'Mutiny: 4K Restoration' [Blu-ray]
(Mark Stevens, Angela Lansbury, Patric Knowles, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1952) 2020 / VCI Entertainment - MVD Visual)
Overview: Produced from a new restoration re-mastered from the original 35mm negatives in 4K, in gorgeous Technicolor, 'Mutiny' is set during the War of 1812.
The United States, in need of gold, arranges with a French group to lend the government $10 million in bullion. To bring the gold here, and American ship must break through the British blockade.
A young captain accepts the dangerous assignment and after several narrow escapes, the ship finally reaches France. No sooner is the gold aboard the American ship, when the crew mutinies and sets the captain adrift, giving him one chance in a thousand to reach shore.
Blu-ray Verdict: Though about average overall, 'Mutiny' has some strengths, with an interesting period/adventure setting and a couple of good performances.
The story includes some good action sequences that help make up for the less interesting stretches. The shipboard atmosphere generally works well, and where once the lighting and photography were so dark that it blended together, now here on this wondrous 4K restoration, they all separate and come alive!
The set up has Mark Stevens as the captain of a ship carrying out a special mission during the War of 1812, with Patric Knowles as a disgraced captain who is now serving as second in command, Angela Lansbury as Knowles's greedy and domineering wife, and a mutinous gun crew looking for a way to turn things to their own advantage.
It's interesting in taking the historical setting as the backdrop to what becomes a largely private battle of nerves and wills. The circumstances of the war do come into play often enough to make the setting relevant, which I liked and admired.
Knowles is effective in portraying his complicated, somewhat indecisive character, Lansbury gets the kind of role that she used to perform quite believably, and Rhys Williams and Gene Evans are good as the ringleaders of the mutineers. Stevens is solid, but sometimes slightly lacking in energy, as the captain.
The finale is the best part of the movie, and it is set up nicely, leading to a three-way showdown with plenty of suspense and action, plus an interesting depiction of a primitive submarine.
It's good enough to make up for an overall lack of consistency in much of the rest of the movie. In the earlier parts, especially, the script sometimes takes too long to establish simple points, and it also has some stretches in which some weak dialogue weighs it down.
So sire, it's by no means perfect, but it does have enough to fill its relatively short running time with a generally interesting story. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and now Restored to a beautiful HD 1080p 4/3 and comes with the Bonus Feature of the Warner Pathe Newsreel Popeye Cartoon "Cookin' With Gags."
The film will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on December 15th, 2020 via VCI Entertainment / MVD Visual.
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