Mutiny on the Bounty


D: Frank Lloyd

MGM (Irving Thalberg)

US 🇺🇸 1935

132 mins


W: Talbot Jennings, Jules Furthman & Carey Wilson [based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff & James Norman Hall]

DP: Arthur Edeson

Ed: Margaret Booth

Mus: Herbert Stothart & Nat W. Finston 

Charles Laughton (Capt. William Bligh), Clark Gable (Fletcher Christian), Franchot Tone (Roger Byam), Movita Castaneda (Tehani), Dudley Digges (Bacchus), Henry Stephenson (Sir Joseph Banks)

Though littered with historical inaccuracies, the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty is easily the most iconic of the film adaptations, possibly due to its Best Picture Oscar win and the three principal cast members all being nominated for Best Actor (the first and only time this has happened).

Charles Laughton, Clark Gable & Franchot Tone are the leads, as Captain William Bligh, Fletcher Christian and Roger Byam respectively, a contrast of different characters aboard the HMS Bounty as it makes its long voyage to South America via the Pacific Islands, where a mutiny takes place when the dutiful but conscientious Fletcher Christian leads a revolt against the brutally sadistic Captain, taking control of the vessel and eventually settling in the Pitcairn Islands.

The events are based upon a real-life mutiny which took place in 1789, but this version is far more liberal with facts as opposed to later versions of the same material. Nevertheless, this picture was a huge fan undertaking for its time and does an excellent job with the scope that the production required, and deserves a huge amount of respect for that.

A product of its time, it may well be, but this is certainly amongst the very best films to emerge from 1930’s Hollywood.


Clark Gable & Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty
Clark Gable & Charles Laughton in Mutiny on the Bounty