review for Mutiny on the Bounty on AllMovie

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)
by Michael Costello review

Best-known as the film whose failure nearly bankrupted MGM, it's not without interest, but like its original audience, many viewers may want to mutiny before the crew does. Marlon Brando stars as Fletcher Christian in this version of the familiar tale of rebellion aboard the HMS Bounty. Made at the peak of Brando's bankability, the film was, in essence, directed by the star, and in deciding to play Christian as an epicene fop, he threw it seriously off kilter. Despite shedding some of his more flagrant mannerisms as Christian edges toward revolt, Brando is not very persuasive as a character that this bunch of tars would back. Aside from the dramatic inertia radiating from an uncharacteristically subdued Bligh (Trevor Howard), the film's general tone of slackness adds to the tedium. Its one positive quality is the breathtaking photography of Robert Surtees, which makes the crew's reluctance to leave the lush island of Tahiti completely credible.