8, 1935

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Yo-ho! A mutineer’s life for me!

The HMS Bounty is bound for Tahiti on a supply run crewed by those forced into service by the Crown.  The Bounty is run by the strict and cruel Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton) who seems to revel in the misery of the men who serve him.  The ship’s new lieutenant Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) finds himself immediately at odds with Bligh about his behavior and treatment of his men…leading to tension during the two year voyage.  After Tahiti, emotions bubble over and a great mutiny occurs that is remembered to this day.

Directed by Frank Lloyd, Mutiny on the Bounty is based on the real events occurring in 1789.  The script is based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Normal Hall.  It won the at the 8th Academy Award for Best Picture with nominations for Best Director, Best Actor (Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone), Best Screenplay, Best Score, and Best Film Editing (and it was the last Best Picture to win no other categories).


Oh yeah…going to get some Tahitian Treet!

Mutiny on the Bounty is a classic and it is sometimes hard to judge a classic.  The movie has an old style, old acting, and an old look, but it does has aspects that still rings true today.

The story of the Bounty does have some real debatable moments.  It shows a man who is so in love with power that he abuses it…but does the ends justify the means?  With the decision to mutiny, the naval code is tested and some of the characters do make bad decisions.  Bligh is a tyrant, but were the right steps taken?

The movie does owe a lot of credit to Clark Gable and Charles Laughton.  Gable adds appeal and charm to the story of the mutineers, but Charles Laughton’s role as the tyrannical Bligh steals the show (and reports of the real Bligh’s tyranny might have been exaggerated by history).  Franchot Tone also has a nice role which is more downplayed as the man who is caught in the middle of the battle of wills.


If someone sings “99 Bottles of Beer” one more time, I will slit their throat!

Visually the movie looks pretty good for when it was released.  The high seas sailing scenes are effective and that is in part to the very nice looking ships created for the movie.  The sets were full scale converted ships and the quality of the ships comes off the screen…especially when you compare them to high-seas movies that used cheaper sets.

Mutiny on the Bounty is a good concept story that has the viewers questioning right and wrong.  The basic story of Mutiny on the Bounty has been reused and referenced for years so it is worthwhile for people to check it out simply for that reason.  The movie is a classic and stands the tests of time.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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