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Tuesday May 28th 2024

The Bounty | 1984

The Bounty filming location: Moorea, French Polynesia
The Bounty location: the South Seas paradise: Mo'orea, French Polynesia | Photograph: Shutterstock / Daboost

This revisiting of the old Mutiny on the Bounty warhorse, told in flashback from from the court martial of Captain Bligh (Anthony Hopkins) court martial, was developed by David Lean from a script by playwright Robert Bolt (writer of A Man For All Seasons).

When the ambitious plan for a vast, two-part epic failed to get finance, the project fell to Roger Donaldson, who has since directed the likes of Species and Dante’s Peak.

You can find the building used for Lieutenant Bligh’s home in Twickenham, Southwest London. It’s one of the elegant terraced houses running along the western edge of Marble Hill Park. Built in 1721, it was once home to poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and, much later, to The Who's Pete Townsend. It's Chapel House, 15 Montpelier Row, south of Richmond Road to the southwest of Richmond Bridge (tube: Richmond, rail: St Margaret’s).

The Bounty filming location: The Reform Club, Pall Mall, London SW1
The Bounty location: the gentlemen's club in which Christian is invited to join the voyage: The Reform Club, Pall Mall, London SW1 | Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo / Timeline Images

The galleried club, where Bligh invites Fletcher Christian (Mel Gibson) to sail with him, is the Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall, St James, SW1, seen in Guy Ritchie’s revamp of Sherlock Holmes, as the lobby of the 'Dolphin Hotel, New York' in the 2007 film of Stephen King's 1408, the 2001 remake of The Four Feathers with Heath Ledger, the 1998 big screen version of The Avengers, Lindsay Anderson’s anarchic O Lucky Man! and in two Bond movies – Die Another Day and Quantum of Solace. The Reform is a private club and not open to the public.

Bligh’s court martial is filmed at two separate locations.

The Bounty filming location: Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London
The Bounty location: the court martial exterior: Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London

The exterior is the the Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London SE10 (rail: Greenwich). Another screen favourite, the College grounds are also featured in The Madness Of King George, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Thor: The Dark World, Cruella, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Mummy Returns; The Duchess, Young Victoria, Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, The Music Lovers and (as 'Paris') Les Misérables.

The Bounty filming location: Wilton House, Wilton, Wiltshire
The Bounty location: the court martial: Wilton House, Wilton, Wiltshire

The grand interior, where Admiral Hood (Laurence Olivier) presides, is the spectacular white and gold Double Cube Room of Wilton House, Wilton, two and a half miles west of Salisbury on the A30 in Wiltshire. Originally a Tudor manor house, it was remodelled in the 17th century by Inigo Jones. The huge group portrait dominating one wall is of the Earl of Pembroke (owner of Wilton) and his family, claimed to be the largest Van Dyck painting in the country.

Now a National Trust property, Wilton is a veteran of many movies, including Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon; The Madness of King George; two Jane Austen adaptations – the 2005 film of Pride And Prejudice and Ang Lee’s Sense And Sensibility; The Young Victoria and Ken Russell's The Music Lovers.

The South Seas location is the island of Mo'orea, one of the islands of Tahiti. Four sets, the landing site, the Polynesian village where Bligh meets the King, the Dutch port of Coupand in 'Timor' and the breadfruit gardens, were built here. You can reach the island by ferry from Pape'ete, the Tahitian capital, a journey of about ten miles.

The Bounty itself was built at Whangarei on the North Island of New Zealand. Here, and further south at Gisbourne, seagoing scenes and some of the Pitcairn Island scenes were filmed.

For many years after filming, the full-sized replica was used as a tourist cruise ship at Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia. for many years. The Bounty is now a tourist attraction, used for charter and excursions, based in Discovery Bay, on Lantau Island in Hong Kong.