IMDb > Billy Budd (1988) (TV)

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Eric Crozier (libretto)
E.M. Forster (libretto)
View company contact information for Billy Budd on IMDbPro.
An opera by Benjamin Britten, on a libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier, adapted from the story by Herman Melville... See more » | Add synopsis »
(5 articles)
Benjamin Britten's 'Billy Budd' Arrives at the L.A. Opera
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 21 February 2014, 11:12 AM, PST)

Opera Review: An Uplifting Billy Budd at Bam
 (From Vulture. 10 February 2014, 9:45 AM, PST)

This week's new film events
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 6 September 2013, 10:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
I loved it! See more (4 total) »


  (in credits order)
Thomas Allen ... Billy Budd
Philip Langridge ... Captain Vere
Richard Van Allan ... Claggart
Philip Guy Bromley ... Mr. Flint
Clive Bayley ... Ratcliffe
Edward Byles ... Red Whiskers
Mark Richardson ... Donald
John Connell ... Dansker
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neil Howlett ... Mr. Redburn

Directed by
Barrie Gavin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Eric Crozier  libretto
E.M. Forster  libretto
Herman Melville  novel

Music Department
David Atherton .... conductor
Benjamin Britten .... music by
Other crew
Tim Albery .... stage director: opera

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

UK:155 min
Sound Mix:

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Movie Connections:
Version of Billy Budd (1980) (TV)See more »


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I loved it!, 6 June 2012
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

Britten's music has grown on me a lot over-time, and Bill Budd is one of his finest operas alongside Peter Grimes and Albert Herring. I can understand some of the complaints I've read and heard about this ENO production, but I still loved this performance of Billy Budd and was very moved by it. True, there were times when the production values were a little too minimalistic, but overall I did like how austere and understated the production was. The costumes are effective, and while there is occasionally the stand-there-and-sing approach such as with the line of boys the staging did convince me. Musically, it is just superb. The orchestral playing has the bite and fire it should, yet there is enough sensitivity as well for the epilogue, and David Atherton's conducting is detailed and musical. The chorus pay attention to musicality and balance, their Blow Her Away underwhelms just a tad but still well sung. All the supporting players are well cast, proving to be good cast actors well as singers. The three leads are superb. Thomas Allen being too old age for Billy Budd was one of the two main complaints I came across, the other being the sets, and while he may be he more than makes up for it by poignant acting and his rich voice, to me that is what opera is all about. The late Richard Van Allan is a genuinely black-hearted Claggart, but I found Phillip Langridge's Vere to be the most remarkable performance. He perfectly conveys pain, confusion and anguish and has a clear and powerful if not always beautiful voice, leading to an outstanding rendition of the epilogue. In conclusion, I loved this production of Billy Budd though I can see why some mayn't be as enthused. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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