H.M.S. Avenger is headed into battle against the French fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and the dark shadow of two recent mutinies in the English fleet concern Captain Vere. He relies on his cruel and often sadistic Master-at-Arms John Claggert to maintain what he believes to be tenuous order and discipline aboard the ship. When a new seaman, Billy Budd, is pressed into service from a passing merchantman, his innocent, happy-go-lucky attitude quickly endears him to both his messmates as well as the ship's officers. However, his charismatic naivete seems to bother Claggert, whose perverse depravity makes him resent Billy's good-natured purity, especially after the teenager's promotion to fore-top captain. The mean-spirited Claggert unfairly plots to put him on report and ultimately perjures himself when he accuses Billy of conspiring to mutiny.
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MUTINY...the word the navy dreaded most!
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Did You Know?
Robert Ryan and John Neville became close friends during the shoot. In 1967, as Artistic Director of the Nottingham Playhouse, Neville was able to fulfill Ryan's ambition to play "Long Day's Journey Into Night", and "Othello" on stage. See more
After the trial, the captain speaks with Budd below decks. In some shots Billy's head cast a long shadow on his left shoulder. In others, a short one. Then his head's shadow is on his right shoulder. See more
William O'Daniel, maintopman
[After Jenkons' burial at sea
Well, that's the end of Enoch Jenkins. Over the side he goes and his mates soon forget him.
Alan Payne, maintopman
They'll not forget him so soon, I'm thinking.
The Dansker, sailmaker
Ah, whatever happened to Jenkins, he ain't worried now. He got a hundred fathoms between him and the troubles of his life.
I'd rather be buried at sea than on the shore when I come to die. Will you stand by the plank, mates, so I can shake a friendly hand before I sink?
[After a pause, they all laugh
As the cast is listed onscreen, the actors are heard stating their characters' names and ranks. See more
Version of Billy Budd