This is for the benefit of English-speaking region B customers. It is not a review of the film itself, but of the blu-ray disc. Simply put, this version of The Bounty is by far the best version yet. I have previously owned two different DVD versions of the film. The first, Sanctuary Entertainment from about 2002, had a badly formatted anamorphic transfer that no end of fiddling with screen ratios could fix; everyone remained tall and skinny. The second, Prism Entertainment from 2008, had the correct ratio but was in letterbox format (despite packaging claiming it to be anamorphic). Both those versions additionally had very poor quality image transfers. The first did have the advantage of having a short bonus documentary and trailer, whereas the second had no extras. There appears to have been a 2011 new DVD release which does include extras and have the correct anamorphic screen ratio, and although I've not seen it, other reviewers have complained that it still has a very poor image.
At last someone has seen fit to create a decent HD transfer of this stunning film. It appears from the image quality to have been remastered from a clean original print of the film, as the image is as crisp and sharp as the original celluloid and lensing allowed, with rich, well-balanced colours, and little artefacting. There is almost no dirt on the print, and the HD quality has brought out all the fine detail that has, until now, been missing. The picture is not perfect, but bear in mind it was originally released in 1984, shot on celluloid with traditional cameras, so any imperfections were there to start with (some focusing errors, some camera shake, film grain that is especially noticeable on night-time shots). But the great cinematography both at sea and on Tahiti has finally been done real justice. It's like discovering the film again for the first time. Beautiful stuff.
I'm not sure who is primarily responsible for this transfer, but the packaging says Copyright 2012 MGM Studios, distributed by Hollywood Classics on behalf of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and made available in France exclusively through Filmedia. So far this appears to be the only territory it has been released in, but I imagine it won't be long before it is released elsewhere. This disc is labelled as Region B (although someone has elsewhere mentioned they got it working on a region A machine, I cannot vouch for that). The audio is by default French dubbed in 5.1 surround, but can be changed to the original English audio stereo. French subtitles are optional. Oddly, when listening to the remastered French 5.1 sound, the music soundtrack has been down-pitched from the original, something I can't explain. Therefore this is not a perfect disc, having minor audio flaws (lack of English 5.1 being one of them) but the original stereo sound is decent enough. There are also no extras of any sort on this disc. The most recent DVD release apparently sported a Director's commentary in addition to the "Making of..." documentary and trailers, but none of that is here.
I give this disc 4 out of 5 because of the fact that the HD picture transfer is the best print of this spectacular film I've ever seen. Marks lost for limited audio options and lack of bonus material. Well worth the purchase, but now this HD print is out there, I expect at some point to see a region free disc with all the extras and more audio options.