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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 6. June 7, 1951

Film Review — Mutiny on the Bounty

Film Review

Mutiny on the Bounty

"Mutiny on the Bounty" was a story of adventure, with all the good points and all the limitations that that implies. The book of the same name by Charles Nordoff and James Norman Hall was more than that; it had pathos, expression of beauty, and genuinely-portrayed sentiment. The film, made in the 1930's, is a straight adventure story, occasionally relieved by grim humour. On the whole it impressed me as being an immature, clumsy film, with none of the cinematographic subtleties of trick photography and deep emotion. The action in parts is childish—the fight between Hayward and Byam reminded me of two kittens exchanging pats. Clark Gable is his Gablish self, but without the finer expression of emotion that he gained with maturity. Charles Laughton's performance is hammy—in the polished Laughton way. In fact, all the characters are sketched and not studied as in the book. The speech and action attempt to show the inner conflict in the minds of the mutineer and Byam; they fail miserably. In the book the most telling scene is the trial; in the film this is flimsily and unconvincingly presented. "Mutiny on the Bounty" is a good yarn and most entertaining, but if you have read the book you will find that too many chances for dramatic treatment have been missed.