#86 Mutiny on the Bounty

I’ll admit, I really didn’t have high hopes for this movie. I’m not a fan of the Horatio Hornblower series, didn’t really like Master and Commander, and only liked Pirates of the Caribbean because of Johnny Depp. 18th and 19th century-themed sea movies just don’t hold my interest. But I was pleasantly surprised with this film.

First, the cinematography was beautiful! Obviously not filmed in a studio, as the recreations of Tahiti and the ocean reflected what I believe island paradises to look like.

Second, the writing was fantastic. Probably because it’s from the book, and as far as I can tell, is a relatively true story. Writing is only half the battle, though…actors able to deliver the lines are just as important, and Marlon Brando plays Christian Fletcher as one of the best smart alecks I’ve seen.

Captain Bligh could have learned a thing or two from current leadership theory. Two of my favorite gems from his ideology: “Cruelty with purpose is not cruelty–it’s efficiency” and “Fear is our best weapon.” These adages serve as rationalizations for the severe physical and emotional mistreatment of his crew. I’m sure some days in my classroom I sound like Captain Bligh–discipline, zero tolerance for disobedience, and the occasional yell. Granted, I’d never make any of my kids climb a 40 foot mast to get some water…the point is, seeing Bligh’s complete lack of compassion for his crew made me think about how I treat my students. Overall, I think my students are treated VERY well, but there’s always room for improvement, and I’m very aware of that.

The cautionary tale of Mutiny on the Bounty is that it’s important to find a happy medium between taking the hard line and letting people do whatever they want. Both have grievous consequences.

I leave tomorrow for my big summer trip to DC and New York. All kinds of fun things planned, the highlight being Wicked the Musical. Oh. And my dream of buying a Louis Vuitton knock-off. Why? Because I can.

2 Comments

  1. As long time Pacific island dweller, I am a big fan of all of Nordoff and Hall’s books, and have three film versions of Mutiny on the Bounty on DVD or VHS tape (for some reason, the version starring Marlon Brando isn’t on DVD). The 1935 film cannot be beat for authenticity and acting in my opinion.

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