Damn the Defiant! (1962) - Rotten Tomatoes

Damn the Defiant! (1962)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Damn the Defiant! is an 18th-century seafaring drama from director Lewis Gilbert. Alec Guinness plays the stern but compassionate captain of a British warship, engaged in the Napoleonic wars. Guinness is popular with his men, which is more than can be said for his new second-in-command Dirk Bogarde. When Guinness tries to modify Bogarde's sadistic adherence to discipline, Bogarde responds by mistreating Guinness' cabin-boy son, knowing that the captain cannot intervene under the edicts of British maritime law. During an incipient mutiny, Bogarde is accidently killed, and Guinness knows that the crewmen responsible must hang once they reach shore. But after these same men perform courageously in battle, Guinness suffers a crisis of conscience: How can he condemn these fearlessly patriotic men to death, as he knows he must? Based on the novel Mutiny by Frank Tilsley. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Nigel Kneale, Edmund H. North
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 10, 2000
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Alec Guinness
as Capt. Crawford
Dirk Bogarde
as Lt. Scott-Padget
Tom Bell
as Evans
Maurice Denham
as Surgeon Goss
Walter Fitzgerald
as Adm. Jackson
Murray Melvin
as Wagstaffe
Nigel Stock
as Senior Midshipman Ki...
Johnny Briggs
as Wheatley
Richard Carpenter
as Lt. Ponsonby
Bryan Pringle
as Sgt. Kneebone
Joy Shelton
as Mrs. Crawford
David Robinson
as Harvey Crawford
Michael Coles
as Flag Lieutenant
Ann Lynn
as Young Wife
Andre Maranne
as Col. Giraud
Russell Napier
as Flag Captain
Anthony Oliver
as Tavern Leader
Brian Phelan
as Grimshaw
Toke Townley
as "Silly Billy" Whitin...
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News & Interviews for Damn the Defiant!

Critic Reviews for Damn the Defiant!

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Alec Guinness gives a dignified performance as the humanitarian captain.

Full Review… | March 22, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

colorful period piece with another strong performance from Alec Guinness.

November 16, 2007
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

August 8, 2005

Audience Reviews for Damn the Defiant!


Okay nautical drama blessed with two acting greats in Guinness and Bogarde. Beautiful photgraphy and attention to detail help but it loses it way towards the end and is never as rousing as it wants to be. Dirk is one sadistic and malevolent jerk.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This rousing sea-faring adventure set during the Napoleonic war stars Alec Guiness as a fair-minded sea captain vying for control over his ship with coldly sadistic first mate Dirk Bogarde. The interplay and politicking between the two is the real reason to watch this film; I found myself wishing they'd get the battle sequences over with so I could get back to the more interesting political machinations. Anthony Quayle provides excellent support below decks as a revolutionary-minded crewman and it slots in nicely with the historical background of the story. If you liked Master and Commander, check this out. It's better.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Alec Guiness was born to be a captain...great seafaring romp.

Barry Lappin

Super Reviewer

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