In the wake of the premium

Since the motif on which the scenic effects depend is the mutiny aboard the Bounty, and the settlement of the survivors on Pitcairn Island, Tahiti and Pitcairn form the settings.

British actor Trevor Howard, caption Bligh in the film Mutiny on the Bounty, with Mayne Lynton, who played Bligh in the 1933 film.

British actor Trevor Howard, caption Bligh in the film Mutiny on the Bounty, with Mayne Lynton, who played Bligh in the 1933 film.Credit:Staff Photographer

There are images of fog hanging over jagged mountain peaks; of yachts reflected in palm-fringed waters; and some remarkable glimpses of heavy seas smashing against a reef. A foreword to the film states that it does not claim to be a drama. The narrative of the Bounty serves only as a unifying influence and as a means of explaining the origin of the Pitcairn settlement.

In fact, the bursts of dramatic action are clearly the weakest part of the film. In these scenes, which mainly take place in the ship’s forecastle and in the captain’s cabin, the lighting is defective, the make-up is indifferent, and the game is a stilted, artificial order. The only actors who have much persuasion are Mr. Mayne Lynton as Captain Bligh, a peppery, stubborn old Martinet who very much resembles the same lines that have aged in Doris Egerton Jones’ play Governor Bligh, and Mr. John Warwick, as one of the ship’s company.

Productions from abroad have so accustomed audiences to the mobile use of the camera in interior shots that Mr. Chauvel’s shots look uncomfortably static. However, it could have been much worse. At least the dialogue is straightforward and designed to appeal to intelligent people; that’s more than can be said for some other Australian productions to hit the big screen in the last year or two.

Mr. Chauvel displayed excellent judgment in arranging spoken commentary for the non-dramatic portions of the film. The diction is always good; but not affected. The voice doesn’t just go on and on and on like the speaker is in an endurance race; but also allows for pauses for reflection when the visual action can tell its own story.


The descriptive material itself, apart from the manner of its presentation, is admirable in the clarity of its presentation. The film as a whole is also planned extremely carefully and ingeniously. The dramatic episode at the end is really moving, unlike the earlier attempts at drama; and, from a visual point of view, it has a dynamic quality that allows it to be ranked with the best overseas work.

“In the Wake of the Bounty” was shown at the Prince Edward Theater on Wednesday. In the wake of the premium

Jaclyn Diaz

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