Critic Reviews



Based on 12 critic reviews provided by
Time Out
An exotic and gripping piece of Hollywood mythology, made with all the technical skill and gloss one associates with Irving Thalberg's MGM.
The weird and wonderful history of H. M. S. Bounty is magnificently transferred to the screen in Mutiny on the Bounty, which opened at the Capitol Theatre yesterday. Grim, brutal, sturdily romantic, made out of horror and desperate courage, it is as savagely exciting and rousingly dramatic a photoplay as has come out of Hollywood in recent years.
Expertly crafted and brilliantly acted, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is one of the most durable and engrossing adventure films ever made.
Mutiny takes its time, and plenty of it, without being guilty of a single dull moment.
The production values, like the acting, are of the highest standard and the movie stands up well even by 21st century standards.
The story is spellbinding, the acting lusty and the spectacle everything you could expect from a Golden Age MGM production--though sometimes it's a bit too much on the monumental side.
The picture is forceful, realistic and horrible. It is badly edited, since it is allowed to run for two hours and a quarter, but in spite of this, and a few other minor defects, the case of the crew against the insane cruelty and avariciousness of Capt. Bligh is so powerfully presented that the injustice done to the men gets under one's skin to stir up a variety of emotion.
Slant Magazine
For Lloyd, Thalberg, and the writers, the point of the film was to tell a compelling story and, like the Bounty’s inebriated physician creating various tall tales to explain his wooden leg, facts and meanings ultimately just got in their way of crafting a great entertainment.
As with most Thalberg projects (the director of record was Frank Lloyd, but he barely matters), it's tainted by a fair amount of middlebrow stuffiness, but it's a fleet piece of storytelling and serves to enshrine one of the great ham performances of all time, Charles Laughton's Captain Bligh.
Despite the efforts of Producer Irving Thalberg, Director Frank Lloyd, three scenarists and $2,000,000 to give it balance, polish and direction, the picture lacks all three. There are intervals when the two hours which it lasts seem as interminable as Bligh's voyage in the open boat must have seemed to its occupants. The narrative, which skips the saga of Pitcairn's Island entirely for Tahiti love interest, still contains enough material for at least three films. These faults are indigenous to the historic material used. The picture has few others.

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