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“Mutiny on the Bounty” - (1935) - {Blu-ray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date:
Special Features:

Featurette on the film, trailer for 1935 film and 1962 remake Rated: NR


The original version of “Mutiny on the Bounty” hasn’t been matched for acting even with the two remakes with some of the top notch actors of their generation(s). ***

Butting heads with his crew members comes natural to Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) but when Bligh who relentlessly beats and mistreats his men over the smallest slight pushes his crew and first officer Mr. Christian (Clark Gable) to mutiny. Christian who recognizes the value of the chain-of-command is reluctant at first to take on his captain who is an admirable seaman but once he does he has no choice but to either kill the captain and his loyalist or set them adrift in a boat with little to no chance of survival. Christian and the crew set sail for a small island paradise realizing all the while that should Bligh and his men survive the Royal Navy will seek them out to the end of the Earth. ***

“Mutiny” earned three Oscar nominations for the main actors in the film ---

Image & Sound:

Warner has done a terrific job of cleaning up “Mutiny” and I have to salute the studio for continuing to put out their older catalog titles on Blu-ray during a time when sales for older titles have somewhat flattened due to the economy. ***

The crisp, black and white images look very nice with a sharp looking transfer that keeps much of the film grain without letting it overwhelm or become inconsistent with the high def transfer. Blacks are consistent and there’s nice texture throughout as well. ***

There is some minor print damage that crops up occasionally but, overall, this is a very good looking transfer of an exceptional 1930’s film. It also appears that, like “King Kong”, Warner has gone to a variety of print sources to piece together the best version of the film possible as image quality does vary a bit from time to time. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio and is pillar boxed to a 1.37:1. ***

Audio sounds quite nice as well with the original mono presentation . It sounds quite nice although there are occasional lines of dialogue that are lost in the older original analog mix. ---

Special Features:

“Behind the Story” presents vintage footage from the Academy Awards where the film won Best Picture for 1936. It also includes vintage newsreel footage of Pitcarin Island in the 1930’s including descendants of the mutineers from the real story that inspired the film. ***

We also get theatrical trailers for the 1935 film as well as the remake that starred Marlon Brando from 1962 (a visually arresting but far less impressive film in the acting department). ***

“Mutiny” is presented in a hardcover book much like “The Exorcist”, “North by Northwest” and other catalog titles. We get a 30 page book with stills and promotional pieces from the archives. ---

Final Words:

“Mutiny on the Bounty” disproves the argument that old films tend to age like people—becoming feeble, slower and weaker with time. The film features strong performances from the entire cast and as a film its much, much better than the Marlon Brando 1962 remake and the Anthony Hopkins/Mel Gibson remake produced by Dino DeLaurentiis. The b ad news for film fans is that the film is at a premium when it comes to the suggested retail cost will prevent many vintage film fans from picking up this vintage catalog title.


Copyright @ Teakwood Productions 2000
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