The Bounty (1984) Review

The behaviour of Commanding Lieutenant William Bligh leads to a mutiny on his ship and he must defend himself at trial about the happenings that occurred in the build up.


HMS Bounty was lost to mutineers who were led by Fletcher Christian who was actually supposed to be a friend of William Bligh, the commanding lieutenant on the ship. They set out in December 1787 sailing west round the tip of South America, the idea behind this was to circumnavigate the globe. Out at sea though the weather does not always go to any plan and they end up in Tahiti and having to stay on the island for four months longer than first expected.

In this time many members of the crew get a taste for the island life, especially when it came to the women. Fletcher actually beginning a relationship with a native and marrying her in the process. This is something that Bligh does not agree with at all and when the ship leaves Fletcher must leave her behind, which is one of the breaking points to start the mutiny.

Before deciding to watch this film I will admit that I had no idea of the actual story and quite frankly went for it after seeing the very impressive cast. Also on the back of catching up with Master and Commander and knowing that a film set a sea can be very impressive and engaging. Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson take on the more leading roles and both gave good performances and were interesting characters. Then along with them we get Daniel Day-Lewis, and Liam Neeson as supporting characters, and for both actors it seems like their first big movie role and not a bad way to do it! Laurence Olivier in one of his final roles. Richard Graham and Neil Morrissey both making film debuts as well, which I think is something fantastic for British film.

The pace of the film was decent and I enjoyed how it went from the time in court to flashing back to the events that unfolded. How Bligh actually managed to survive, I mean obviously someone did right, considering this is all based on true events. I found it rather fascinating that Fletcher Christian was never found and did a little bit of background reading when seeing that at the end of the film. It has some good moments, but nothing to get over excited about which is why I sat on the three stars where it is just decent.

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