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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

 

Mutiny on the Bounty [Blu-ray]

 

(Frank Lloyd, 1935)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Warner

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:12:40.994

Disc Size: 26,445,126,449 bytes

Feature Size: 25,634,390,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.98 Mbps

Chapters: 35

Case: Digi-book Blu-ray case

Release date: November 16th, 2010

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 matted to 1.78

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: VC-1 Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1037 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1037 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs: Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Vintage featurette: Pitcairn Island Today (9:38)
Academy Awards 1935 newsreel (:58)
Theatrical trailers of 1935 version (3:11) and the 1962 version (4:03)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is the classic tale of one of the most infamous adventures on the high seas. The story is based on the fictional accounts written by Charles Nortdhoff and James Norman Hall. Pressganged conscripts sailing for Tahiti buckle under the harsh treatment given by cruel Captain William Bligh (Charles Laughton). Bligh's abuse of power, including a brutal flogging that results in the death of the sick old ship's doctor, finally inspire a mutiny on the return voyage, conducted under the leadership of fair-minded officer Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable). Following the mutiny, Bligh and his few supporters are adrift in a small dinghy, at which point the real adventure begins--Bligh's 4,000-mile journey from Tahiti to the Dutch East Indies. A solid seagoing adventure epic with breathtaking location photography, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY offers an unparalleled nautical authenticity--the ship photographed and the costumes worn were exact replicas of the 18th-century originals.

 

 

The Film:

Expertly crafted and brilliantly acted, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY is one of the most durable and engrossing adventure films ever made. For the first and only time in motion-picture history, three actors from the same film--Gable, Laughton, and Tone--were nominated for Oscars in the Best Actor division. Lloyd's rich direction captures the exotic South Sea island of Tahiti and the rigors of the hardscrabble voyage and gives the cast its full head (Digges is especially good). Gable, in splendid form, was originally afraid of wearing breeches and a small ponytail, and he also thought his American accent would stand out too much. (If anything, it works by contributing to a certain xenophobia in his struggles against the unhandsome and genuinely British Laughton.) His Christian is full of integrity and courage, and is even surprisingly tender in the oddly bisexual edge of the film's Tahiti scenes. The superb Laughton, meanwhile, relishing his self-righteous villainy, gave impersonators a lifetime of work uttering "Mr. Christian, come here!". Tone, an underrated actor, is also sturdy, and gets to strut his stuff in the courtroom finale. Although the production of the film was dogged by backstage sniping, scripting problems, expensive location footage ruined by tropical humidity, and the loss of $50K worth of equipment, you'd never know it to look at the result.

Excerpt from TV Guide located HERE

An exotic and gripping piece of Hollywood mythology, made with all the technical skill and gloss one associates with Irving Thalberg's MGM. Frank Lloyd's direction and the literate screenplay constantly juxtapose the notions of 18th century naval service as an aristocrat's high adventure and an ordinary seaman's pressganged misery, underlying the central clash between Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian with a surprisingly sharp examination of British breadfruit imperialism. Unlike the 1962 remake, this version virtually deserts Christian after the mutiny, concentrating on Bligh's amazing 4,000 mile open boat voyage and the subsequent court-martial. Laughton scowls magnificently, and paints a remarkable portrait of Bligh's humourless character, while Gable injects a startling (and unintentional) bisexuality into the Tahitian sequences.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

 


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
 

Like the DVD image of the 1935 Mutiny on the Bounty there are many highly impressive moments and also some damage (see last 2 large captures). Aside from a few minor speckles, the light scratches at the beginning and damage-apparent storm scene - the rest of the film looks almost brand new! Warner's new VC-1 encoded Blu-ray looks as good as I have ever seen this film.... ever. It has all the qualities fans might expect over DVD - a strong improvement in detail, tighter contrast levels and grain is visibly rich + pleasingly textured.  This sneaks into dual-layered territory and it's easy to see this is 'high-definition' with some instances of depth being notable. Even by modern standards this keeps your eyes riveted to the screen - in part to the compelling film and rich black and white rendered visuals. This Blu-ray has exceeded my expectations in terms of its image quality. I am very pleased.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few light vertical scratches early on...

 

 

Storm sequence...

 

 

Audio :

No surround boost going on here - its a mono track pushing exclusively through the center channel. With Warner recently abandoning the TrueHD format for Blu-ray we get a DTS-HD Master with the 1.0 channel mono audio exporting a more dynamic bump from previous DVD editions to 1037 kbps. The lossless rendering has some depth and is consistent but even implied range is, predictably, absent. The overall sound, while obviously flat, is quite consistent with easily audible dialogue. There are foreign language DUBs + subtitle selections and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Unfortunately nothing new on the digital front from past SD editions with the same 10-minute vintage featurette entitled Pitcairn Island Today, the brief Academy Awards 1935 newsreel and theatrical trailers of the 1935 version (3:11) and the 1962 Brando version (4:03) - that we expect to make it to Blu-ray - hopefully soon. This is housed in one of Warner's digi-books with photos, essay and the like. It is quite a handsome packaging.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
It's fabulous to see Warner releasing older classic in 1080P - especially films like this. Mutiny on the Bounty is one of Laughton's most commanding performances - as the sadistic Bligh - and it's a great tale to own via Blu-ray. A film story I never tire of and while new extras would have added further enticement - the impression of the a/v is enough for us to recommend. 

Gary Tooze

November 10th, 2010

 

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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