Actor Spotlight: The Bounty
The Bounty is a retelling of the true story of a mutiny on a British ship during the late 18th century. Anthony Hopkins stars as Lieutenant William Bligh. When we first meet him he is retelling the story of his failed mission to a board of British Admirals. He must explain himself and his actions that lead to his losing his ship on the high seas. The Bounty was a warship on a mission for the British Navy. It was supposed to sail to Tahiti in the South Pacific and then on to the Caribbean. After reaching Tahiti and setting sail for the West Indies the ship encounters trouble from the sea and within. The Bounty never makes it to the Caribbean. After a month at sea trying to get around the capes of Africa, the ship turns back around and returns to Tahiti. There the crew falls in love with island living and the beautiful women. After months of island living Captain Bligh orders the ship to set sail for home. Instead, the crew already tired of the hardships of sea living while serving under Bligh and his loyal officers stage a mutiny with most of the crew heading back to Tahiti and the other half set adrift at sea. Anthony Hopkins leads a great cast as Captain Bligh. His Bligh is a stern and overbearing sort of Captain. He’s not well liked by the crew or anyone else for that matter. His hard ways alienate him from most of his men. Mel Gibson plays Master’s Mate (First Lieutenant) Fletcher Christian who leads the mutiny after falling in love with a Tahitian island princess.
I’d never seen this movie before watching it for the spotlight. I haven’t really seen much of Sir Anthony Hopkins outside of his most famous role as Hannibal Lecter. This was a pleasant surprise. Hopkins is great in the role of Bligh. He plays him as a man who has a job to do and will stop at nothing to see that job done. As much as he is a character you’d like to hate, Hopkins gives Bligh a personality that shines through his gruff exterior. He cares about his men and is loyal to a fault. He is risking his life for people halfway around the world who probably don’t care about his or his crew’s fate. It was nice to see Hopkins in a movie without a silly mask. He has a great screen presence in The Bounty. You can see why his crew followed him for as long as they did and when they revolt it’s almost heartbreaking. You know it’s going to happen and the reasons why they revolt are understandable. Even Bligh admits it in his journals. It’s a great performance. His Bligh is hard to take your eyes off of. A very young Mel Gibson steals the movie as Fletcher Christian. He plays him as an every man who finds himself in a situation he never thought he would be in. Leading a revolt against everything he believes in over love. The movie’s cast is filled with a lot of familiar British faces. Half of the fun for me was playing “Guess Who That Is” with the crew of The Bounty. Liam Neeson (Taken, A-Team) and Dexter Fletcher (Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Band Of Brothers) are just two of the actors I spotted in this.
The Bounty is a hidden gem from the 1980s. Highly Recommended.