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Billy Budd (1962)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  12 November 1962 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,698 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.

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(based upon the play: "Billy Budd"), (based upon the play: "Billy Budd"), 4 more credits »
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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

Taglines:

The Men!.. The Mutiny!...The Might!... 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:

Die Verdammten der Meere  »

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

William O'Daniel, maintopman: [After Jenkons' burial at sea] Well, that's the end of Enoch Jenkins. Over the side he goes and his mates soon forget him.
Alan Payne, maintopman: They'll not forget him so soon, I'm thinking.
The Dansker, sailmaker: Ah, whatever happened to Jenkins, he ain't worried now. He got a hundred fathoms between him and the troubles of his life.
Billy Budd: I'd rather be buried at sea than on the shore when I come to die. Will you stand by the plank, mates, so I can shake a friendly hand before I sink?
[After a pause, they all laugh]
Billy Budd: .
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Version of Hora once: Billy Budd (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

A Half Forgotten Classic the Deals with Good an Evil
17 July 2002 | by (Las Vegas, NV) – See all my reviews

This film which was made at the now legendary, Allied Artists Studios (cough cough) is nothing short of a Masterpiece. Filmed totally on board a reconstructed Man O'War, it features Oscar level performances by Peter Ustinov, Terrance Stamp, Melvin Douglas and the performance of a lifetime by Robert Ryan (as Klaggart, the very human manifestation of evil). If one accepts this movie as a biblical allegory, then it could not end any other way. This is not your typical Hollywood fare, it is filled with intelligent performances, and good direction under difficult conditions. And it's in glorious black and white.


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