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Why HMS Bounty Sank and Her Replicas in Popular Movies

HMS Bounty

Why HMS Bounty Sank and Her Replicas in Popular Movies

You might be aware of the fact that the extremely large replica HMS Bounty ship was designed for Mutiny in 1962. Note that, this tall ship sank off the North Carolina coast in a disastrous accident. Although, the sail was set from Connecticut with a hope that the ship could be saved by avoiding Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, the water started accumulating on the ship, and finally, the crew was ordered to abandon the ship. During this process, around 14 members were rescued safely; however, the descendant of Fletcher Christian, Claudene Christian whose name is linked to original HMS Bounty lost his life in the hospital. In addition, captain Robin Walbridge from the ship is still missing, and he is now presumed to be dead.

Note that, the original HMS Bounty was designed in the year 1784 and at that time it was known as Bethia. However, later in the year 1787, this ship was given to the Royal Navy, and then it became a Bounty boat. With time, this ship became more popular for Mutiny when it was operated as per instructions of Lieutenant William Bligh. The prime purpose of this ship was to bring breadfruit from Tahiti to West Indies. They started the journey to Tahiti but due to some conflicts, on 28th April 1789, the ship was taken by Mutineers, and they further made efforts to settle in Tubuai while ensuring a return to Tahiti. Later, due to the fear of being caught, they burned this tall ship in January 1790. But HMS Pandora succeeded to locate them in March 1791. However, it ran aground in the month of August and later sank while killing four prisoners and 31 crew members of the ship.

Ten mutineers who survived this sank were later taken to naval court; out of which four were declared innocent, two guilty ones were pardoned, three were convicted and then hanged whereas one was reprieved. For losing the Bounty, William Bligh was also court-martialled in this case, but he was later acquitted. The remains of this ship were obtained later in January 1957 when Luis Marden started a search operation. Later, two more replicas of this ship were created; one was developed in the year 1960, and the other was designed in 1978.

The former was created for the famous film “From the Keel Up,” and it was developed using historical source material; whereas the latter one was created for the movie The Bounty where Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson played major roles. It was also used in two famous movies, “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” You can easily watch several clips of this replica on the internet or enjoy the movie series to go through different facts.

The original Bounty was very popular, but it gained more fame in the world through these movies. People call it truly incredible; even replica of Bounty, the Pirate of the Caribbean ships are the point of attraction for millions, and people often go to capture the closer view of this historic ship.


After going through the history of the HMS Bounty, it is time to collect some in-depth knowledge about how this popular ship got its fame in the cinema industry. Loads of things happened when the ship sank; many crew members were punished, and several other facts came into light. The details about all those events were later summarized by some writers in their novels. There are three popular novels that are famous for expressing loads of details about the HMS Bounty; they are Mutiny on the ‘Bounty,’ Pitcairn’s Island and Men Against the Sea. Along with this literature; several stories about this ship were also brought to the entertainment world by cinematographers.

The movies showed several functionalized versions of this ship and the event when it sank; a movie created in the year 1962 shows that Fletcher Christian died in fire abroad Bounty. Note that, the very first movie on this event was made in 1916 at Australia. After that, the second version again came from Australia during 1933 with the name “In the Wake of the Bounty.” This movie became popular with the amazing performance of Error Flynn who played as Fletcher Christian.

After that, the next movie came in 1935, and it was named as “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Due to its awesome graphics, amazing choreography and impressive details; it won the Oscar award for being the best picture of the year. In this movie, Clark Gable worked as Christian and Charles Laughton played Bligh.

Another popular movie on the same concept was later released in 1962 in which Marlon Brando played the role of Christian, and Trevor Howard worked as Bligh. This ultimate version of the story was loved by the viewers in that generation. Observing the huge success in the entertainment industry; another film titled “The Bounty” was created in 1984, and it was based on the same story. In this movie, Mel Gibson played the role of Fletcher Christian, whereas Anthony Hopkins made a popular entry as William Bligh. It is believed that this movie version reported the most accurate history of the ship.

Most recently, the history was reported by an amazing series of movies: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Both these movies captured the attention of the current generation and created a buzz on the entertainment industry.

Note that, the replica for HMS Bounty was created in Lundenberg and as per the details provided by Internet Movie Database, it was designed using 400,000 feet of lumber, 10000 square yards canvas (sawn by hand) and around 10 miles of rope. After construction, the ship traveled the distance of 7000 miles from Nova Scotia to Tahiti for the shooting purpose. Later, it also appeared in the World’s Fair in New York.

Seacraft Gallery – June 2019

HMS Bounty Model Ship
HMS Bounty Model Ship for Sale | Seacraft Gallery
HMS Bounty Model Ship 1787- 75cm
HMS Bounty Model Ship for Sale | Seacraft Gallery

Seacraft Gallery is a leading supplier of handcrafted wooden model ships and boats. We have museum-quality HMS Bounty model ships, timber and painted finish. Contact us today for your inquire!

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