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HMS Defiant [DVD] [2002]

4.4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

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(Mar 18, 2002)
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Product details

  • Actors: Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde, Anthony Quayle, Tom Bell, Maurice Denham
  • Directors: Lewis Gilbert
  • Writers: Edmund H. North, Frank Tilsley, Nigel Kneale
  • Producers: Douglas Peirce, John Brabourne
  • Format: PAL, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Mar. 2002
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005U0JV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,505 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

Alec Guinness must battle a mutinous crew and Napoleon's fleet in the rousing, historical adventureDAMN THE DEFIANT! As commander of the British warship H.M.S. Defiant, the humane Crawford (Guinness) strives to maintain order throughout the ship against the ceaseless brutality of sadistic first mate Scott-Padget (Dirk Bogarde). After Crawford is injured in a fiery battle with a French treasure ship, angry seaman Vizard (Anthony Quayle) leads the crew to mutiny when Scott-Padget takes over. Nowwith Vizard in command, Crawford persuades him to join the British fleet to help fight against France's planned invasion of England in hopes for a mutiny pardon. But when a vengeful sailor murders Scott-Padget, the Defiant crew must decide between saving their country or their own lives.

From Amazon.co.uk

Set in 1797 at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars, HMS Defiant is an enthralling British naval drama made to capitalise upon MGM's epic remake of Mutiny on the Bounty, also released in 1962. Based on the novel Mutiny by Frank Tilsey and starring Alex Guinness as a fair-minded captain locked in psychological conflict with Dirk Bogarde, his manipulative, coldly malicious first officer, the parallels with the famous true story are clear. However there were many naval mutinies at this period and this large-scale saga, which includes some spectacularly staged widescreen naval battles, offers a realistic depiction of life in the British navy at the time--from the press gangs and floggings, to the appalling food and living conditions.

Director Lewis Gilbert--who previously helmed Sink the Bismarck! (1960)--strikes a good balance between the personal drama and sweeping maritime adventure. Guinness successfully varies his firm-but-fair officer from The Bridge on the River Kwai, Bogarde is chillingly hateful and Anthony Quayle gives strong support. ITV's recent Hornblower cumulatively offers a more detailed portrait of the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars, though the TV series cannot match the visual scale of this big-screen production.

On the DVD: HMS Defiant is presented anamorphically enhanced at 2.35:1, though a little of the original CinemaScope frame is still cropped at the sides. The image is generally very good, though a handful of scenes near the end show considerable print damage and there is an inconstancy of colour grading between some shots. Grain is variable, but not generally a problem, though some unattractive "ringing" from edge enhancement is noticeable, particularly around Alex Guinness when he stands against a bright sky. The sound is in very clear mono with just occasional distortion on the music score. The disc offers the option of watching with dubbed French, German, Italian or Spanish soundtracks. The original trailer is included--under the American title of Damn the Defiant!--as are trailers for three other classic war films. The only other extra features are a small gallery of original publicity materials and three very basic filmographies. --Gary S Dalkin

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