From the very first scene, Christian sees himself as a defender of the underdog and defies Captain Bligh's unreasonable demands. True, Christian is the man who "kidnapped" the men from the saloons, but he was simply following orders from the tyrannical Captain Bligh. The movie presents Bligh as a villain from the very first scene. It does not show him as having a single redeeming quality.
He is a satanic creature, bound to have his way; he delights in imposing suffering on the common seamen, as well as on his ranking officers.
Bligh is sadistic in his punishment and totally authoritarian in his absolute rule. The audience dislikes him immensely — partly due to Charles Laughton's superbly villainous performance.
This is the only movie to include scenes showing the return to England and the trial of Byam, even though the role is capsulated, compared to the novel. Some fifty years after its making, this early Bounty movie is still a powerful motion picture.
Ahoy there! Mutiny island grabs tourist bounty lifeline
This version of the story of the Bounty differs from the Nordhoff and Hall novel and also from the other movie adaptations in that the plight of Fletcher Christian, once he leaves the prisoners on Tahiti, after seizing the ship and setting Bligh adrift, is presented in its entirety. While Nordhoff and Hall's Mutiny doesn't follow Christian's escapades once he leaves Tahiti in search of an uninhabited island, this movie does.
Christian anchors at Pitcairn Island, an island in the South Sea, positioned incorrectly on the official British sea charts. The major emphasis in the movie is on the different social classes which Bligh and Christian come from. Bligh, a low-brow who understands nothing of the gentry, feels that all upper-class people are spineless and ineffectual; he is characterized as a complete opposite of Christian, who, as the ultimate gentleman, respects the laws of the king but will not let any man debase his character. Indeed, the strong contrast between the two men's characters is an added catalyst to all of the climactic events in the movie — from the squabbling the two men do while journeying to Tahiti to the actual act of mutiny itself.
Here, the motivation for the mutiny is manifold, including the meager half-ration of water which the men are allowed while taking the breadfruit trees to the West Indies, the sadistic punishment Bligh hands out, and the apparent enjoyment he gains from it.
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Three men are killed in this Bounty movie, whereas in the novel, not one man perishes in the journey before the mutiny occurs, and the explosive incident which finally sparks the mutiny occurs when Bligh kicks a ladle from Christian's hand while Christian, disobeying a direct command of Bligh's, attempts to give fresh water in the name of humanity to a man delirious after drinking salt water.
This scene does not occur in the novel.
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Here, we clearly see the distinction between Bligh's and Christian's social backgrounds. After Bligh has kicked the ladle out of Christian's hand, Christian immediately knocks Bligh to the deck in outrage.
Bligh orders Fryer to imprison Christian for striking a superior officer, and it is at that moment when Christian gathers arms and seizes the ship. It should be noted that Mills, who has a much larger role in the movie than in the novel or in the other two movies, has been goading Christian to seize the ship ever since the Bounty set sail from Tahiti.
This Bounty movie covers much more fully the events of Christian's flight after the mutiny than do the other two movies and the books, and, in doing so, it presents a deeper understanding of the motives behind Christian's actions. It is Christian's gentlemanly intention from the first moments after the mutiny to return to England and be tried for mutiny in order to bring public attention to the sadistic and ruthless conditions that captains such as Bligh submit their men to.
Hopefully, his testimony will rid the world of such tyrants forever.
However, when Christian reveals his plan to Mills and the other mutineers on Pitcairn Island, the men are alarmed. Their deaths are virtually assured if they return to England. That night, Mills and some of the other mutineers burn the Bounty, and Christian, trying to save his sexton from raging flames, is badly burned from a falling mast. His followers pull him from the ship and try to resuscitate him, but their efforts fail, and Christian dies on the beach.
Mutiny on the Bounty
Director Roger Donaldson's The Bounty is adapted from Richard Hough's novel, and it differs from the novel and from other adaptations in that the story-line is told to the viewer by Bligh himself Bligh is a lieutenant in the movie and hopes to become a captain after he successfully delivers the breadfruit trees. One serious flaw in Bligh's narration is that he could never have known what became of the Bounty or the events which took place on the Bounty after he was set adrift, yet the Bounty's plight after the mutineers set Bligh adrift is examined closely in this movie. The difference in point-of-view is a major factor when comparing this movie to the two earlier ones.
The scene of Bligh's being court-martialed by Admiral Hood and the tribunal begins the movie, and it is Bligh's flashbacks which constitute the "meat" of the movie. Bligh is being tried for conduct unbecoming an officer; the emphasis is not on how or why the mutineers took the Bounty, but, rather, on why Bligh lost the ship.
Mutiny on the Bounty
For the modern audience, this is more believable than the original plot-line. Another difference in this movie, when compared with other works associated with the incident, is the personal relationship between Bligh and Christian. Cordial yet stiff in the original novel and in the other, earlier movies, a friendship exists here between the two men before the Bounty sets sail, and it lasts throughout the ship's journey to Tahiti.
It is not until after the Bounty reaches Tahiti and Christian is allowed to go ashore that the relationship between the two men becomes strained. For it appears that the crew had been beguiled by the charms of the Tahitian women, apparently Tahiti is not called the Friendly Island for nothing , which made the harsh conditions of the Bounty doubly difficult to stomach.
In April , a mutiny involving many of the sailors took place; their ringleader was Fletcher Christian.
The result of this was that Captain Bligh and eighteen of his loyal crewmembers were put in an open boat, and set adrift in the Pacific by the mutineers. After a journey of almost 4, miles in an open boat, Bligh brought his men safely to shore in Timor in the East Indies, quite a staggering feat of navigation considering that they had been set adrift without charts.
It is not known what happened to the ship Bounty after the mutineers reached Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific in It is known however, that a little later some of the mutineers returned to Tahiti and were captured and punished for their crime. The ones that stayed on Pitcairn Island formed a small colony and remained free under the leadership of John Adams.
It is not clear what happened to Fletcher Christian. It is thought that he, along with three of the other mutineers, may have been killed by the Tahitians. Bligh was arrested, this time by mutinous soldiers, and kept in custody until February before being sent back to England in May Thomas who, you may ask? In a small sickly baby boy was born, the son of the Rector of Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk. He may have been a tyrant on-board ship but Captain Bligh was a brilliant seaman.
Not that this ended his illustrious career; he was made an Admiral in