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Marlon Brando's performances as Fletcher Christian in MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY ($20) is, in this humble reviewer's opinion, his best very and remains my personal favorite amongst all of his films. Brando is utterly brilliant every moment he is on screen and one is hard pressed to take their eyes off him with his foppish interpretation of the character of Fletcher Christian. Trevor Howard also turns in an unforgettable performance as the tyrannical Captain Bligh, whose cruelty and lack of breeding eventually festers into antagonistic relationship between the overachieving commander and his aristocratic 1st Lieutenant.

Based on the novel by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY recounts story of tyranny and rebellion on the high seas during the 18th century. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY tells the story of an ill-fated voyage of the HMS Bounty under the command of one William Bligh, which sets sail for Tahiti, to secure a cargo of Breadfruit trees for transport to Jamaica. Unfortunately for all onboard, Bligh’s command style is based upon intimidation and fear… utilizing the lash to maintain discipline and severely punishing men for even the smallest infraction. Bligh’s cruelty ultimately results in several deaths, which inadvertently leads to his undoing… All throughout the voyage, Fletcher Christian maintains a thinly disguised disdain for his commanding officer and his sadistic methods, but when pushed beyond the limits of human decency, Christian and the crew are forced into a full-blown mutiny against Bligh’s tyranny. The cast of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY also features Richard Harris, Hugh Griffith, Richard Haydn and Tarita.

Warner Home Video has made MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.76:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY features a rather handsome 1080p presentation, which should please most fans. Considering the three hour running time, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY should have been spread across two discs to maximize bit rates and increase overall resolution. Still, the single disc release does look quite good, and doesn’t make too many compromises. First and foremost, the Blu-ray release of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY blows its SD DVD counterpart out of the water offering a far sharper, better-defined image with improved color reproduction. Image sharpness and fine detail is quite pleasing, especially any instance of bright, sunlit cinematography. Color reproduction is wonderfully lush and vibrant; another definite benefit of the film’s bright, sunlit cinematography and beautiful tropical locations. Blacks are velvety, while the whites are smooth and silky. Contrast is excellent and shadow detail is very good for a vintage film. The elements from which MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY was transferred display very few flaws. Mild grain is present during the presentation, which maintains a nicely organic quality.

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Considering the film’s age and the recording technology available in the early 1960s, I consider re-mastering of the sound elements for Blu-ray to be quite excellent. Sure, it doesn’t have the qualities of modern soundtrack, but it is impressive nonetheless. There are good channel separations and effective use of the surround channels. Thanks to the lossless encode, Bronislaw Kaper's marvelous score has never sounded anywhere as good as it does here. Even the sound effects come across as more solid in this incarnation. The bass channel has more depth than I expected, and that is a welcome surprise. Dialogue is crisply rendered and generally easy to understand. A French 5.1 Dolby Digital channel track is also present. Subtitles are available in English French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements that have been ported from the DVD release. Featurettes and other programs include the following: After The Cameras Stopped Rolling: The Journey Of The Bounty (twenty four minutes), Four Vintage Featurettes: Story Of The HMS Bounty (twenty nine minutes), Voyage Of The Bounty To St. Petersburg (twenty five minutes), Tour Of The Bounty (eight minutes), 1964 World's Fair Promo (seven minutes). Alternate Prologue And Epilogue Sequences that were not seen theatrically are also provided. A Theatrical Trailer closes out the supplements.

Featuring an outstanding performance by Marlon Brando, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is a cinematic gem. The single disc is generally quite good, but more detail could have been eked of the materials had the film been spread across two platters. Still, the Blu-ray edition of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is a worthy upgrade over DVD. Recommended.


Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) [Blu-ray] (1962)


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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