Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1935. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Screenplay by Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman, Carey Wilson, Margaret Booth, based on the book by Charles Nordhoff, James Norman Hall. Cinematography by Arthur Edeson. Produced by Frank Lloyd. Music by Herbert Stothart. Production Design by Cedric Gibbons. Film Editing by Margaret Booth.
Exceptional adventure film that, along with The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, makes 1935 a top-notch year for action films. By far the best of all three versions made of this story, it stars a heroic Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian, the Lieutenant aboard the ship Bounty, bound for Tahiti in search of breadfruit trees. Based on a true story, the ship was sent with the purposes of bringing these trees back to England to be used as cheap food for slaves, but the ship never reached England’s shores with the same captain in charge. During the year-long travel from England to Tahiti, Christian, Midshipman Bryan (Franchot Tone) and all the other crew members have to endure the cruel indignities of their evil Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton), whose slave-driving methods are too much even for England’s rigorous navy. Eventually, Christian decides upon mutiny, though not without consequences for himself and his friends. Featuring stunning photography of Tahiti (actual on-location photography!), with the rest recreated in Hollywood, this breathtaking film grabs hold and never lets go for a second. The acting is first-rate by all, the direction superb.
Academy Award: Best Picture
Nominations: Best Actor (Clark Gable); Best Actor (Charles Laughton); Best Actor (Franchot Tone); Best Director (Frank Lloyd); Best Screenplay; Best Film Editing; Best Scoring