The Mutiny of the Bounty

The Mutiny of the Bounty is a 1916 Australian-New Zealand silent film directed by Raymond Longford about the mutiny aboard HMS Bounty.[2] It is the first known cinematic dramatisation of this story and is considered a lost film.[3]

The Mutiny of the Bounty
Directed byRaymond Longford
Produced byRaymond Longford
Written byRaymond Longford
Lottie Lyell
Based onJournals of Captain Bligh
CinematographyCharles Newham
Franklyn Barrett
A. O. Segerberg
Crick and Jones
Distributed byHughes (NZ)
Release date
2 September 1916[1]
Running time
5,000 feet
LanguagesSilent film
English intertitles

Longford claimed it was the first Australian film to shoot scenes at sea.[4]


The story deals with the mutiny on HMS Bounty on 28 April 1789, Captain Bligh's journey back to England, the recapture of the mutineers on Tahiti and subsequent fate of the other mutineers on Pitcairn Island.[5] The story was structured in five acts.[6]



Filming took place in Rotorua, Norfolk Island and Sydney starting April 1916. The movie was partly financed by distributors Stanley Crick and Herbert Finlay in association with J.D. Williams and was described as "probably the most costly production yet made in Australia."[7]Māori actors played the Tahitians who greeted crew members of the Bounty. During shooting the unit came across a real life HMS Pandora.[8] Longford wanted to shoot some scenes on Pinchgut Island in Sydney Harbour but was refused with the authorities giving no reason.[9]

Attempts were made to ensure the script was as historically accurate as possible and Bligh was not as demonised as he would be in later film versions of this story.[10]


Box officeEdit

The film received good reviews and was a success at the box office. When the film was released in Sydney on 2 September 1916,[11] it was endorsed by the education department and 2,000 school children attending the initial screening.[12] Lottie Lyell later supervised a recut of the film for the British market.[13]

Critical responseEdit

One reviewer described it as the best Australian film ever made.[12]


  1. ^ "Raymond Longford", Cinema Papers, January 1974 p51
  2. ^ Loretta Barnard.These Australian women dominated Hollywood before Hollywood.The Big Smoke.March 8, 2019.
  3. ^ 'New Zealand's Missing Film History', The Film Archive Archived 27 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Everyones, Everyones Ltd, 1920, retrieved 25 March 2019
  5. ^ "PERTH MAJESTIC". The Sunday Times. Perth: National Library of Australia. 4 November 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Advertising". Goulburn Evening Penny Post. NSW: National Library of Australia. 30 September 1916. p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
  7. ^ ""MUTINY OF THE BOUNTY."". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 24 March 1917. p. 4. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
  8. ^ "No title." Sunday Times (Perth) 14 Nov 1926: 15 accessed 7 December 2011
  9. ^ The Lone hand, W. McLeod], 1907, retrieved 4 June 2018
  10. ^ Helen Martin and Sam Edwards, New Zealand Film: 1912-1996, Oxford Uni Press, 1997 p 26
  11. ^ The Mutiny of the Bounty (1916)
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 64

External linksEdit