Mutiny on the Bounty [1962]

Frank Lloyd's 1935 version of the famous story is broadly superior to later attempts. Charles Laughton is brilliant as the harsh captain of the 18th-century British naval vessel Bounty, and Clark Gable gives an intelligent performance as Fletcher Christian, the first mate burdened with leading a mutiny in the South Seas. This is one of those archetypal stories that seems to invite a variety of creative and moral interpretations (see both the 1962 and 1984 versions, the latter called The Bounty), but this first shot across the bow still seems truest and least massaged for hidden meaning. --Tom Keogh

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