Mutiny on the Bounty appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Although the image wasn’t totally flawless, it came pretty close, especially given the movie’s advanced age.
Sharpness almost always came across well. Mostly due to various effects shots, some images periodically were a little fuzzy and soft. However, the majority of the flick was concise and well defined. No problems with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I discerned no signs of edge enhancement.
For a 75-year-old film, I expected concerns with print flaws, but these remained surprisingly modest. On a few short occasions, I noticed some thin vertical lines, and a few small streaks materialized. These were really minor and rare, so they shouldn’t be viewed as a problem. The vast majority of the movie looked clean.
Black levels consistently seemed fine. Contrast was usually clean and distinctive, and low-light shots demonstrated good definition. Shadows appeared fairly smooth and easily discernible; a few “day for night” elements looked a smidgen dense, but those were brief and inconsequential. Really, I felt exceedingly pleased with this stunning transfer, as it looked absolutely amazing for a flick from 1935.
Bounty presented a monaural soundtrack that seemed fine for its era. Dialogue remained intelligible and without edginess, and the lines appeared reasonably natural. Speech occasionally seemed a little thin, but usually the lines were relatively positive.
Effects came across well. Those elements didn’t boast much heft, but they showed good clarity and lacked notable distortion or concerns. Music was also fairly concise, though also with much punch. That wasn’t a concern, though, as one wouldn’t expect audio from 1935 to show great range. Moderate levels of background noise showed up through the movie; these didn’t create many distractions, however. Overall, Bounty presented good audio for its age.
How did the picture and sound of this Blu-Ray compare with those of the DVD from 2004? Both showed growth, especially in terms of the visuals. I thought the old DVD looked pretty good, but it couldn’t compare to the dazzling transfer on display here. I don’t expect much from mid-1930s or earlier movies, so the crisp, clear visuals stunned; I seriously doubt the film’s looked this good since 1935, and it might not even have been this impressive back then.
I thought the Blu-ray’s audio was a bit stronger than the DVD’s. Overall, I thought the quality was generally superior. The Blu-ray’s mix seemed a little more natural and pleasing, as I thought the DVD sounded harsher and tinnier. The Blu-ray didn’t offer a day and night difference, but I felt it provided the superior audio.
This disc includes a few supplements, most of which appeared on the earlier DVD. Pitcairn Island Today presents a featurette created back in 1935. The nine-minute and 39-second piece recaps the story of the Bounty and follows with a look at then-present day Pitcairn. Despite its condescending tone, it’s an interesting glimpse of the reality behind the tale, especially when we meet descendants of the mutineers.
In addition to trailers for the 1935 and 1962 editions of Bounty, we find a newsreel. Entitled “Mutiny on the Bounty Wins 1935 Award”, this 60-second clip shows the presentation of the Oscar.
We also get a hardcover book. This comes as part of the package; open up the disc’s casing and the book appears on the left half. It features a mix of components. We discover some production notes, cast and crew bios, ads and photos.
A watchable but less than stellar film, Mutiny on the Bounty presents a decent sea-going epic. The movie enjoys some nice performances and a strong third act, but it moves too slowly to get to that point and probably would have benefited from some judicious editing. The Blu-ray presents stunning picture quality with good audio and a minor set of supplements. While I can’t say the movie itself does much for me, I feel quite pleased with its presentation on this Blu-ray; accounting for the film’s age, this may be the best catalog transfer of 2010.
To rate this film, visit the original review of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY