Mutiny On The Bounty Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Mutiny On The Bounty by Bronislau Kaper.
At a glance:
227 minutes of score
Geek Score: 84.4
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 80.78
Album Excellence: 36%
Buy or stream? Stream
Ah yes, Mutiny On The Bounty has thrilled us since Charles Nordhoff wrote the book in 1932. There has been a few movies on that subject and this might as well be the definite one directed by Lewis Milestone & Carol Reed starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard and Richard Harris, this 1962 movie has all the hallmarks of a classic. The score by Bronislau Kaper has also been lauded as one of his best, if not the best score he has ever produced. Bold statements, but with this 3 CD presentation from Film Score Monthly I hope to find out. An interesting fact was that it was supposed to be Rozsa who scores this, but the task fell upon Kaper. This review is part of Polish Film Music Composers month.
Like any great pre-70’s movie worth it’s salt, it starts with an ‘Overture’ and as usual it is a great one ranging from a number of themes, romantic and action-filled. ‘Main Title / Portsmouth Harbor’ is no less impressive, in fact it’s more with a fantastic theme and lots of choir. ‘Leaving Harbor’ is a magnificent cue which even adds in “Rule Britannia” into it’s massive scene for the ship leaving harbor.
The score can be ridiculously fun, but it also has it’s more serious part like ‘Two Dozen Lashes / Men Break Ranks’ and that’s when the fun really begins in the movie although the music reminds me a bit of the serious passages in “The Wild North”, it just has a claustrophobic and struggling side to it that I can’t shake. There are a few of these cues which I would immediately cut out of a playlist, but with all the amazing swashbuckling adventure music here I wouldn’t worry.
I am an advocate for longer scores, I really am. Release everything! I am super-happy that it seems the case and then some for Mutiny On The Bounty too, but there’s the thing. I’m considering everything on it, every note, which is why 4 hour scores such as this is taking a beating because it’s not all brilliant. They can’t all be Ben-Hur. However as we add up TMOE or Total Minutes Of Excellence, we get some hefty numbers. The Album Excellence will be revealing. It’s basically saying how much you keep and how much you can throw away. I was hoping for a Ben-Hur, but turns out Mr. Rozsa is still the king of all things grand and epic in the 50s and 60s. Mutiny On The Bounty had some crazy amazing moments, but that’s just what they are, moments, and luckily there are a lot of them. There are also a lot of filler-cues that doesn’t really do much except makes me more anxious to play the great ones again.
I am impressed with the number of great cues though but it won’t be a score I return to much in the future, but there’s a few cues I might want to listen to a lot later on. As an album experience, I definitely prefer “Lord Jim” over this, but it’s a real battle when you put the best cues on this album vs the best cues on “Lord Jim”. Either way, ther are both two scores I would recommend for any Kaper fan.
2. Main Title / Portsmouth Harbor
3. Leaving Harbor
6. Making For The Horn
9. We’ve Lost
10. Whiplashing Montage
12. Maeve, Maeve / Te Manu Pukarua / Go On Then / Girls And Sailors
13. Follow Me (Love Song)
28. Leaving Harbor
29. Bounty / Chart
31. The Storm
32. Whiplashing Montage
34. Tahitian Folk Song / Kids and Leis / Go On / Girls And Sailors
45. Burial Service
46. Maimiti Go Too
50. Overture Introduction (Alternate)
51. Theme From Mutiny On The Bounty (Album Track)
52. Leaving Harbor (Intermediate)
54. Making For The Horn (Intermediate)
55. Whiplashing Montage (Intermediate)
58. Girls And Sailors (Album Track)
61. Rule Britannia / Lovemaking Montage (Alternate)
62. Outrigger Chase (Alternate Version)
67. Leaving Harbor (Album Track)