Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Starring Charles Laughton & Clark Gable

Rating 8/10

Tales of the high seas always give me the heeby-geebies. All that ocean. Those monster waves and to top it off, people with ‘cabin fever’ and scuuurvvvvy. Salt, bodily fluids, death, sharks and teetering ships. No. It is not for me.

However, this was an epic movie minus the heeby-geebie factor. It touched the justice nerve, the bullying nerve, the adventure nerve, the eye-candy-ometre and my love of tropical island paradises. Tick, tick, tick, tick and tick! Clark Gable shone in this film. Instead of being a misogynistic woman slapper as in the previous film, here he is the hero. This character you can embrace with two arms and a snuggly cheek. There is a lot more lovable depth in Fletcher Christian (Gable). You empathise with his struggle to protect his men versus his duty to obey the tyrannical Captain Blythe (Laughton). I found myself impatient for the muntinous moment.

Captain Blythe is a monster. At one stage he orders his men to carry out punishing a dead man. They continue to whip his body to the horror of crew. Another time he punishes a crew member by throwing him overboard (with a rope around his stomach) and the man is dragged across a reef and surfaces dead as a doornail. It is ghastly moments like this that get the crew simmering to a boil. Charles Laughton is brilliant in this role.

I think we all know the story (at least in Australia). They reach Tahiti, have a whale of a time with the native Tahitians then board The Bounty with mutiny knocking at the door. The moment arrives and Blythe and his men are cast off to sea with nought but water, food and a compass. Miraculously they make it home and Blythe sets out to recapture his ship and punish the mutineers.

This is an epic film. The tall ships are magnificent giving an impressive backdrop to much of the story. Digital technology has been kind to this movie. Yes, it is available on dvd! Olay! Combine the high quality production, the awesome acting, the story and the scenery and you’ve got yourself an Oscar winner! I am not one for boyish adventure stories, but this one was exciting and totally watchable. I love Clark Gable. He is so handsome, so dapper, even in high pants and buckled shoes. One of my favourite quotes was when one of the sailors was given a drink of coconut milk, “They have cows here that lay eggs!”

Don’t let the early year put you off. Be adventurous and track this cracker down.

Mutiny on the Bounty Trivia:

  • Budget – $1,905,000
  • Various film versions include: 1916 Australian Production
    1933 Australian version (Errol Flynn)
    1935 This one!!
    1962 American version (Brando)
    1984The Bounty (Hopkins & Gibson)
  • Charles Laughton was reportedly terrified of the ocean and spent most of his time throwing up.
  • A cameraman died when a large barge capsized during filming. In another dramatic real life moment, a replica of The Bounty with two on board, drifted to sea for two days before being rescued. Phew!
  • Director Frank Lloyd cast Charles Laughton and Clark Gable as he thought they would hate each other. They did!

And there it is! Let me know what you thought or if you’ve heard any more goss about this film. Next week is The Great Ziegfeld from 1936. It should be fairly easy to track down.

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One comment on “Best Picture – Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

  1. High panter
    October 12, 2010

    Now you’ve got me inspired to watch it.. great blog!

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