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Now Voyager

14 Aug

                                                            “The untold want by life and land ne’er granted,
                                                              Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.”
Summary:   Based on the novel Now Voyager by Olive Higgins Prouty this is a classic Story about a Boston spinster, Charlotte Vale, who under therapy breaks from the heavy hand of her mother and finds romance with a married man. 
                                                                                                    CAST

Betty Davis……………………………………………………….. Charlotte Vale

Paul Heinreid……………………………………Jeremiah Duvaux Durrance

Claude Raines…………………………………………………………. Dr. Jaquith

Gladys Cooper………………………………………………… Mrs. Windle Vale

Ilka Chase…………………………………………………………………..Lisa Vale

Bonita Granville………………………………………………………….June Vale

John Loder……………………………………………………….Elliot Livingston

Lee Patrick……………………………………………………………Deb McIntyre

James Rennie……………………………………………………..Frank McIntyre

Mary Wickes…………………………………………………Nurse Dora Pickford

Janis Wilson………………………..Christine “Tina” Durrance (uncredited)

David Clyde……………………………………………………………………..William

Review:  This 1942 film classic starring Betty Davis as Boston spinster Charlotte Vale, is best known for it’s then controversial depiction of a spinster falling for a married man. Paul Heinreid, (think Casablanca) falls for Vale as well after they meet aboard an ocean liner headed for Rio. The sexual innuendo abounds as Heinreid’s character, Jeremiah Duvaux Durrance so famously lights two cigarettes with one match and gives one to Vale.

Charlotte Vale an unattractive, overweight, repressed, unmarried woman is dominated by her over bearing, dominating mother, an aristocratic Boston widow whose verbal and emotional abuse of her daughter has contributed to the woman’s complete lack of self-confidence. Fearing Charlotte is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, her sister-in-law Lisa introduces her to psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith, who recommends she spend time in his sanatorium.

Away from her mother’s control, Charlotte blossoms. The transformed woman, at Lisa’s urging, opts to take a lengthy cruise rather than immediately return home. On board ship, she meets a married man, Jeremiah Duvaux Durrance  who is traveling with his friends Deb and Frank McIntyre. It is from them that Charlotte learns of Jerry’s devotion to his young daughter, Christine (“Tina”), and how it keeps him from divorcing his wife, a manipulative, jealous woman who keeps Jerry from engaging in his chosen career of architecture, despite the fulfillment he gets from it.

Charlotte and Jerry become friendly, and in Rio De Janerio  the two are stranded on Sugarloaf Mountain when their car crashes. They miss the ship and spend five days together before Charlotte flies to Buenos Aires to rejoin the cruise. Although they have fallen in love, they decide it would be best not to see each other again.

When she arrives home, Charlotte’s family is stunned by the dramatic changes in her appearance and demeanor. Her mother is determined to regain control over her daughter, but Charlotte is resolved to remain independent. The memory of Jerry’s love and devotion help to give her the strength she needs to remain resolute.

Charlotte becomes engaged to wealthy, well-connected widower Elliot Livingston, but after a chance meeting with Jerry, she breaks off the engagement, about which she quarrels with her mother. Her mother becomes so angry that she has a heart attack and dies. Guilty and distraught, Charlotte returns to the sanatorium.

When she arrives, she is immediately diverted from her own problems when she meets lonely, unhappy Tina, who greatly reminds her of herself; both were unwanted and unloved by their mothers. She is shaken out of her depression and instead becomes interested in Tina’s welfare. With Dr. Jaquith’s permission she takes the girl under her wing. When she improves, Charlotte takes her home to Boston.

Jerry and Dr. Jaquith visit the Vale home, where Jerry is delighted to see the changes in his daughter. While he initially pities Charlotte, believing her to be settling in her life, he’s taken aback by her contempt for his initial condescension. Dr. Jaquith has agreed to allow Charlotte to keep Tina there with the understanding that her relationship with Jerry will remain platonic. She tells Jerry that she sees Tina as his gift to her and her way of being close to him. When Jerry asks her if she’s happy, Charlotte finds much to value in her life and if it isn’t everything she would want, tells him, “Oh, Jerry, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We have the stars,” a line ranked #46 in the A.F.I.’s list of the top one hundred movie quotes of all time.

When Bette Davis learned about the project, she campaigned for and won the role. More than any other of her previous films, Davis became absorbed in the role, not only reading the original novel but becoming involved in details such as choosing her wardrobe personally. Consulting with designer Orry-Kelly, she suggested a drab outfit, including an ugly foulard dress for Charlotte initially, to contrast with the stylish, “timeless” creations that mark her later appearance on the cruise ship.

Not surprisingly in 2007, Now, Voyager was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

The film is on DVD and may be found on Amazon, Netflix and most major DVD outlets.

Recommended:    

 

Lost Horizon (1937)

21 May

Synopsis:

Before returning to England to become the new Foreign Secretary, writer, soldier and diplomat Robert Conway has one last task in 1935 China: to rescue 90 Westerners in the city of Baskul. He flies out with the last few evacuees, just ahead of armed revolutionaries.

Unbeknownst to the passengers, the pilot has been replaced and their aircraft hijacked. It eventually runs out of fuel and crashes deep in the  Himalayan Mountains, killing their abductor. The group is rescued by Chang and his men and taken to Shangra La, an idyllic valley sheltered from the bitter cold. The contented inhabitants are led by the mysterious High Lama.

Cast:

Ronald Coleman – Robert Conway

Jane Wyatt – Sondra Bizet

H.B. Warner – Chang

Sam Jaffe – High Lama

John Howard – George Conway

Edward Everett Horton – Alexander P. (lovey) Lovett

Thomas Mitchell – Henry Barnard

Margo – Maria

Isabel Jewell – Gloria Stone

David Clyde – Club Steward

Commentary:

The first time I saw Lost Horizon I was a child watching the movie on a local television station. I was wide eyed at the prospect of an adventure in a foreign land and wished Shangra La was a real location.

Directed by Frank Capra, screenplay by Robert Riskin and produced by Capra for Columbia Pictures, the film is based on the book by James Hilton.  Lost Horizon was the most expensive film ever produced up until that time and was problematic  for Capra. The film’s cost overruns and artistic differences between Capra and Columbia boss Harry Cohn are legendary and cost Capra his friendship with screen writer Riskin as well.

Cohn budgeted the film at $1.25 million the highest sum ever for a movie in those days. Capra wanted Coleman for the lead from the start but had to wait for Coleman to become available. After filming Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Coleman became available and the project began. Capra’s first compromise was that he wanted to film in color but since the only stock footage of the Himalayan mountains was in black and white he had no choice but to abandon the technicolor which would have proved to be much more cost prohibitive based on budgetary constraints imposed by Cohn.

Principal photography began on March 23, 1936, and by the time it was completed on July 17, the director had spent $1.6 million. Contributing to the added expenses was the filming of snow scenes and aircraft interiors at the Los Angeles Ice and Cold Storage Warehouse, where the low temperature affected the equipment and caused lengthy delays. The Shangri-La set, designed by Stephen Gooson, had been constructed adjacent to Hollywood Way, a busy thoroughfare by day, which necessitated filming at night and heavily added to overtime expenses. Many exteriors were filmed on location including the Sierra Nevada Mountains, adding the cost of transporting cast, crew, and equipment to the swelling budget.

In the end the film’s budget soared to $2,626,620 keeping the film unprofitable until its re-release in 1942. When finished the final cut of the film was six hours long and the studio considered releasing it in two parts. Not being possible to release the film at the six hour length Capra with the help of  editors Gene Havlick and Gene Milford manged to cut the film down to a three and a half hour running time. The film was previewed in Santa Barbara to a lukewarm reception. People just didn’t want to sit through a three and a half hour epic story.

Following the disastrous preview, Capra made extensive cuts and, on January 12, 1937, re shot scenes involving the High Lama which placed more emphasis on the growing tensions of the world at the time. Still unhappy with the film’s length, Harry Cohn intervened; he cancelled the February 1 priemier and edited the film himself. When it finally premiered on March 2, it was 132 minutes long. During the film’s initial release in selected cities, it was a limited release, with only two presentations per day and tickets sold on a reserved-seat basis. Because the box office returns were so low, the studio head deleted an additional 14 minutes before the film went into general release the following September. Due primarily to the cuts made without his approval, Capra later filed a lawsuit against Columbia, citing “contractual disagreements,” among them the studio’s refusal to pay him a $100,000 semi-annual salary payment due him. A settlement was reached on November 27, 1937, with Capra collecting his money and being relieved of the obligation of making one of the five films required by his contract. In 1985, the director claimed Cohn, whom he described as the “Jewish producer,” trimmed the film simply so theaters could have more daily showings and increase the film’s chance of turning a profit.

There are actually three endings to the film that can be interpreted as different approaches to Conway’s return to Shangra La.

1. Capra’s Ending written by Riskin:

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN TIBET – NIGHT

352. CLOSE-UP

MOVING IN FRONT OF CONWAY – as he walks forward with a steady step – his head held high – his eyes sparkling – snow pelting his face.

353. LONG SHOT

Over his silhouetted back.

As he walks away from the CAMERA, and we STAY WITH HIM a long time as he approaches a hill.

DISSOLVE TO:

ANOTHER LONG SHOT

He has now ascended to the middle of the steep hill – his gait unchanged. THE CAMERA PANS UP to the summit of the incline – and we see that beyond it the horizon is filled with a strange warm light. Conway’s figure – in silhouette – disappears over the hill – bells ring – and as the music begins to swell.

FADE OUT:

THE END

2. Cohn’s ending he required of Capra:

  1. Medium shot of Sondra standing at the railed mountain pass, with the lamasery visible in the distance behind her. Suddenly she seems to notice something.
  2. Long shot of Conway making his way over a snow-covered mountain.
  3. Close shot of Sondra, who joyously waves, calling out “Bob.”
  4. Medium shot of Conway looking up and waving back.
  5. Medium shot of Sondra, as two Tibetans join her from behind, and Sondra says to them: “It is he. It’s Mr. Conway. Go, tell Chang.” They hurry away.
  6. Close-up of Conway.
  7. Close-shot of Sondra, waving and calling out: “Bob, Bob,” then rushing out of frame.

These seven shots are followed by a montage sequence which includes bells ringing in a steeple, the façade of the lamasery and the words “The End.” This was the ending on the prints of the film seen in major U.S. cities during the first half of March 1937.

3. Capra, Riskin and Cohn’s compromise for an ending:

  1. Long shot of Conway, making his way over a wind-swept glacier.
  2. Medium shot of Conway, leaning on an ice axe and looking up at something (off-screen) that has caught his eye.
  3. Conway’s p.o.v.: the familiar stone archway with its wooden railing and the lamasery visible in the background.
  4. Close shot of Conway who visibly reacts to what he sees, finally breaking into a smile.

Cohn wanted a pat Hollywood ending that would bring in the audience but Capra wanted the audience to imagine what happened to Conway as did Hilton in the ambiguous ending to his book.

This classic film was restored by A.F.I. (The American Film Institute) starting in 1973 and the process took 13 years to complete.  Although all 132 minutes of the original soundtrack were recovered, only 125 minutes of film could be found, so the seven minutes of the missing footage were replaced with a combination of publicity photos of the actors in costume taken during filming and still frames depicting the missing scenes.

The film is available on DVD, Netflix and is occasionally shown on TMC (Turner Classic Movies).

Recommended:

Frank Capra

18 May

Bio: Frank Russel Capra born May 18, 1897 in Sicily immigrated to America at six years old.  Capra was considered by his peers as the American Dream personified as he had worked his way through college and ultimately became the creative heart and soul of major award winning films during the 1930’s and 40’s. During his peak years critics called his films “Capra-Corn” for their upbeat sentiments about human nature, the average man’s triumph over corrupt powerful leaders, and peoples innate kindness to others. During these years audiences flocked to his films and Capra’s name above the film title on the marquee guaranteed success.

Commentary: The other day I was watching Pocket Full of Miracles (1961) Capra’s last film, critics were lukewarm and audiences pretty much stayed away. Pocket Full of Miracles is a remake of his earlier film Lady for a Day, both films tell the tale of Damon Runyon’s  Apple Annie and the human kindness that helped the beggar woman become gold in her daughter’s eyes.   After the films lackluster release, at 64 years old, Capra decided he had enough of the film business, ” I’ve done it all and said what I had to say, I’ll leave the business to the younger directors” .  This prompted me to take a look at the sum total of the whole and remind you of why his films still resonate today.

In 1934 Capra directed It happened One Night, this romantic comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable had elements of a screwball comedy but was also the first film to win all five major Academy Awards, Best Picture, Director, Actor Actress and Screenplay. Colbert didn’t hide her disdain for the role saying the part was unladylike and she didn’t want to show her leg in the famous hitch-hiking sequence. Capra claimed, Colbert “had many little tantrums, motivated by her antipathy toward me,” however “she was wonderful in the part.”After her acceptance speech at the Oscars ceremony, she went back on stage and thanked Capra for making the film. Another foot note Chuck Jones (Famous Bugs Bunny Director/Animator) claimed he based Bugs Bunny’s character on Clark Gable eating carrots from the hitch-hiking scene in this film, ears and all.

The same year he directed Broadway Bill a screwball comedy about horse racing but it was after this he began thinking about adding new dimensions to his films concluding that he needed to convey messages and new thoughts on the human condition to the public. Capra explained his thinking after he had an encounter with a Christian Scientist who inspired him to add dimension to his films. “My films must let every man, woman, and child know that God loves them, that I love them, and that peace and salvation will become a reality only when they all learn to love each other”.  His fantasies of goodwill” won him two more  Best Director Oscars for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and You Can’t Take It With You.

In 1939 Capra directed Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” , it is considered to be the one film that truly personified the Capra myth and message. This is a story of a man elected to office and by sticking to his ideals uses democracy to overcome political corruption in congress. It became a source of controversy when war was looming overseas and the powers that be at the time didn’t want the film released in Europe in case America entered the war. When the filming was completed, the studio sent preview copies to Washington. Joe Kennedy, U.S. ambassador to the UK, wrote to Columbia head Harry Cohn, “Please do not play this picture in Europe.”  Kennedy wrote to president Roosevelt that “in foreign countries this film must inevitably strengthen the mistaken impression that the United States is full of graft, corruption and lawlessness.” At the pleading of Capra, Cohn released the film anyway and it became the symbol of democratic patriotism both here and abroad. The significance of the film’s message was established further in France, shortly after World War II began. When the French public were asked to select which film they wanted to see most, having been told by the Vichy government that soon no more American films would be allowed in France, the overwhelming majority chose it over all others. To France, soon to be invaded and occupied by Nazi forces, the film most expressed the “perseverance of democracy and the American way.”

In 1941 America was about to step into WWII and America’s future was unsure and people were afraid of what was yet to come. Capra stuck to his ideology although also unsure of what was next for American Democracy and directed what some consider his most controversial film of the day Meet John Doe. Starring Gary Cooper  as a washed up ball player who has lost focus and direction in his life. Cooper is chosen by a news reporter to become the symbol of  “the common man” and is used to capture the imagination of average Americans. The film has been considered ” deliberately made to reaffirm American values”

The perennial It’s A Wonderful Life released after the war in 1946 was the first film he directed under the Liberty Films banner founded by Capra, George Stevens and William Wyler. Although the film was nominated for five Oscars it proved to be a box-office disappointment. It wasn’t until it became public domain and aired on Television that it became a Christmas Classic. Loaded with “Capra-Corn” little guy beats power mad banker, finds love, is helped by a guardian angel, reevaluates his life and overcomes diversity. The American Film Institute claims this as one of its  all time 100 top films. What’s not to like, this is perhaps his best known work.

Capra lived until he was 94 and died in 1991 after living a long and wonderful life. His films are available at Amazon.com, Netflix, and there is also a wealth of books written about this master story teller. If you have Turner Classic Movies (TCM) that is great source for Capra films.

A Film Trilogy by Ingmar Bergman

3 May

Synopsis: The Criterion Collection based on Bergman’s own spiritual crisis, brings you fully restored, his trilogy of films produced between 1961 and 1963. Bergman stories concern themselves with dysfunctional family relations, loss of spirituality and abandonment by God. The three challenging films in the trilogy or chamber pieces are as follows: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light and The Silence. Bergman and his new cameraman the brilliant Sven Nykvist gave the cinema going public three stories in rapid succession of release that threw out Bergman’s images of dreamy landscapes and chess games with death in exchange for a darker reality of angst and despair.

Reviews: Through a Glass Darkly centers around Karin played with a terrifying realism by Harriet Andersson. She is  a psychologically fragile woman,who seeks recovery from a nervous breakdown while on a remote-island vacation with her family. Her father portrayed by Gunnar Björnstrand, is a successful writer who regards her with clinical detachment. Karin’s husband , a doctor portrayed by Bergman regular Max Von Sydow,  feels unavailing in the effort to treat her. Karin’s brother portrayed brutally by Lars Passgard, is wrapped up in his narcissistic quest for sexual fulfillment. Karin’s descent into further loneliness and delusion exacerbates the heretofore unspoken alienation at the heart of this entire family, and drives the characters to brood over the existence of God, in Karin’s case, imagine that God is the chilling spider hidden behind an attic door. Through a Glass Darkly is heartbreaking, and a powerful work of art.

Winter Light stars Gunnar Björnstrand, this time playing a pastor suffering a crisis of faith while ministering to a shrinking congregation, he wrestles with the question does God exist?   Has God Abandoned me? He has no answers and he a man of the cloth feels empty and powerless. Max Von Sydow plays a parishioner lost to acute anxiety over the possibility of a nuclear holocaust. Neither man can help or heal the other, or even inspire renewed confidence in practiced rituals and older, more certain views of the world. Set on a chilly, Sunday afternoon, Winter Light‘s heavy stillness, lack of music, preference for intense close-ups and distancing long shots, and barren setting all lead us inescapably into the core of a profound silence, an echo chamber in which love can’t grow and religion rings hollow.

The Silence, The last chamber story in the trilogy is a nightmarish story of two sisters, Esther portrayed by Ingrid Thulin and Anna portrayed by Gunnel Lindblom, and the latter’s son played by Jörgen Lindström, all traveling by train to Sweden but forced to stay in a foreign country when Esther’s chronic bronchial problems require her to rest. A stifling atmosphere, a desolate hotel, encounters with a troupe of carnival dwarves, Anna’s anchoring illness, and an empty sexual encounter for Esther underscore the unnerving feeling that God has abandoned these characters to dubious salvation in their own connection. A highly memorable film.

These are perhaps Bergman’s most thought provoking films and are considered masterworks by this cinema giant. The mood set by the language of the images through-out each film rivet you and challenge your spirituality and religious beliefs.  The drama and intensity each film captures draws you into each story, kudos to the actors who were so true to the emotions, to Sven Nykvist’s stark and moody cinematography and to Bergman whose deeply layered story telling brings these masterworks to level of cinematic art rarely seen.

Available on Netflix, DVD, and for purchase at Amazon.com

Recommended:

Flipper (1963)

3 May

“They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he, And we know Flipper, lives in a world full of wonder, Flying there-under, under the sea!”

Synopsis: Filmed in the Florida Keys this family friendly story centers around Sandy Ricks, played by Luke Halpin, who played Sandy in the popular TV show of the same name, is a young boy living in the Florida Keys who befriends a dolphin injured by a harpoon. His father, fisherman Porter Ricks , played by Chuck Connors, TV’s Rifleman, is upset, as dolphins compete for fish, which jeopardizes the family income and is upset Sandy neglects his chores.

Sandy names his new friend Flipper, after Flipper recovers from the wound, the dolphin puts on a show to entertain the neighborhood children. Later, however, the animal devours Porter’s entire catch of pompano fish, Porter harshly berates Sandy for allowing Flipper to jump into the holding pen of valuable fish waiting to go to market, “What’s wrong with you boy? How old are you, 12, — almost in your teens, or are you five, — a child who doesn’t have the sense to know what his next meal depends on?” Reduced to tears, Sandy retreats to his bedroom as Porter’s wife Martha, played by Kathleen MaGuire defends Sandy by reminding Porter, “He is only a boy!”

Determined to make up for the loss, Sandy sets off to find more fish, and is led by Flipper to a large school of fish near a reef. Later, Sandy is rescued from a threatening shark by Flipper, and the grateful father draws closer to his son. Porter Ricks is finally convinced there are enough fish for both the local residents of the area and the dolphins.

The story was written by Richard Browning, known for his underwater work as “The Creature From The Black Lagoon.” Browning noting the success of Lassie decided to bring a story of a boy and his Dolphin to the big screen. No studio bit. He brought the idea producer Ivan Tors whom he worked for on Sea Hunt. The movie was a huge success and spawned (pardon the unintentional pun) a successful TV show with Halpin minus Connors and ran from 1964-67. Two movie sequels and a remake followed.  Flipper was portrayed by Mitzi a female trained at The Santini Training School. She lived for 13 years and died in 1972. Her grave is at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Fla.  and it is the first stop on the tour.

This was filmed for family audiences and reminds us of a much simpler time.  Flipper is an icon of American culture and has been remembered fondly by us humans of a certain age.

The film is available on DVD and Netflix and can be seen once in a while on TCM. Recommended for family viewing.

Recommended:

Mutiny on the bounty (1962)

30 Apr

Synopsis: Based on a true story in 1787 the HMS Bounty set sail for Tahiti under the leadership of tyrannical Captain William Bligh played by Trevor Howard. The mission is to bring back breadfruit trees to Jamaica two provide a cheap source of food to feed the slaves their. The film directed by Lewis Milestone took one year to complete and was nominated for seven academy awards including best picture.

Review: This technicolor film version of the Bounty was different than its 1935 predecessor in many respects. Trevor Howard’s Bligh was more dignified and less verbally bombastic as Charles Laughton’s Bligh. Howard’s Bligh seems to quietly relish each punishment as he redeems his inner demons by the other officers follow his tyrannical demands. He doesn’t hide his contempt for his second in command the young rich, snobbish, Lieutenant Fletcher Christian played by Marlon Brando.

Brando’s Christian starts out as a playboy and a snob and we watch his catharsis as he tries so desperately to ignore Bligh’s ongoing punishment of the crew. As a young officer he wrestles with Bligh’s insidiousness as he sorts out his allegiances to the Admiralty, Bligh and his fellow crew members. During the filming Brando’s method acting antics became legendary as he would be constantly late to the set, ill prepared and rewriting crucial scenes to his liking. Trevor Howard vowed never to work with him again and publicly called Brando the most unprofessional actor he ever worked with. After the film shoot Brando sent a letter Howard apologizing for his behavior on the shoot. Howard and Brando became friends after that and both appeared together in the first Superman Movie with Christopher Reed.

Some of the notable differences between Brando’s Christian and Gable’s come from different public views of each actor, Gable plays the womanizing, rough and tumble savior of the crew the kind of character that audiences love him to play. Brando‘s Christian is brooding, intelligent and gives deep thought to every decision he must make starting out superficial and smarmy and ending up being brooding and disillusioned. I suspect the change in his character is due to Brando having complete control over his character’s actions, motivation and search for truth. As a method actor, Brando’s   performance is nuanced and layered much to the chagrin and disdain of his fellow performers.

The movie ends differently than the 1935 version but is equally as poignant as the former.

Recommended:

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

30 Apr

Synopsis: Based on a factual event, the HMS Bounty left England’s shores in 1787 to set sail for Tahiti. Its mission was to travel to the island, to gather seedlings of the breadfruit tree, transport them to the West Indies, then return to Britain’s shores. Charles Laughton plays the arrogant, self-riotous and maniacal Captain William Bligh,  Clark Gable plays Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, the second in command.

Awards: 1935, Best Picture Academy Award.

Review: Bounty was directed by Frank Lloyd with the film playing on the strengths of the two lead actors. The film was a runaway success in its day and has plenty to offer to modern day movie audiences.  Interestingly enough this  film unlike say Pirates of the Caribbean relies more on coherent story telling than blowing something up to keep things moving.

Charles Laughton plays Bligh so thoroughly contemptible with an underlying insidiousness that he justifies by quoting the Naval Regulations of Admiralty.  He believes by instilling fear in his subordinates they will obey his every command without question.  On the year-long trip to Tahiti he has a man whipped 300 times even long after he the man has died, he cuts back food rations over a perceived piece of stolen cheese, and keelhauls a man to his death. Bligh does all this with a sense of duty that lacks perspective and humanity leaving a lasting disdainful impression on his crew.

Clark Gable play Fletcher Christian as evolving young officer who deep down is the complete antithesis of Bligh. Christian constantly wrestles with the orders Bligh throws at him and shows little restraint in words and deed as his underlying contempt for Bligh rises to the surface.

Once the Bounty has reached Tahiti the crew is sent ashore to find the Breadfruit saplings. Off the ship the Tahitian world is calm and peaceful as the natives welcome them with open arms. The crew including Christian meet the local women and many relationships begin to form. This is paradise for the crew as the hellish Bligh leaves them alone in order to accomplish his mission there.

When the Bounty finally gets underway the Bligh wastes no time in starting his ruthless punishments again. When the Breadfruit trees need more water than first expected he orders only one drink a day for the crew and puts the water ladle up on the highest rafter forcing the already water deprived men to climb up to the top to get the ladle, get the drink and then return it to the top again. This was the beginning of the mutiny as Christian finally leads the sailors to take over the ship. Bligh swears revenge after he put in a long boat with a few men who want to go back to England and set adrift. There is also a love story between Christian and an Island native whom he goes back for after the mutiny. 

This is a classic film and does stand-up today as an early blockbuster.  In 1962 a remake was made with Trevor Howard as Bligh and Marlon Brando as Christian. More on the remake in another review.

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