Florida Theatre Classic Films: Mutiny on the Bounty!

July 21, 2012 1 comment Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

The Old Movie Palace where so much of Paramount's Hanky Panky Empire building took place continues its summer classics series! Join us after the jump for this weeks show--Mutiny on the Bounty!

The Florida Theatre Summer Classics Series shows every Sunday afternoon at 2pm!
Ticket Prices: $7.50 (Single Admission); $45 (Movie Card for 10 Admissions – Save $30!)
Mutiny on the Bounty
1962, 178 Minutes, Color

Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, Richard Harris

Ticket prices listed on floridatheatre.com are inclusive of all applicable facility fees and service charges at The Florida Theatre Box Office.

Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1962 film starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The film retells the 1789 real-life mutiny aboard HMAV Bounty led by Fletcher Christian against the ship's captain, William Bligh. It is the second American film to be made from the novel, the first being Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). It was directed by Lewis Milestone, who replaced Carol Reed early on location shooting. The screenplay was written by Charles Lederer (with uncredited input from Eric Ambler, William L. Driscoll, Borden Chase, John Gay and Ben Hecht).

Mutiny on the Bounty was filmed in the Ultra Panavision 70 widescreen process, the first motion picture so credited. It is notable for its location photography in the South Pacific and its musical score by Bronisław Kaper.

The very first filming of the story predated the well-known 1935 Irving Thalberg/M-G-M version: it was a 1915 silent Australian picture. There was also a 1933 Australian film In the Wake of the Bounty, a primitive, studio-bound early talkie most notable as the first picture made by future star Errol Flynn, who played Fletcher Christian.

The 1962 film has become legendary for Brando's behaviour during filming. Allegedly, this was what led to Carol Reed's departure, and caused confrontations with Lewis Milestone. According to fellow actor Richard Harris, Brando got along badly with several cast members, including Harris himself, whose resentment was fuelled in part by Brando's refusal (or inability) to memorize his lines; Harris was later quoted as saying, "The picture and Brando were a large dreadful nightmare for me and I’d prefer to forget both as soon as my nerves recover." Brando would even reportedly rewrite portions of the script to his liking from day to day, leaving the rest of the cast bewildered as to what was to be filmed. According to the biography by Peter Manso, Brando's antics included pulling members of the film crew away from the set to work on the decorations for a friend's wedding in Tahiti and flying airplane loads of expensive food and drinks to the island for parties he would throw. The press accused Brando of throwing the film into weeks of overbudget, but Brando denied this and said the producers made a few mistakes as well that made the film's release late.

In order to prepare for the scene of Fletcher Christian's death at the close of the movie, Brando, already no stranger to method acting, reportedly lay on blocks of ice for several minutes at a time to accurately simulate the tremors of a burn victim. When the scene was filmed, however, Harris refused to act opposite Brando, and performed his dialogue to a log. When Brando wanted to film his close ups, Harris reportedly threw the log down and said, "Let him talk to this."

Brando later married Tarita Teriipia, who played Maimiti in the film.

The 1962 version of the film is the only one of the three in which Christian never appears shirtless. In fact, Marlon Brando is portrayed in the somewhat ridiculous position of lying with the chief's daughter in the bushes, clad in full naval uniform.

The working replica of Bounty built for the movie, Bounty, appeared at the 1964 World's Fair in New York and still survives today. It was built to Admiralty plans, but one third larger to accommodate the filming crew and equipment. In the summer of 2007 it sailed to Britain and visited several ports, although not in "Bounty" trim: masquerading as the pirate ship The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, its deception was spotted by a young boy and reported in the British press. In 2011 the replica was located in Norway, and offered for sale at a price of US $4,600,000.

When the movie finally premiered in the U.S., it opened to mostly negative reviews. Although it was the sixth-highest grossing film of 1962, it lost money because of its runaway budget.

The 1962 movie did not win any Oscars but was nominated for seven:

Academy Award for Best Picture - Aaron Rosenberg
Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color - George W. Davis, Henry Grace, Hugh Hunt and J. McMillan Johnson
Best Cinematography, Color - Robert Surtees
Best Effects, Special Effects - A. Arnold Gillespie (visual) and Milo B. Lory (audible)
Best Film Editing - John McSweeney Jr.
Best Music, Score - Substantially Original - Bronislaw Kaper
Best Music, Song - Bronisław Kaper (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) - For the song "Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty (Follow Me)"

article by stephen dare