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The Bounty (1984)

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2:00 | Trailer
Fed up with their Captain's harsh discipline, a sailing ship's crew decides to take action.

Director:

Roger Donaldson

Writers:

Richard Hough (book), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,583 ( 39)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mel Gibson ... Fletcher Christian
Anthony Hopkins ... Lt. William Bligh
Laurence Olivier ... Admiral Hood
Edward Fox ... Captain Greetham
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Fryer
Bernard Hill ... Cole
Phil Davis ... Young (as Philip Davis)
Liam Neeson ... Churchill
Wi Kuki Kaa Wi Kuki Kaa ... King Tynah
Tevaite Vernette Tevaite Vernette ... Mauatua
Philip Martin Brown ... Adams
Simon Chandler ... Nelson
Malcolm Terris ... Doctor Huggan
Simon Adams Simon Adams ... Heywood
John Sessions ... Smith
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Storyline

The story of Lieutenant Bligh (Sir Anthony Hopkins), whose cruelty leads to a mutiny on his ship. Follows both the efforts of Fletcher Christian (Mel Gibson) to get his men beyond the reach of British retribution and the epic voyage of Lieutenant Bligh to get his loyalists safely to East Timor in a tiny lifeboat. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They were friends through hell. They became enemies in Paradise. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 May 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lawbreakers See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,622,306, 6 May 1984

Gross USA:

$8,613,462

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,613,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Gibson's performance as Fletcher Christian was widely criticized as bland. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in the late 1700s. Yet Tahitian women, who live on an island far from society, have extremely smooth skin and no body hair whatsoever, which would hardly be the case with people in the 1700s, let alone in an isolated island society. See more »

Quotes

Edward Young: [after seeing Christian improvising a raft to escape the ship at night] That isn't a raft, it's a coffin. There's a five-knot current running between us and that island.
Christian: I'll take my chance.
Edward Young: You think a lot of us haven't thought of this? You're not the only one to have left a woman behind. Fletcher, the men are ready for anything.
Christian: What are you saying, Ned? Are you inciting me to mutiny?
Edward Young: If I were you, I'd take the ship. That's all.
Christian: Why don't you, then?
Edward Young: I said if I were you. I'm not.
See more »

Alternate Versions

German version misses ca. 26 minutes. See more »

Connections

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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A treat for fans of Naval History
29 March 2004 | by stevenwithersSee all my reviews

Being a fan of British naval history, and also a fan of Anthony Hopkins, I love this film. I think it is severely under-rated. The acting (particularly by Hopkins) is superb, and the cinematography and realism are stunning.

Unlike some of the previous comments for this film I think it is pretty loyal to the true historical facts of the real mutiny. Alright, there are a few minor changes to fact, but nothing that radically alters the story. Basically Bligh was a very able and fair captain, who was let down by incompetent officers. Bligh was no more a monster than any other Royal Navy captains, the difference was other Royal Navy Captains had able commissioned officers and a squad of marines to back up their authority. Bligh was on his own, because the admiralty insisted on saving money on the bread-fruit expedition by giving Bligh a small ship and no officers. (All the officers on board were non-commissioned warrant officers, who were not employed by the Royal Navy but were in it for their own advancement, Blight was the only Royal Navy officer). This is what ultimately led to the mutiny. Bligh had no one he could rely on to back up his orders from the Admiralty. Bligh was actually an exponent of modern thinking, and treated his men with much more humanity than other Royal Navy Captains. He had learnt his trade from sailing under Captain Cook.

I think Hopkins manages to capture this in his performance. Bligh was a professional man, who grew increasingly frustrated by the incompetence and laziness of his officers. Hopkins manages to convey this sense of increasing irritation brilliantly. He felt particularly let down by Fletcher Christian, who was his friend and whom he had personally advanced up the ranks. He expected Fletcher to back up his orders, but Fletcher was more interested in his own pleasure with the Tahitian women.

On the journey out the crew were actually very happy and contented, but the trouble began when the crew began to experience the liberties and freedoms of Tahitian life, and they did not want to leave it. Bligh had to force the men to go back to their duty, and instead of having officers to back him up, the officers took the side of the men.

I think the script of this film captures the true story quite well. I saw the Clark Gable version of the story many years ago, and the only thing I remember is the portrayal of Bligh as an irrational monster, with none of the reasons behind his anger explained. In this version I feel Hopkins is more like the real Bligh. An able commander trying to carry out his orders, but let down by those around him.

The confrontation between Bligh and Christian in the captain's cabin the day before the mutiny is one of my favourite movie scenes of all time. Hopkins performance of the captain at the end of his patience is just outstanding. `Oh there are rumblings are there?'. Superb!

The only down side to this film is Mel Gibson. I can't stand the sight of him! Mind you, even he manages to pull of a good performance.

The film ends quite abruptly, with a lot of loose ends. The most fascinating parts of the true story come after the end of the film. I guess the time constraints of the film mean they had to concentrate on just the story of the mutiny.

The mutineers set up a colony on Pitcairn, and ended up all murdering each other until only one survived (Jack Adams). Those that stayed on Tahiti were captured two years later by HMS Pandora which had been dispatched after Bligh got back to England. This ship rounded up about 16 mutineers, and on the way home the Pandora hit a reef off Australia and sunk. The crew had to make an open boat journey to Coupang, the same port that Bligh's life boat had arrived at two years earlier!!

Meanwhile Bligh was promoted and sent off on another Breadfruit exhibition to Tahiti, this time the Admiralty gave him commissioned officers and a squad of marines. This mission succeeded.

When the Breadfruit plants finally reached the slave colonies in the West Indies, the slaves refused to eat the fruit as they disliked the taste. That's irony for you!


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