Damn the Defiant! (1962)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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 … More

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


as Capt. Crawford

as Lt. Scott-Padget

as Evans

as Surgeon Goss

as Adm. Jackson

as Dawlish

as Wagstaffe

as Senior Midshipman Ki...

as Wheatley

as Lt. Ponsonby

as Sgt. Kneebone

as Mrs. Crawford

as Harvey Crawford

as Hayes

as Flag Lieutenant

as Young Wife

as Col. Giraud

as Flag Captain

as Tavern Leader

as Grimshaw

as Pardoe

as "Silly Billy" Whitin...
Show More Cast

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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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