Man, who else is tired of endless Hollywood remakes of older properties? I know I am. They can’t do anything original anymore. It’s really getting old real fast for everyone. So I thought today we could just talk about another 1980s classic instead. The Bounty from 1984.
The story is framed in flashbacks told from the testimony of Captain Bligh, played by the excellent Anthony Hopkins, during his court marital. Bligh recounts the story of him recruiting his friend Fletcher Christian, played King Mel Gibson, on a journey to Tahiti to secure breadfruit plants to transplant back home.
We get to know the rest of the crew as the ship sets sail on their journey in an orderly pleasant manner. Everyone is getting along well enough. The ship hits a snag on its attempt to make it past Cape Horn in Africa so they arrive in Tahiti at a time of year that means the winds don’t favor the return voyage.
This causes the ship and crew to have to stay four months on the island amongst the semi-nude native girls. As you can imagine, discipline breaks down slowly as the men go native.
Fletcher takes a native bride and more or less sets a bad example for the rest of the crew, being so popular with the men. Bligh starts to crack down on the lax and un-naval like behavior of his men. This doesn’t earn him many friends amongst the crew. Eventually he orders the crew to stay on the ship in an effort to restore order. Of course, the fellows start sneaking off at night as a lot of them have decided they have no desire to leave the topless native women and got back to their sailor’s life of squalor in England.
Finally, the ship heads back. Bligh comes down hard on the malingerers. He imposes his iron will on the men in the harshest manner he can think of. The pressure builds and builds until some of the officers and men convince and already resentful Fletcher to mutiny and take command of the ship.
The rebels take over and set Bligh and the rest of the loyal officers and crew adrift in a life boat with some supplies and weapons. The men then head the Bounty back to the island to their native brides…
Based on a famous true story, The Bounty is an outstanding film with an A-list cast. Mel Gibson, Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis, Lawrence Olivier, Edward Fox, Liam Neeson, and Tevaite Vernette’s naked, perfect breasts. Verily.
Unlike all the other versions of this story on film, it is very fair to Captain Bligh who really wasn’t a villain. He was a Captain in command of a British Naval ship trying to do his job. Furthermore, it shows the fucking amazing demonstration of skill Bligh used to sail a dingy halfway around the world to save himself and the rest of the crew that didn’t mutiny. This is a story of supreme skill and leadership that should be better remembered than just the mutiny.
The mutinous crew did get back to their native wives, and then sailed off again to a deserted Pitcairn Island, where most of them ended up dead. The descendants of some of the mutineers still live there today. The mutineers who stayed in Tahiti were caught and the story of return journey for those guys is a movie in itself.
If you like Master and Commander Far Side of The World you will certainly love this one
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The trilogy of books about the Bounty are fantastic also. They are lengthy, but a great read. Both Fletcher and Bligh are played as very complicated characters in the book.
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Thanks for the recommendation! I Love reading any type of Historical Military Fiction. For Naval Fiction it’s hard to beat Patrick O’ Brian!
the bounty is not fiction