Polynesian Postcards from Dr. Freud

A number of people in the movie reviewing business are busy commenting on whether the team of Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson in 1984 measures up to Charles Laughton and Clark Gable in 1935 and/or Trevor Howard and Marlon Brando in 1962. This smacks of handicapping midget tag-team wrestling matches, so let's ignore that whole issue. A more provocative matter is whether anyone—besides Messrs. Hopkins, Gibson, director Roger Donaldson, screenwriter Robert Bolt, and, last but certainly not least, moneyman Dino DeLaurentis—needs another go through of the bad times on the H.M.S. Bounty. A full-page ad for the latest version includes the line "After 200 years, the truth behind the legend," which is slightly disingenuous, given that the mutiny took place in 1787. However, let that pass, too. The gist of the statement implies (A) the previous films on the subject weren't the real thing and (B) people in 1984 want the nitty-gritty—or that someone, besides the before mentioned figures, cares. As for point A, it's true that the '35 and '62 movies were based on a set of adventure books while the latest is based on Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian, a 1972 revisionist history by Richard Hough that, apparently, makes William Bligh's surname something other than metonymy for "bastard captain." Since the British navy didn't clap Bligh in irons and break his sword...

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