Onward to Tahiti

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) nearly sank Marlon Brando’s career. The original Mutiny on the Bounty was good enough to win Best Picture, but the remake wasn’t so fortunate. Although nominated in the category, Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) was a major box-office bomb and not exactly adored by critics. Of course most of the criticism was aimed at Brando. He developed a reputation for being difficult to work with and his interpretation of Mr. Christian isn’t much better.

Clark Gable was appropriately rugged, but Brando saw him as a high class British dandy instead. It’s hard to take him seriously at times. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) is also 3 hours long, but it wasn’t difficult to sit through. The Ultra Panavision 70 Technicolor presentation does bring the ocean and Tahiti to life. The overall story is the same, but a lot of elements are either reduced or empelished. Trevor Howard doesn’t feel cruel enough as Captain Bligh. Christian’s anger and eventual mutiny doesn’t feel as earned as the original.

Bligh is practically sidelined by the end with more attention given to Christian discovering an island to settle on. The only other crewmember worth acknowledging is a very young Richard Harris as a troublemaking Seaman. More emphasis is actually given to breadfruit and the Bounty’s layover in Tahiti. It’s an island paradise shot on location with actual Tahitians cast. Christian’s love interest Maimiti was played by Brando’s third wife Tarita (but that’s a story for another day). Various script rewrites led to an ending that wasn’t very Hollywood. Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) is a setback for Brando that only The Godfather could redeem.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Mr. Christian and Maimiti

Remake of: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

4 thoughts on “Onward to Tahiti

  1. I’ve only ever seen this in pieces, and I absolutely refuse to ever watch it in its entirety. Bounty actually did tank Brando’s career for a few years, it was his horrible treatment of Lewis Milestone -Milestone actually retired from filmmaking completely because Brando was so cruel to him, that Hollywood finally realized putting up with his bizarre behavior was bad for morale and business. Richard Harris had idolized Brando when he was younger and lost all respect for how Brando treated everyone. The only person Brando even apologized to was Trevor Howard.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mercifully I’ve never seen this production.

    But I have seen clips on YouTube of Tarita dancing in this movie that I found highly enjoyable.

    I’ve always enjoyed Richard Harris as an actor.

    One night I participated in an amateur comedy contest in my hometown city of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

    And it so happened Richard Harris was sitting in the audience (I believe he was in Edmonton performing at the Citadel Theatre Edmonton’s live stage professional theatre company).

    My comedy routine consisted of satirizing some of the major news stories and cultural trends of the day which seemed to go over well with most of the audience.

    There was also some female comic who did a routine talking about maxi pads which the contest judges found absolutely hilarious for some reason.

    When the winners were announced, I came in 2nd and the maxi pad spouting female comic came in 1st.

    As soon as the winners were announced, Richard Harris got up from his table and came over to mine and shook my hand and said, “I thought you were the best. You should have won. You’ll go far some day as the next Lenny Bruce or George Carlin.”

    I will always be grateful to Richard Harris for that.

    Liked by 1 person

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