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      Billy Budd

      Released Nov 12, 1962 2h 3m Drama List
      92% Tomatometer 12 Reviews 87% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings In this film based on the Herman Melville novel, handsome, young Billy Budd (Terence Stamp) joins the British navy during wartime, where his skill quickly makes him a trusted crew member. However, sinister master-at-arms Claggart (Robert Ryan), secretly jealous of Billy, accuses him of treason. Billy strikes Claggart in anger, causing him to fall and die. Capt. Vere (Peter Ustinov) feels pity for Billy but believes that maritime law requires that Billy be executed for killing an officer. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Rent Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (12) Critics Reviews
      Pauline Kael Film Quarterly A clean, honest work of intelligence and craftsmanship. Sep 11, 2023 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It's a story better suited for the book than the screen. Rated: B+ Jul 4, 2021 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy The script thoughtfully examines the dangers of placing the letter of the law over true justice. Rated: 3/4 Jun 16, 2021 Full Review Clyde Gilmour Maclean's Magazine In the title role is the year's most promising newcomer: 23-year old Terence Stamp, as a benevolent lad whose innocence and simplicity contain the seeds of his own destruction. Oct 11, 2019 Full Review Dwight MacDonald Esquire Magazine The problem with well-worn historical themes like the eighteenth-century British navy is how to clean the past of the clichés that now barnacle it... Here we have just the usual costume stuff. Jul 11, 2019 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Terence Stamp received his only Oscar nomination (supporting category)for playing the titular role, the naive and charismatic youth, in Peter Ustinov's version of Melville's classic. Rated: B Mar 14, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (8) audience reviews
      j f Robert Ryan is good. But middy. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 08/10/23 Full Review Audience Member Terrific production, direction, script, acting... nothing wrong with this film. Robert Ryan offers up possibly his most menacing performance. My only niggle is with the original story, of how Vere successfully argues that military law in wartime supersedes justice. There is no way to make that argument convincing. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/21/23 Full Review jerry p A triumph in drama and substance. Dialogue is thoughtful and profound. The production about naval life on the seas is impeccably depicted. Ustinov is worth the price of admission alone. Musical score hits no off key notes. I actually saw this movie in the theatre as a child and was shocked to see how justice was carried out. Heroes weren't treated that way in the movies back then. It made quite the impression. I've not seen the movie since...nearly sixty years ago...until now. It not only lived up to my expectations; it exceeded them. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review steve d A strong adaptation the rests on the capable shoulders of Terence Stamp. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review s r Despite Ryan's horrible character and that I thought someone else would have been better for this role, this was a very thought provoking film about the rule of law vs justice. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Frances H A truly excellent film in every way with great cast, script , direction and marvelous acting. One of the best films on a moral dilemma ever made. What irony that the ship from which Billy is impressed is called The Rights of Man! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/20 Full Review Read all reviews
      Billy Budd

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis In this film based on the Herman Melville novel, handsome, young Billy Budd (Terence Stamp) joins the British navy during wartime, where his skill quickly makes him a trusted crew member. However, sinister master-at-arms Claggart (Robert Ryan), secretly jealous of Billy, accuses him of treason. Billy strikes Claggart in anger, causing him to fall and die. Capt. Vere (Peter Ustinov) feels pity for Billy but believes that maritime law requires that Billy be executed for killing an officer.
      Director
      Peter Ustinov
      Producer
      Peter Ustinov
      Screenwriter
      Peter Ustinov, DeWitt Bodeen
      Production Co
      Allied Artists
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Nov 12, 1962, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 22, 2017
      Runtime
      2h 3m
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