Saturday, April 25, 2009
An Excess Of Zeal
I can't stop watching the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. It was a sorta flop when it came out, but it's one of those movies that allows for a great deal of reflection over the themes in it, which are profound. Or you could just gape at it. When I was but little, I remember seeing it on a drive-in screen the size of a football field, entirely enthralled with the blue of the Pacific sky and sea. A meal in a restaurant was exotic to us. Tahiti was as much another world to us as any tar on the Bounty.
You have to take Marlon Brando as Christian in the spirit in which it's offered, I guess. He's always interesting to look at, if not always exactly suited to the work. Trevor Howard is an enormously talented guy, mostly overlooked, and is perfect for the job of Bligh.
The theme that that which is allowed is not necessarily recommended, or even tolerated in retrospect, is important, and timely still.
It was assumed that a gentleman would have an internal moral clock that would keep him from what Churchill later called "frightfulness," and so it was best to leave the direction of men to gentlemen. If only.
An excess of zeal.