MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,704 this week

Billy Budd (1962)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  12 November 1962 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,700 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 16 critic

Billy is an innocent, naive seaman in the British Navy in 1797. When the ship's sadistic master-at-arms is murdered, Billy is accused and tried.

Director:

Writers:

(based upon the play: "Billy Budd"), (based upon the play: "Billy Budd"), 4 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 11 Oct 2010
 
a list of 39 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 09 Mar 2014
 
a list of 44 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 22 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Billy Budd" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Billy Budd (1962)

Billy Budd (1962) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Billy Budd.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Term of Trial (1962)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Graham Weir is an alcoholic schoolteacher whose criminal record for refusing to fight during the Second World War has prevented him from progressing further in his teaching career. He is ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Simone Signoret, Sarah Miles
Blue (1968)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Mexican bandit, part of a gang led by his father, goes on a raid into the U.S. He falls for a beautiful woman and decides to leave his life of crime and settle down with her. Eventually ... See full summary »

Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: Terence Stamp, Joanna Pettet, Karl Malden
The Collector (1965)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man kidnaps a woman and holds her hostage just for the pleasure of having her there.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Terence Stamp, Samantha Eggar, Mona Washbourne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Nelo Risi
Stars: Terence Stamp, Jean-Claude Brialy, Florinda Bolkan
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A spy spoof in the 60s tradition featuring the comic book heroine Modesty Blaise set in the Italian Mediterranean.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde
Certificate: GP Sci-Fi | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man who has been in a coma since infancy is awakened.

Director: Alan Cooke
Stars: Terence Stamp, Robert Vaughn, Nigel Davenport
Poor Cow (1967)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman lives a life filled with bad choices. She marries and has a child with an abusive thief at a young age who quickly ends up in prison. Left alone she takes up with his mate (... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Terence Stamp, Carol White, John Bindon
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Yes it's the Romeo & Juliet story updated to during the cold war and moved to a mittel european country ruled by writer/director/star Peter Ustinov. The General arranges for the children of... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Sandra Dee, John Gavin
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Private Angelo has been conscripted into the Italian Army in WWII. The trouble is that Private Angelo doesn't like people shooting at him so he tries all sorts of tricks to avoid being ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Anderson, Peter Ustinov
Stars: Godfrey Tearle, María Denis, Peter Ustinov
Secret Flight (1946)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wartime tale of a group of British scientists efforts to develop the first radar system. They did it just in time for it to be used in the Battle of Britain against the might of the Nazi ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Ralph Richardson, Raymond Huntley, John Laurie
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »

Director: Peter Ustinov
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Peter Ustinov
Striptease (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A disillusioned and depressed film director is forced to confront his lack of humanity through his involvement in the death of a young actress and the suicide of her husband.

Director: Germán Lorente
Stars: Terence Stamp, Corinne Cléry, Pilar Velázquez
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Claggart - Master of Arms
...
Edwin Fairfax Vere - Post Captain Royal Navy
...
The Dansker - Sailmaker
Paul Rogers ...
Philip Seymour - First Lieutenant
...
Julian Radcliffe - Second Lieutenant
...
Steven Wyatt - Gunnery Officer
Ronald Lewis ...
Enoch Jenkins - Maintopman
Lee Montague ...
Squeak - Assistant to Mr. Claggart
Thomas Heathcote ...
Alan Payne - Maintopman
...
William O'Daniel - Maintopman (as Ray McAnnally)
...
Arnold Talbot - Maintopman
...
Neil Kincaid - Maintopman
Cyril Luckham ...
Alfred Hallam - Captain of Marines
Niall MacGinnis ...
Nathaniel Graveling - Ship's Master, Rights of Man (as Niall McGinnis)
Victor Brooks ...
Amos Leonard - First Mate, Rights of Man
Edit

Storyline

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 (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MUTINY...the word the navy dreaded most! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Verdammten der Meere  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Terence Stamp's film debut. See more »

Quotes

Captain Vere: I am just a man, not fit to do the work of God... or the Devil.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the actors' names appear on the screen, the character each plays introduces himself See more »

Connections

Version of Billy Budd (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A forgotten masterpiece
29 August 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Billy Budd, a merchant sailor dragooned into service aboard a British warship, loves everyone around him and is loved by everyone around him. Everyone, that is, except the ship's master-at-arms, John Claggart, who sees human affection as a threat to him and his ability to do his duty as a maker of war. Billy seems to have only one flaw; he cannot speak coherently when in the grip of strong emotion, and Claggart mercilessly exploits this weakness with tragic results.

I've not read Melville's original story "Billy Budd, Foretopman" and cannot say how it compares with the great novelist's work. But this movie stands in its own right as one of the hardest-hitting dramas of its time. The conflict between law and justice, created and demanded by the circumstances of naval service in the age of sail, was never so well explored. Instead of taking the easy path of caricaturing all the ship's officers as brutal tyrants, director Peter Ustinov portrays them as men trapped into acting against their own desires. This helps lift BILLY BUDD head and shoulders above such solid but pedestrian shipboard historical dramas as DAMN THE DEFIANT! Lastly, BILLY BUDD shows that forgiveness can sometimes be harder to bear than scorn or hatred.

Outstanding performances are the order of the day. Terence Stamp's acting as Billy Budd seems natural, unforced, and human despite the nearly incredible innocence and naivete of his character. Robert Ryan is coldly malicious and calculating as the master-at-arms. Ustinov gives another great performance in a career of great performances as the conscience-tortured Captain Vere, sparking great chemistry with his fellow officers played by David McCallum and John Neville.

Many a movie since my childhood has brought a tear to my eye, but I have not *sobbed* at a movie in the past fifteen years, except once: at the end of BILLY BUDD. It is moving, passionate and poignant. Don't miss it.

Rating: **** out of ****.


34 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Surprised at how good this movie is kamas716
Natural homosexual desire transformed into perverted sadism dharnold-1
The movie is so much better than the book! yyss6688
Billy Budd on DVD waitoa
watching The Sopranos Series 4, episode 11 or 12 dtatroom
What's Up With The 'Trivia' Section? doccarbon
Discuss Billy Budd (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?