H.M.S. Avenger is headed into battle against the French fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and the dark shadow of two recent mutinies in the English fleet concern Captain Vere. He relies on his cruel and often sadistic Master-at-Arms John Claggert to maintain what he believes to be tenuous order and discipline aboard the ship. When a new seaman, Billy Budd, is pressed into service from a passing merchantman, his innocent, happy-go-lucky attitude quickly endears him to both his messmates as well as the ship's officers. However, his charismatic naivete seems to bother Claggert, whose perverse depravity makes him resent Billy's good-natured purity, especially after the teenager's promotion to fore-top captain. The mean-spirited Claggert unfairly plots to put him on report and ultimately perjures himself when he accuses Billy of conspiring to mutiny. Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Men!.. The Mutiny!...The Might!... The Magnitude Of Herman Melville's Classic Adventure of the High Seas!
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Did You Know?
When the film opened in Britain in November, 1962, there was no mention of DeWitt Bodeen in the screenplay credits or the film's advertising; the screenplay was credited to Peter Ustinov and Robert Rossen. However, whenever the film has been shown on British television (it has been televised on only a handful of occasions in the UK), the credits have instead named Bodeen as Ustinov's only collaborator and made no mention of Rossen. See more
Philip Seymour, 1st Lieutenant
They're talking about reform in the House of Commons.
Captain Nathaniel, Rights of Man
You know what that means - it means their reforms are nearly a century overdue.
As the actors' names appear on the screen, the character each plays introduces himself See more
Remade as Billy Budd