Up 21,054 this week

Damn the Defiant! (1962)
"H.M.S. Defiant" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, History  |  15 April 1962 (UK)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,655 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 8 critic

Defiant's crew is part of a fleet-wide movement to present a petition of grievances to the Admiralty. Violence must be no part of it. The continual sadism of Defiant's first officer makes ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Celebrate IMDb's 25th Anniversary with Photos We Love

IMDb turns a classy 25 on October 17! To celebrate, we put together a gallery of some of our favorite movie, TV, and event photos from the last 25 years.

See the Photos We Love

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 02 Feb 2012
a list of 412 titles
created 31 Mar 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 19 May 2013
a list of 2000 titles
created 24 Aug 2013
list image
a list of 53 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Damn the Defiant! (1962)

Damn the Defiant! (1962) on IMDb 7.1/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Damn the Defiant!.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

During the Napoleonic wars, a British naval captain has adventures in Central American waters.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty
Dunkirk (1958)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two stories in one - an easygoing British Corporal in France finds himself responsible for the lives of his men when their officer is killed. He has to get them back to Britain somehow. ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Norman
Stars: John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Robert Urquhart
Malta Story (1953)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1942 Britain was clinging to the island of Malta since it was critical to keeping Allied supply lines open. The Axis also wanted it for their own supply lines. Plenty of realistic ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst
Stars: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Major Jock Sinclair has been in this Highland regiment since he joined as a boy piper. During the Second World War, as Second-in-Command, he was made acting Commanding Officer. Now the ... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, John Mills, Susannah York
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two British agents are murdered by a mysterious Neonazi organization in West Berlin. The British Secret Service sends agent Quiller to investigate. Soon Quiller is confronted with Neonazi ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: George Segal, Alec Guinness, Max von Sydow
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A somewhat vulgar but dedicated painter searches for the perfect realization of his artistic vision, much to the chagrin of others.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Alec Guinness, Kay Walsh, Renee Houston
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of airman Douglas Bader who overcame the loss of both legs in a 1931 flying accident to become a successful fighter pilot and wing leader during World War II.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook
Adventure | War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A company of Marines races against the clock to find a Japanese rocket base.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Richard Widmark, Jack Palance, Reginald Gardiner
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The World War II story of the British Navy's effort to defeat Nazi Germany's most powerful warship.

Director: Lewis Gilbert
Stars: Kenneth More, Dana Wynter, Carl Möhner
All at Sea (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A seasick sea captain commands an amusement pier despite local opposition.

Director: Charles Frend
Stars: Alec Guinness, Irene Browne, Maurice Denham
The Prisoner (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A cardinal is arrested for treason against the state. As a prince of his church, and a popular hero of this people, for his resistance against the Nazis during the war and afterward his ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Glenville
Stars: Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Wilfrid Lawson


Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Crawford
Lieut. Scott-Padget
Maurice Denham ...
Mr. Goss (Ship's Surgeon)
Senior Midshipman Kilpatrick
Richard Carpenter ...
Lieut. Ponsonby
Peter Gill ...
Lieut. D'Arblay
David Robinson ...
Harvey Crawford
Robin Stewart ...
Ray Brooks ...
Peter Greenspan ...
Victor Maddern ...
Bryan Pringle ...
Sgt. Kneebone


Defiant's crew is part of a fleet-wide movement to present a petition of grievances to the Admiralty. Violence must be no part of it. The continual sadism of Defiant's first officer makes this difficult, and when the captain is disabled, the chance for violence increases. Written by Cleo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They were shipmates at war... with each other. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 April 1962 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Damn the Defiant!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The ship in Frank Tilsley's novel, on which this movie is based, is called the "Regenerate" rather than the "Defiant." See more »


The fire ship's topsails are set for most of the climax, but when the Defiant sinks it, all its sails are furled. See more »


Lieut. Scott-Padget: Ship's company ready to witness punishment, sir.
See more »


Featured in War of 1812 (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"A Future Drake or Hawkins, hmmmmm?"
16 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing H.M.S. Defiant in the theater when it came out back in 1962. It's too bad my VHS copy is formatted. One really needs the wide screen to appreciate the vast sweep of this wonderful sea adventure.

The Defiant sets sail from the naval harbor at Spithead just before the ships of the Channel Fleet are ready to start an organized mutiny. So with no contact between them and the ships at Spithead or in the Mediterranean, the men of the Defiant have to work out their own course of action. That action is the basis for what happens.

They've got an unwitting ally in the ship's executive officer, Scott- Padget played by Dirk Bogarde. A future Drake or Hawkins with influence and a taste for sadism. He looks to usurp the authority of Captain Crawford who is played by Alec Guinness. The conflict between them plays into the hands of the mutineers.

In that other famous story of the sea, Mutiny on the Bounty, Fletcher Christian points out to Captain Bligh that the men drafted into the Royal Navy from the press gangs aren't king and country volunteers. Neither are these people in the foc'sle of the Defiant.

Bogarde plays against type and does it well. He's usually not a villain in film although he had essayed villainous roles before in his career. But Guinness is a wonder. His Captain Crawford, calm, detached, and inspiring in his own way in his patriotism was a role Alec Guinness could be proud of. Totally different than the characters he played in those Ealing studio comedies. This falls more in line with Colonel Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai or Colonel Sinclair in Tunes of Glory without the bad character features the other two had.

Great Britain eventually stopped using press gangs, but at the time it was the way the Royal Navy got a crew together. In fact later on during the Napoleonic Wars, the British took to stopping American ships and impressing members of those crews in the Royal Navy. It was one of the causes of the War of 1812.

Two other performances in H.M.S. Defiant are worthy of note. Anthony Quayle as the mutiny leader on the Defiant and Tom Bell one of the mutineers whose rashness nearly blows it all for the seamen and their cause.

Hovering over all of this is the French and to me the highlight of the film is Alec Guinness reminding the men of their duty to prevent a French invasion of their island home. It's a superb piece of drama.

A little Mutiny on the Bounty, a little Horatio Hornblower go into the plot of H.M.S. Defiant. It's a good mix with a superb group of players serving it up for the audience.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who plays the seaman who gets flogged? donwc1996
HMS Defiant vs Master and Commander chainsice
What is strategic significance of a fire ship? roscoewrite
Discuss Damn the Defiant! (1962) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: