Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

(On Cable TV, March 2018) For a mid-thirties production, Mutiny on the Bounty still manages to impress thanks to expansive filmmaking, a solid story and good character work. While historically dubious (read the Wikipedia entry for the latest thinking regarding the real-life incident, markedly more sympathetic to captain Blight, not to mention the sad aftermath of the mutiny), the story itself does have a certain narrative drive, and the way the film portrays the events manages to be impressive—the shot in which hundreds of Tahitians converge to the water to greet the English visitors is still remarkable today. The heart of the film remains between Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian and Charles Laughton as Captain Blight—both actors hold their own. While creaky by modern standards, much of Mutiny on the Bounty can be watched effortlessly today … and that’s no small achievement for a film pushing eighty.

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