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Oscars Challenge #80: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Movie Review

The first seven Academy Award ceremonies have marked a couple of Actors and Actresses that deserved an award. During the 8th Academy Awards, where Mutiny on the Bounty won Best Picture, they noticed that there had been too many actors nominated for a single acting award. Although three were selected, none went home with the grand prize.

You may have guessed it because they introduced the acting awards for supporting roles the following year.

Plot Overview

It was loosely based on real accounts. Mutiny on the Bounty circles around the story of a mutiny on the ship called the Bounty.

It all begins when a group of drunk men gets chosen to board the HMS Bounty. One of them inquires who will be the ship's captain and tries to escape upon hearing the name of Captain Bligh. People knew him for his tyrannical authority and often harshly punished those disobeying his orders.

The Bounty soon leaves England for a two-year voyage across the Pacific Ocean. One upper-ranking lieutenant, Fletcher Christian, disapproves of Captain Bligh's harsh treatment of his crew. He overworks them and gives them whippings whenever they do not obey his orders.

When the ship arrives at its destination on the island of Tahiti, the crew tries to forget their experiences by spending time with the locals. They soon acquire several plants for their trip to the West Indies. Bligh punishes Christian for refusing to let him leave the ship. The men grew accustomed, and some even resided with the locals.

As they start to leave Tahiti, the crew formulates an idea to initiate a mutiny that will overthrow the authority of Captain Bligh and kick him off the ship. Tempers flare when Bligh and men loyal to him try to protect their lives as the other revolting crew members gain authority.


Like other historical films, Mutiny on the Bounty has its fair share of controversies, especially among historians who deem the film more fictional than history.

However, I did enjoy the film for the most part, especially the events leading up to the crew's revolt. A lot of the enjoyment fell through after that, and I can't recall anything memorable about the film's last act. Captain Bligh, played by Charles Laughton, was a terrifying villain, and his tyrannical and inhumane schemes could sometimes get on your nerves. Fletcher Christian, played by the legendary Clark Gable, was also terrific.

Suppose you look at this movie from the perspective of the characters. The major ones were given the same screen time and importance as others. It might be the same reason why the Academy decided to make an award for supporting roles.

Overall, I like the movie that absolutely blew me away during the first three quarters. I am not satisfied on how the movie ends.

A 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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