Sunday, June 01, 2008

Movie review: Mutiny on the Bounty

For a movie that was fraught with as many casting and production problems as legend would have for Mutiny on the Bounty, it does a great job. It's adventurous, with a great background music. Charles Laughton is the quintessential Captain Bligh, domineering, spiteful and cruel. De-mustachioed Clark Gable is brash but noble as Fletcher Christian. Both were nominated for Academy Awards for their performances, along with Franchot Tone, though all three lost to Victor McLaglen (it was the only time so far in Oscar history that three men were nominated for Best Actor for the same film). Honestly, I don't see it for Tone. He was practically indistinguishable from his two cabin-mates. Laughton was the best of the three. He owned his part.

The segments with the Bounty at sea are the best, watching the men work together on the ship and knowing what's to come, but not when. The dialog can tend to be bombastic - particularly Christian's - but all in all it's a fun ride.

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