Historical swashbuckler retells the story of William Bligh and Fletcher Christian, two seamen who clashed on the high seas in 1789. In this account (one of many) Captain Bligh is depicted as a ruthless and sadistic leader whose eagerness to suppress the men’s insurrection leads to brutal judgments. First Mate Christian, enraged after the death of the ship’s doctor, leads a mutiny against Bligh who is set out to sea, with forty-eight others in an open boat. Against all likelihood, Bligh survives and returns to seek revenge on Christian. Winner of Best Film at the 1935 Academy Awards and a huge box office success, historians questioned the accuracy of the script which created a classic arch screen villain in Bligh, countered by a saintly Christian (who reputedly captured Tahitians for slaves). Despite these quibbles however, the setting (filmed at great expense on location in Tahiti) and fine cinematography, as well as the stellar key performances, make the film a highly enjoyable, swashbuckling, adventure film.
Irving G. Thalberg
Black and White