- Original title
- Running time
- 112 min.
- United Kingdom
Peter Ustinov, DeWitt Bodeen, Robert Rossen, Louis O. Coxe, Robert H. Chapman (Novel: Herman Melville)
Robert Krasker (B&W)
Allied Artists / Anglo Allied
Adventure. Drama | Sea Adventures. Courtroom Drama. Army. 18th Century. Napoleonic Wars
- Movie Groups
Herman Melville Adaptations
- Synopsis / Plot
- 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.
: Oscar: Nominated to Best Supporting Actor (Terence Stamp)
: National Board of Review: Top 10 Best Films
: BAFTA Awards: 5 Nominations including to Best Film
: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director
: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Drama Screenplay
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