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.
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 »
During World War II, two Americans are forced to bail out and parachute into a small German town. Herr Frick, being equal parts patriotic and lonely, keeps them as prisoners of war in his ... See full summary »
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 »
In 1875 London, young Wheeler (who lives by scavenging) finds a cameo of Queen Victoria which he thinks so beautiful he risks his life to save it. Possessed of a desire to see the Queen, he... See full summary »
Monsieur Feydeau has writer's block, and he needs a new play. But he takes an opportunity to observe the upper class of 1900 Paris - Monsieur Boniface with a domineering wife, and the ... See full summary »
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
Like many British actors of their generation, Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde and Anthony Quayle were veterans of World War II and served with distinction. However, the film reverses their ranks. Major Bogarde and Major Quayle both outranked Sublieutenant Guinness in reality. See more »
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 »
I had a chance to catch this well-known film for the first time on the "Action" cable channel and was very impressed all around - script, acting, direction, authenticity, pacing, the whole nine yards. This is a really engrossing story rooted in history with bold characters and lots of naval action; just a rip-snorting good adventure story of a very high calabre. The scenes of 180th century naval action are some of the most impressive I have seen (a letterbox release would be of great benefit in this regard). Guinness is up to his usual high standard, abetted by fine work from Bogarde and Quayle. The tension of the dramatic line never lets up until the heroic conclusion. The movie inspired to do some reading into the story of the Spithead Mutiny, on which the movie is based. Highly recommended.
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