On April 28, 1789, over two centuries ago, the British ship "The Bounty" was seized by mutineers. Captain William Bligh, along with approximately 20 other sailors were set adrift in the South Pacific.

It was an important event in Naval History. And for dramatic purposes, a popular event, as well. The "Bounty" mutiny has been turned into a movie at least three times(there were actually two very early efforts, both from Australia), with each big-screen version being moderately to hugely successful.

The most recent version(the fifth movie if you're keeping track), 1984's The Bounty featured Mel Gibson as mutiny leader Fletcher Christian opposite Anthony Hopkins portraying Captain Bligh. The feature was helmed by Roger Donaldson and also co-starred Liam Neeson, Laurence Olivier and one of the earliest roles for Daniel Day-Lewis.

Then there was 1962's Mutiny on the Bounty, which featured Trevor Howard as Christian and Marlon Brando as Captain Bligh. This version is also an excellent version and very well-directed. As a matter of fact, director Lewis Milestone had previously won two Academy Awards for Best Director with a win for 1927's Two Arabian Knights and 1930's All Quiet on the Western Front.

Lastly(out of the Big Three film versions), and certainly my favorite, is 1935's Mutiny on the Bounty, directed by Frank Lloyd. Clark Gable was the "tragic hero" Fletcher Christian and Charles Laughton portrayed William Bligh. This version is almost unanimously considered the definitive version. It took home the Best Picture Oscar and is the only film to have three Best Actor nominations(Gable, Laughton and Franchot Tone). As a result of this, the Best Supporting Actor category was created beginning with the following year's awards ceremony. And Laughton's portrayal  became the definitive Captain Bligh in the mind of the public. Check out a clip from the movie:

All the actors do a marvelous job in the film, but it is Laughton who truly stands out with his performance of a cruel, sadistic man. Each and every one of the three versions of the story that I've mentioned here are well-worth checking out while you're self-isolating. Grab a history lesson and a great movie at the same time.

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