Mutiny on the Bounty

Released 1962




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Movie Summary

Lewis Milestone
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A heavily-fictionalised version of a famous real-life mutiny which occurred in 1789. Marlon Brando plays an aristocratic English officer aboard HMS Bounty, the reluctant leader of a mutiny against the sadistic Captain Bligh (Trevor Howard). A spectacular remake of the famous 1935 film which had starred Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, this was the last film to be directed by Lewis Milestone.

Metacritic Score

  • 70


    Watching the film now, it seems like a bit of an anachronism. The story may be set in 1789, but the style and tone of the film is pure 1962. They simply don't make films like this ...

  • 40

    Empire Will Lawrence

    Brando rocks the boat with his dodgy accent and lowers the tone as history gets rewritten as vanity project.

  • 40

    Time Out

    Brando makes a total mess of his English accent, the romantic interlude in Tahiti goes on endlessly, and the visuals (perhaps the main point of interest in the movie) too often res...

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando

Lt. Fletcher Christian

Trevor Howard

Trevor Howard

Captain William Bligh

Richard Harris

Richard Harris

John Mills

Hugh Griffith

Hugh Griffith

Alexander Smith

Richard Haydn

Richard Haydn

William Brown

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Lewis Milestone took over the direction of this film when the original director, Sir Carol Reed, resigned following disagreements with producer Aaron Rosenberg (not Marlon Brando, as was widely reported at the time). Milestone, knowing that Reed had worked on the film for three months, was expecting simply to finish off a job already largely done, but was astonished to find that Reed had only managed to shoot seven minutes of usable film. Whether this footage made it into the final movie is not known.

    • Lewis Milestone complained for the rest of his life about the way he had been treated on this film (especially by Marlon Brando), and he never directed another feature film. It has been said that additional scenes were directed without credit by George Seaton and Jacques Tourneur, and also that Brando himself did some uncredited directing. It is known that Eric Ambler, Howard Clewes and William Driskill all contributed to the screenplay at various times (the lack of a complete screenplay during filming being one of the film's many problems).

    • Several reference works have suggested that Torin Thatcher and Ben Wright had roles in this film, though neither is to be seen in the 179-minute version released in 1962. The mystery was solved by the DVD release of the film, which includes as extras two deleted scenes involving these actors as naval officers who, decades after the main action of the story, find William Brown, the Richard Haydn character, still alive on the uncharted Pitcairn Island as the sole survivor of the mutiny. These scenes originally formed a prologue and episode to the film, the plot being revealed in flashback. (The epilogue's claim that reforms were instituted in the Royal Navy as a result of the mutiny is untrue.)

    • Bronislau Kaper, who composed the music for this film, had also worked on the 1935 version of the same story, although there he composed music only for the Tahitian sequences, with the rest of the score credited to Herbert Stothart.

  • QUOTES (4)

  • NOTES (1)

    • This remake of the 1935 Oscar-winner became one of the most notorious films in M-G-M's history, going many months over schedule and millions over budget. It ended up costing an unprecedented $18,500,000, making it, in 1962, the most costly film the studio had ever made, and the most expensive film yet released - although Cleopatra, a Twentieth Century-Fox film which appeared the following year, was over twice as expensive again.