With so many film versions of the famous "Bounty" novels, it's a wonderful
surprise for this reviewer to find the first film adaptation, "Mutiny on the
Bounty," starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, is terrific and loses none
of its wonder, 75 years later!
The crew of the Bounty is sailing to Tahiti, in order to bring back fruit trees to the West Indies, to provide cheap staple for slaves. The Bounty's captain, Bligh(Laughton) has a well deserved reputation as a tyrant. But, his knowledge of the sea also makes him appear to be a necessary villain, of sorts. As the voyage continues, Bligh proves his reputation is well earned, bringing harsh penalties on crew for minor incidents. His First Officer, Fletcher Christian(Gable) disapproves of Bligh's actions, but follows chain of command, that is until a point, which will be kept private for new viewers. The "Mutiny" occurs and the rest of what follows is as equally gripping as what preceded it.
While much "looser" on accuracy than the most recent version, the original offers the kind of atmosphere studios used to create on a regular basis, only to be lost in recent years. It matters not that effects are more stagey and discernible than current technology allows. Even some of the over-the-top acting doesn't deter the film's magic from taking hold of the viewer. For those who've never seen this film, a great entertaining 135 minutes awaits!
WARNER BROS has provided the original 1.37 aspect ratio for this VC-1 encoded 1080p blu-ray. While some minor age defects occur on occasion, it's obvious WB has spent their time and money in remastering this. The overall image is wonderful, with fewer scratches than we've ever seen before on any showing. Ther are no compression defects and the black&white image is aided by perfect contrast. It's a nearly flawless transfer!
WARNER BROS has provided the original mono mix along with a DTS-HD mono mix. While both are excellent, we prefer the DTS-HD mix, which provides a slight but discernible advantage with regards to the film's wonderful score. Otherwise, while the crackle associated with films of this period is more endearing than intrusive, both mixes are comparable. Dialogue is always free of distortion.
Along with the 35 page Digibook encasing this blu-ray release, stills, profiles of the main cast and more are included.
A promo film from the '30s offers a bit of nostagia as well.
Trailers for both WB films, this original and the one that follows starring Marlon Brando, are included.