Bronislau Kaper was in his 26th year at MGM when he inherited the assignment to score Lewis Milestone's Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) from Miklós Rózsa, who -- by his own account in his autobiography, A Double Life -- having read the script and learned of the cast members involved, wanted nothing to do with the movie; Rózsa instead went on to write one of his finest epic scores, for El Cid, while Kaper didn't do badly either, turning in a lush and flavorful and surprisingly substantial two-hours-plus of music for the nearly three-hour movie. The film itself was a disaster, a train wreck of a project that ran through two directors (Carol Reed had first occupied the chair that Milestone ultimately filled) and saw Marlon Brando impart yet another self-inflicted wound to his reputation with his bizarre performance as Fletcher Christian; and burned up millions of dollars of the studio's budget that was never to be recouped at the box office (or anywhere else). Ironically, Kaper was just about the only person associated with the project (other than perhaps actor Richard Harris) who was to get any benefit out of his work on it. For the Polish-born composer, who had worked diligently if somewhat thanklessly at the studio for a quarter of a century, this was his opportunity to work on a score with the rare luxury of time; he had over a year. The result was his career-defining instrumental creation; he'd written songs before, and individual themes (even one for the 1935 MGM version of the same story), but this was his opportunity to compose orchestral music on a scale that most musicians seldom worked in anymore and had few prospects of ever getting heard. The music ended up being -- along with Robert Surtees' cinematography -- just about the best-liked element of the movie, getting praise from critics who found little else to like. And in keeping with the outsized nature of the project, the CD edition from Film Score Monthly is a wonder, a rich, lush account of the score in full, plus two additional CDs of score material that was either modified in the final edit of the movie or altered in some significant way for the soundtrack LP release (which, for reasons of financial obligations and union rules, almost always utilized smaller-scale re-recordings of the material in the movies). The music is a bit on the bombastic side, in keeping with the aim of the producers and the expectations of audiences, but within that framework, Kaper incorporates some surprisingly subtle and clever elements, not the least of which is the sly use of "Rule Britannia" as well as components of several sea shanties. The quality of the transfer and mastering is superb, outclassing any prior issue of this material, and the annotation is thorough enough to keep one busy for several days reading as well as listening. Released as a limited-edition pressing of only 3,000 pieces.