Sunday, January 01, 2006

In the Wake of the BOUNTY

The Caine Mutiny [1954] would obviously be just a rehash of the old “Mutiny on the Bounty” tale, a highly romanticized (and idealized) version of the actual fate of HMAV Bounty. It’s just been transposed to the second world war with no other significant changes, right?

That’s what they want you to think.

The screen has been populated with a few well-placed characters designed to remind the viewer of previous tellings of Bounty, in particular the Clark Gable/Charles Laughton film [1935]. Most notably it is shot from the perspective of a boring young idealistic, idiotic newcomer the fleet, cut with the exact die as was the linguist in the older film.

But the Caine is not the same vessel as the Bounty. Small inconsistencies start to arise, as characters first shift roles in the play and then… That’s the point, it turns out: bending your expectations to and beyond their breaking point. Quite interesting, actually.

I just really wish I hadn’t read the box before I watched it. Really.
So I won’t be spoiling anything more for you.

I’ll just say this: If you can stand some cheese along the way, and care anything for the history of cinema, watch this. It won’t be great (as it certainly had the potential to be), but it will be good. Just don’t read anything more about it first. Trust me.

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