IMDb > Billy Budd (1962)
Billy Budd
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Billy Budd (1962) More at IMDbPro »

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Billy Budd -- Trailer for this film based on the novel by Herman Melville

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   2,619 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Louis O. Coxe (based upon the play: "Billy Budd") and
Robert H. Chapman (based upon the play: "Billy Budd") ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Billy Budd on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 November 1962 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Men!.. The Mutiny!...The Might!... The Magnitude Of Herman Melville's Classic Adventure of the High Seas! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(27 articles)
Cinema Retro Covers David McCallum At "The Great Escape" 50th Anniversary Screening, Omaha
 (From CinemaRetro. 7 December 2013, 2:54 PM, PST)

Paul Rogers obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 15 October 2013, 3:05 AM, PDT)

Paul Rogers obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 15 October 2013, 3:05 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A forgotten masterpiece See more (48 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Ryan ... John Claggart - Master of Arms

Peter Ustinov ... Edwin Fairfax Vere - Post Captain Royal Navy

Melvyn Douglas ... The Dansker - Sailmaker
Paul Rogers ... Philip Seymour - First Lieutenant

John Neville ... Julian Radcliffe - Second Lieutenant

David McCallum ... Steven Wyatt - Gunnery Officer
Ronald Lewis ... Enoch Jenkins - Maintopman
Lee Montague ... Squeak - Assistant to Mr. Claggart
Thomas Heathcote ... Alan Payne - Maintopman

Ray McAnally ... William O'Daniel - Maintopman (as Ray McAnnally)

Robert Brown ... Arnold Talbot - Maintopman

John Meillon ... 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
Barry Keegan ... Charles Mathews - Merchant Seaman, Rights of Man

Terence Stamp ... Billy Budd - Merchant Seaman, Rights of Man
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Hewer ... Dubbing
George Leech ... Marine (uncredited)
Ian Whittaker ... Young Rating (uncredited)

Directed by
Peter Ustinov 
 
Writing credits
Louis O. Coxe (based upon the play: "Billy Budd") and
Robert H. Chapman (based upon the play: "Billy Budd")

Herman Melville (from the novel: "Billy Budd Foretopman")

Peter Ustinov (screenplay) and
DeWitt Bodeen (screenplay) (as Dewitt Bodeen)

Robert Rossen  screenplay (uncredited)

Produced by
A. Ronald Lubin .... executive producer
Peter Ustinov .... producer
 
Original Music by
Antony Hopkins (music composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Krasker (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Harris (film editor)
 
Casting by
Robert Lennard (casting director) (as Robert S. Lennard)
 
Production Design by
Donald M. Ashton  (as Don Ashton)
 
Art Direction by
Peter Murton 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Mendleson 
 
Makeup Department
Bob Lawrance .... makeup (as Bob Lawrence)
Henry Montsash .... hairdresser (as Harry Montsash)
Patricia McDermott .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Albert Jaeger .... production supervisor
Victor Peck .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Birkett .... assistant director
Claude Watson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Stan Gale .... construction manager (uncredited)
F. Pratt .... chargehand prop (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Charles Crafford .... sound editor
Charles Poulton .... sound recordist
Len Shilton .... sound recordist
Tom Buchanan .... boom operator (uncredited)
Gordon Hooton .... sound camera operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
George Blackwell .... special effects (uncredited)
Fred Heather .... special effects (uncredited)
Garth Inns .... special effects (uncredited)
Curly Nelhams .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Ken Buckle .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Powell .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John Harris .... camera operator (as John S. Harris)
Bernard Ford .... focus puller (uncredited)
George Higgins .... still photographer (uncredited)
Kelvin Pike .... focus puller (uncredited)
Simon Ransley .... clapper loader (uncredited)
Wally Thompson .... chargehand electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ron Beck .... wardrobe
Laura Nightingale .... wardrobe
 
Music Department
Antony Hopkins .... music conducted by
 
Transportation Department
Eddie Frewin .... unit driver (uncredited)
 
Other crew
June Faithfull .... continuity
Arthur Ferriman .... production associate (as Arthur S. Ferriman)
A.J. Villiers .... technical adviser (as Capt. Alan Villiers)
D. Harrien .... nautical rigger (uncredited)
Joan Parcell .... production secretary (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Finland:S (new rating: 1989) | Finland:K-3 (new rating: 2001) | France:U | Spain:7 | UK:U | USA:Approved | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Finnish censorship visa # 66146.See more »
Quotes:
Captain Vere:In the question of Jenkins, Budd was telling the truth.
Lieutenant Seymour:I know, sir. What are you going to do about Claggart?
Captain Vere:What can I do but watch and wait? No court martial would do more than strip him of his rank for such misconduct. And then what? As a rating, he'd be slaughtered by the other men. And who would replace him? And would the French refrain from attacking us while we settled our petty differences? No, I must give him his head until some act puts him squarely counter to the law and then let the law consume him. What would you do if you were captain of this ship?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Billy Budd (1980) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
34 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
A forgotten masterpiece, 29 August 1999
Author: Daniel R. Baker from United States

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 ****.

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Something about sailing ship captains mheckman-1
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