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Billy Budd (1962)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,476 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 14 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.

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Title: Billy Budd (1962)

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

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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
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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

Plot Keywords:

ship | captain | flogging | mutiny | french | See more »

Taglines:

The Men!.. The Mutiny!...The Might!... The Magnitude Of Herman Melville's Classic Adventure of the High Seas! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 November 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Budd  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Herman Melville had been writing poetry for 30 years when he returned to fiction with "Billy Budd" in late 1888. Still unfinished when he died in 1891, it was forgotten. Melville's biographer accidentally stumbled upon it when going through a trunk of the writer's papers in his granddaughter's New Jersey home in 1919. Melville's widow worked to help complete it, and it was finally published in 1924. Over the years other unsatisfactory versions were published, but it wasn't until Melville's original notes were found that the definitive version was ultimately published in 1962. Ironically Peter Ustinov's film version was released the same year. See more »

Quotes

Master At Arms Claggert: The sea is calm you said. Peaceful. Calm above, but below a world of gliding monsters preying on their fellows. Murderers, all of them. Only the strongest teeth survive. And who's to tell me it's any different here on board, or yonder on dry land?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in The Sopranos: Eloise (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Based on the Milville classic, Billy Bud delivers on every level.
22 December 1998 | by (Brea, Ca. USA) – See all my reviews

Set in 1797, Billy Budd is the heart wrenching story of a young seaman who faces death after murdering a sadistic master-of-arms. You really feel for the main character played , very effectively, by Terence Stamp. Director Peter Ustinov proves that he is an excellent director along with being one of our finest actors. Robert Ryan and Melvyn Douglas, as always, provide excellent co-starring roles. Billy Budd will do more than just entertain you. It will make you think about what you might have done aboard this Britsh ship faced with the same difficult choices.


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