I've been keen to have the CD release ever since the original long playing record at the time of the film's release, and it doesn't disappoint, with the dramatic and the sensitive music appropriate to the scenes in the film, rather than a constant "theme". The disappointment for me is the out-of-sequence of the musical items compared to the running order of the film, for example, the mutiny coming before the arrival in Tahiti, but still a good recording
Bronislau Kaper may not be a household name, although he did pen a famous tune, Hi Lilli, Hi Lilli, Hi Lo, from a forgotten film, starring Mel Ferrer and Lesley Caron, but he did write some epic music from The Golden Age of Hollywood, including LORD JIM and this one, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, about the most famous mutiny of them all.
This is film music on the grandest scale, from its bombastic, rousing openings bars, through its thrilling native music, to its unexpectedly low-key ending. The movie itself itself is still extremely watchable, notwithstanding Marlon Brando's rather odd English accent, which takes a bit of getting used to, but star power wins out in the end. The film is also very well cast, right down to the smallest parts and there isn't one boring minute in its entire three hours running time. Quite a feat, when you look at today's long-running epics. Pure escapism at its very best, with a super score as an added bonus. They don't make 'em like this anymore!
Do your research and you will discover the music from this film is the best ever written by Bronislau Kaper. The music captures all areas of the story even down to the traditional singing and dancing from the South Pacific islands. However, the best piece for me is the track "Leaving Harbour". The music is rousing and stirring and so powerful in depicting "The Bounty" setting sail that Bronislau Kaper very cleverly mixes in "Rule Britannia" which, even now, leaves me with goose-bumps ! The acting, drama and the build up of tension in the film is terrific and if you add the beautiful cinematography and some of the best Technicolor ever processed, then this is again one of the Hollywood greats. Oh yes, "The Bounty" is a real ship built for the film - no CGI here !
Kaper wrote excellent film music. This is one of his most effective, though some of the storm scenes are a bit cacophonous, obvious and 'voyage to the bottom of the sea=-ish - for those who remember Richard Basehart swinging side to side on a US sub!
The main theme is built to last - like the bounty, and the Hawaian sequences are atmospheric. The evocation of a British naval port at the time of the French Revolution has a wonderful air. There isn't quite enough variation to make this great - and I think there is more value in Kaper's moving score to Lord Jim where there was the additional challenge of Conradian psycho-drama in an Indonesian setting. The music works better in the film than as a separate score, but a must for fans of classic scores nonetheless. I'm glad it's there in the collection.