Trivia / Mutiny on the Bounty

1935 version

1962 version

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Richard Harris agreed to take a third-billed role in this film purely to work with Marlon Brando. However, Brando's on-set behavior soured his adoration of the star.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $19 million. Box-Office: $13,680,000.
  • Creator Backlash: Richard Harris had such a miserable time on the film that he refused to attend the premiere. He later described the shoot as "nightmarish" and called the film "a total fucking disaster".
  • Dawson Casting: Trevor Howard was initially reluctant to play Bligh, because he felt he was far too old for the part. The real life Lieutenant William Bligh was 33 when the Bounty set sail, and 35 at the time of the mutiny. After all the problems filming, Howard said he wished he had turned the film down.
  • Fake Brit: Marlon Brando is Fletcher Christian.
  • Method Acting: Marlon Brando filmed his death scenes on a bed of ice to simulate dying from severe burns. The crew could only shoot three takes at a time as Brando's skin would turn blue as the result of the chill.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Part of the reason Richard Harris accepted a third-billed role was that it was his highest paycheck to date.
  • Romance on the Set: Marlon Brando and Tarita, the actress who played Maimiti, met during filming and later married.
  • Star-Derailing Role: The film's failure at the box-office, combined with reports of his on-set antics, severely damaged Marlon Brando's career and reputation until The Godfather.
  • Troubled Production: The shoot went overtime and budget primarily due to Marlon Brando's off-screen antics. He constantly undermined the authority of director Lewis Milestone, and got the crew to obey his every whim. His behavior irritated his co-stars, including Trevor Howard and Richard Harris, and eventually damaged his career. One problem not related to Brando was co-star Hugh Griffith, who had to be fired when his alcoholism became unmanageable.
  • Vaction Dear Boy: Richard Harris jumped at the chance to film in Tahiti.
  • Wag the Director: Marlon Brando constantly undermined the authority of director Lewis Milestone, and got the crew to obey his every whim. Brando had so much clout by this point that he got MGM to green-light virtually every outrageous idea he had. At one point, he pulled people off the film crew to decorate and design a friend's wedding in Tahiti. Another time he had airplanes filled with cases of champagne, turkeys and hams flown to Tahiti for parties. He also threatened to quit the film if the Bounty ship was burnt and demanded repeated re-writes to meet his ever-changing vision of the film.
  • What Could Have Been: Peter O'Toole turned down the role of Seaman John Mills, as he was busy starring in Lawrence of Arabia.