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->''"Can you understand this, Mr. Byam? Discipline is the thing. A seaman's a seaman. A captain's a captain. And a midshipman, Sir Joseph or no Sir Joseph, is the lowest form of animal life in the British Navy..."''
-->--'''Captain William Bligh''', 1935 movie

VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory, this is a classic novel so fondly remembered they filmed it twice (In fact, there's even a remake of the book). The first version, with Creator/ClarkGable and Creator/CharlesLaughton, was the 1935 AcademyAward Winner for Best Picture. The second adaptation of the novel, with Creator/MarlonBrando and Trevor Howard, was 1962's most notorious flop, although it also got a Best Picture nomination.

Both films tell the true story of a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin mutiny on the ship, the Bounty.]] In 1789, the small British naval ship ''HMS Bounty''[[note]]This is a historical BeamMeUpScotty - the Bounty was never designated HMS while in service. It was the ''HMAV Bounty'', a Royal Armed Vessel.[[/note]] is sent to Tahiti under the command of Lieutenant William Bligh with the mission of bringing breadfruit plants to the Caribbean. The crew spends five months in the South Pacific island paradise while the plants grow, and the British sailors become accustomed to the good life there, basking in the sun and enjoying the company of the friendly natives (especially the women).

When the time comes to leave, the men have a hard time readjusting to the "jack tar" life of a sailor, especially under the command of their sharp-tongued Lieutenant. A few weeks after setting sail, a mutiny breaks out with second-in-command Fletcher Christian as the leader. Lieutenant Bligh is set adrift in an open launch with just over half the men and, in an impressive feat of seamanship, is able to navigate to the safety of Dutch-held Timor with only a sextant and a pocket watch.

The mutineers initially return to Tahiti. Some stay there, knowing they will be tried (and possibly executed) as soon as the next British ship arrives. 9 of the 22 mutineers (including Fletcher Christian), intending to evade capture, take the Bounty and head for the very isolated Pitcairn Island in the company of several Tahitian men and women. After reaching their goal and intending to start a new life, they burn the Bounty.

While most adaptations break off at this point, the drama actually continued for the mutineers and their companions, resulting in a decidedly non-happy ending for most: After several years on Pitcairn, violence broke out between the mutineers and the Tahitian men, and ultimately the women too. Almost all of the island's men, including Christian, died in these fights, while some others were killed by accidents, disease and excessive alcohol consumption. The net result was that when the island was first visited again in 1808, only one of the men, John Adams, was still alive, along with nine of the women and a number of children. The descendants of the mutineers continue to live on Pitcairn to this day.

See also ''Film/TheBounty'', a 1984 film that did not use the ''Mutiny on the Bounty'' novels but instead told a more historically accurate version of the real-life mutiny.

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!! The Various Film Adaptations Contain Examples Of:

* AllWomenAreLustful: The women of Tahiti, at least as far as the 1962 film is concerned.
* BadAss: Bligh, in the 1935 film at least. The 1962 version completely omits his voyage to Timor.
* BurningTheShips: In the first film Christian and the men burn the ''Bounty'' to make sure no one ever gets any ideas about leaving. In the second film, the men burn the ship to prevent Christian from leaving.
* CallForward: Brando says "we shall never find contentment on this island", and it turned out that he was quite right, as the Englishmen and Tahitian men on Pitcairn set about murdering each other until there were only two men left alive (one of whom died of natural causes, leaving only one mutineer left to greet the American whaling ship that stopped by 20 years later).
* TheCaptain: Christian is a hero to his men. Bligh, not so much.
* TheChiefsDaughter: Maimiti, who falls in love with Christian and goes off with him.
* DeadpanSnarker: In the 1962 version Christian takes a quick dislike to Bligh, and spends the rest of the voyage making snarky coments.
--> '''Christian''': [to Bligh, during a storm] Bad news, sir, your cabin's completely awash. [smirks]
* TheDeterminator: Bligh. He guided his men three thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean in an open boat with the loss of only one crewmember.
* TheDrunkenSailor: The ship surgeon, in the 1935 film. In the 1962 film the character was omitted.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Brando's Fletcher Christian reports to the ship dressed like a ridiculous fop, with a silver suit, red cape, top hat, and cane, and accompanied by two sexy girls. In other words, about as far away from Clark Gable as you can get. Christian is shown to be someone who doesn't take Navy life so seriously.
* EthicalSlut: The women on Tahiti like sex, a lot, and have no Western hangups about things like monogamy or modesty.
* AFatherToHisMen: Fletcher Christian
* TheFilmOfTheBook: There were three novels by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall: ''Mutiny on the Bounty'' (the sailing of the ship and the mutiny), ''Men Against the Sea'' (Bligh's epic voyage with his loyal crew in the open boat to Timor), and ''Pitcairn's Island'' (how the mutineers turn on each other after settling there). Both films largely confine themselves to the first novel.
* GodivaHair: Used by the island women in the 1962 film to provide {{Fanservice}} while still conforming to censorship standards. Strategically placed leis are also employed.
* HappilyEverBefore: The 1935 film ends with Christian and the mutineers burning the ship, apparently settled to stay in their island paradise. It omits the violence and murder that over the next several years would end with only one man left alive, mutineer Ned Young (who changed his name to John Adams). The 1962 film averts this, killing off Christian and strongly implying that things aren't going to end well for the mutineers.
* HarmonyVersusDiscipline: Tahiti vs. Bligh
* HistoricalHeroUpgrade: In both films; see Very Loosely Based On A True Story below. The historical Fletcher Christian's heroic credentials are rather questionable, as his actions can be directly traced as a root cause for the problems on Pitcairn Island and all that entails. And no matter how you look at it, mutiny and piracy aren't very heroic.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: The historical Bligh did things like flogging that seem barbaric to modern viewers but he was no more brutal than your average 18th century Royal Navy captain. In fact, his comparatively lenient treatment of the crew (as well as the lack of marines on board) may have emboldened the mutineers. The real reason for the mutiny was not mistreatment by Bligh, but the fact that the crew, after having spent quite a long break enjoying R&R on Tahiti, didn't want to be sailors anymore.
** The 1935 film portrays Bligh as having a dead man flogged and ordering a keelhauling, neither of which actually occurred (the latter of which being illegal in the Royal Navy). Bligh in fact did not order a single flogging, and would instead scold where other captains would flog and hang.
* MachiavelliWasWrong: In the 1962 film the Admiralty court acquits Bligh of any blame, because he acted in accordance with the articles of war. Then they explain to him why he was a bad captain.
--> "We cannot rebuke an officer who has administered discipline according to the articles of war but the articles are fallible, as any articles are bound to be. No code can cover all contingencies. We cannot put justice aboard our ships in books. Justice and decency are carried in the heart of the captain, or they be not aboard."
* TheMutiny: It's pretty famous.
* NaiveNewcomer: Roger Byam, in the 1935 before becoming a AFatherToHisMen. This character, despite being central to the novels, was left out of the 1962 film.
* {{Narrator}}: Brown, the botanist sent to harvest the breadfruit plants, narrates the 1962 version.
* TheNeidermeyer: Captain Bligh. In the 1962 version he says explicitly that he is cruel to make the mean fear him, because fear is the only motivator for a sailor. The notion that comradeship and respect might be motivators never occurs to him. See HistoricalVillainUpgrade for how this is inaccurate.
** Captain Edward Edwards of the HMS ''Pandora'' was every bit a cruel as Bligh is portrayed and worse, and may be the source of Bligh's reputation. Among other things, he routinely abused and locked the mutineers in a cage on the ''Pandora's'' deck, and only opened the cage when the ''Pandora'' ran aground and sank, and even then, two were still manacled and went down with the ship.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Clark Gable, as Fletcher Christian, doesn't sound so British.
* NubileSavage: In both films, the Tahitian women are all very, very good-looking.
* OfficerAndAGentleman
* PressGanged: The 1935 film starts with Christian leading a party from the ''Bounty'' which scoops up a bunch of sailors in a pub and forcibly enlists them (despite this being illegal in times of peace).
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: The Brando film suffers from a rather ridiculous ending in which Christian has a HeelFaceTurn and decides that the mutineers should sail back to England and denouce Bligh in a proper Admiralty court. The men respond to this idea by setting the ship on fire, and Christian dies attempting to save the ship. This is all fictional--details of Christian's death are murky, but it is known that he was responsible for burning the ''Bounty'', and he died later, during the cycles of violence that killed off almost all the men on Pitcairn.
* SexyDiscretionShot: Clark Gable lays down with a native girl on Tahiti. There's a cut to dancing at a festival dinner. Then a cut back to Gable and his girl, apparently post-coital.
* StealingFromTheTill: In the 1935 film Bligh admits straight-up to Christian that he is skimming off the supplies that should go to the men, and instead selling them in order to line his pockets.
* ATasteOfTheLash: In both films, and an EstablishingCharacterMoment in the 1935 film. A sailor being flogged has died before the flogging has been completed. Bligh orders the man with the whip to continue flogging the corpse. See above for how this is incorrect.
** Charles Laughton seems to do this whenever he gets bored. Rrevor Howard seems to enjoy it.
* ToplessnessFromTheBack:
** The 1935 film pushes {{Fanservice}} in TheThirties as far as it will go when Christian's and Byam's girlfriends come out of the water after a swim.
** The 1962 film pushes {{Fanservice}} in TheSixties as far as it will go by having lots and lots and lots of gorgeous island women running around Topless From The Back in every scene on Tahiti.
** And anyone who watches ''Film/TheBounty'' (1984) will complete the {{Fanservice}} arc, as the women of Tahiti are finally allowed to indulge in NationalGeographicNudity.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Don't watch these films if you want a documentary on the actual 1789 event. Oddly enough, a VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory documentary version, ''In the Wake of the Bounty'', was made in 1933; Fletcher Christian was played by none other than Creator/ErrolFlynn in his very first movie role.
* WoodenShipsAndIronMen

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