Mutiny on the Bounty (1962): Brando in Remake Vs. Gable in Original

This 1962 remake to the 1935 Oscar-winning “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Clark Gable, is inferior in every way, including Brando.

Mostly, it served as an example of a large-scaled production, cursed with bad planning and bad luck. The movie took twice as long as originally planned (due to natural disasters of bad weather and other problems, such as illnesses).

Among other expenses, the studio allotted the sum of $750,000 for the building of a replica of the Bounty. In the process, the budget escalated from $8.5 to $18.5 though in the end it recouped about $13 million, before being sold to TV, where multiple showings brought more coin.

It is a known fact that, due to distribution, advertising and exhibition costs, a film must gross more than twice its budget. Thus, this “Mutiny” needed to earn $40 million before it could move into profit.

The film began with Eric Ambler as scenarist and Carol Reed as director. The two British filmmakers gave up after months of work because of differences with producers and MGM; the new script is credited to Charles Lederer

Unlike Gable, Brando plays Fletcher Christian as an aristocrat with a foppish manner and a prissy English accent.

This version, which can be faulted as being uneven in its writing and direction, places greater emphasis on what happened to the mutineers after the takeover of the Bounty, and there is less coverage of Bligh’s bringing himself and his eighteen supporters to safety.

However, the film is handsomely mounted, benefiting from the magnificent visuals (Technicolor photography by ace lenser Robert Surtee) of Tahiti and other great seascapes. And there is at least one fantastic staging of a torrential storm.