August 25, 2002:

Fascination with the mythic resonance of the story. Mr. Christian falls for the pagan beauty, learns her way of life is better. Her people have a more sensible, more human sense of values, a greater humanity, a contrast which makes the evil of the perverted European alternative inescapable. The Bounty, where the only real bounty in sight is the richness of the Tahitian land and generosity of its people; indeed the mission of the ship "Bounty" is to perpetuate slavery.

Brando as dandified Fletcher Christian, wracked with existential angst about the meaning of his actions. Perhaps reflecting 1962. He did have the good sense to marry Tarita and buy the island of Tetiaroa, which does reflect some basic levelheadedness.

Gibson's version is more interesting. More naturalistic, clearer focus on the critical issue: not Bligh's behavior, but the contrast between European and Polynesian notions of humanity. Note in this regard the very intelligent, shrewd figure of "King" Tinah, whose behavior rests on insightful appraisal of the Europeans. The film foregrounds the romantic myth of the Noble Savage and, with him, explodes it at the same time.