Top positive review
Fictionalised Account Falls Short
on December 19, 2014
Movita Castaneda lives! What a beautiful and graceful woman! As of 2014, she is the last surviving cast member. She plays "Tehani", midshipman Roger Byam's native love interest. And Franchot Tone gives us such a splendid performance as Byam. I always preferred him to either Gable or Laughton. It was an amazing accomplishment that so much of the actually shooting (in 1934) took place on location, in Tahiti. I give them full marks for effort, for the energy and craft that make this film so appealing and so realistic.
That said, I prefer the 1984 version. The Anthony Hopkins-Mel Gibson film is a more true-to-life appraisal of events. By 1984, William Bligh's reputation had at long last been rehabilitated. We can understand this remarkable story from a different perspective. I am gratified that both versions pay tribute to his unbelievable 4000-mile traverse from Tahiti to Timor after being cast adrift by Christian and his mutineers. Captain Bligh went on to become a governor in Australia and ultimately retired having attained the rank of vice-Admiral. Bligh had his shortcomings, no doubt. But the 1934 fictionalised account was a character vilification. As a real-life figure, the story is diminished to the extent that he is treated unfairly.