On the H.M.S. Defiant, during the French Revolutionary Wars, fair Captain Crawford is locked in a battle of wills against his cruel second-in-command Lt. Scott-Paget whose heavy-handed command style pushes the crew to mutiny.
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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
In the last scene, Alec Guinness orders all larboard (left side) guns to bear on the fire ship. In the next shot, the starboard (right side) cannon fire. Ironically, the term "larboard" was changed by the navy into the current term "port" precisely because it was too easy to mistake it for starboard. See more »
[Scott-Padget turns back to the Captain as he begins to exit]
You may have the power of life and death over every man about this ship, sir, but I warn you: if we come through this voyage safely...
[Crawford looks up from his work]
To have followed Admiralty instructions may not be quite be enough.
[Crawford smacks his desk, jumps up and approaches Scott-Padget]
I will say this to you only once, sir: I will not be bullied or threatened and I intend to be obeyed! Your friends in London mean...
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Opening credits prologue: SPITHEAD, ENGLAND 1797 See more »
This movie is an excellent exploration of the effect that a divided command structure has on the workings of a ship. The characters are well cast and fully developed. We are taken into the workings of the ship and see more idyllic view of life in the wooden world that we saw in the Gregory Peck, Hornblower.
The plot line is good and for people like me who love wooden ships, the scenes of the ships and the naval battles are supurb. If one likes Hornblower or Maturin this is a movie you need to own. The transfer to DVD came out well (I also owned this one on a beta tape) and it is one of those core movies for the history buff.
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