- Get two DVD or Blu-ray for £10 from our ‘2 For £10’ promotion on Amazon.co.uk Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
HMS Defiant [DVD] 
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
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 DalkinSee all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The film gathers together numerous interesting threads from the period: the ordinary seaman's awful lot, and the rash of unrest this was causing (the Spithead and Nore mutinies of this period are thus alluded to); the on-board politics of power, with class distinctions feeding into the brutality; the sea wars themselves, at this point on the cusp of the Revolutionary Wars and the fully-fledged Napoleonic era, with the British jittery about the French potentially exporting revolution across the channel.
The first half of the film is mostly concerned with how Scott Padgett seeks to undermine Crawford, in part by relentlessy bullying the latter's son. But Scott-Padgett's joyless sadism is extended to all, both those 'above' and 'below' him in Navy rank; he sees himself as divinely ordained - as an aristocrat - for supremacy. He's played by Bogarde with no redeeming qualities whatsoever to soften his loathsome character. His fate seems obvious, and is a relief when it comes.
The second half of the film is more naval action drama, and as such is quite appealing. One major issue, however, is that modern filming techniques have really moved on massively, making many such scenes in older movies (films in which other aspects - all too often character development and dialogue - sometimes trump modern movies) frequently look very dated and more than a little lame. Many older naval movies, including this, use models, and where this is too obvious it does detract from the suspension of disbelief.
If I wasn't so mad for films depicting the history of this era, I might only give this three stars. It's not Guinness, or the rest of the cast for that matter, at his/their best. But as things stand, my passion for the period helps tip this over from merely being okay, to actually quite enjoying it. Not a full-on classic, but worth seeing if, like me, you like both Guinness and the era/milieu depicted.
I remember very well going to see this film when it was released in 1962 and was so impressed that I immediately started a search for the book on which the movie was adapted; Frank Tilsley's novel Mutiny. Later when I seriously started to collect films, I was disappointed to discover that it was never released in the UK as either 8 mm. RTR or VHS cassette and for many years had to make do with a NTSC cassette until the PAL DVD was released in 2002. The film was re-titled DAMN THE DEFIANT! For the US market.
The film was directed by Lewis Gilbert, now mostly remembered for his contributions to the James Bond series of movies but who also directed a host of classic British films between 1944 and 1995. The cast is a roll call of British film actors of the period, Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde, Nigel Stock and Anthony Quayle lead a strong supporting cast many of who became household names in the theatre and film.
The film follows the exploits of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Defiant, her captain, officers and men during 1797 the years of the mutinies at the Spithead and Nore and the conflicts that ensue between the captain and crew. Précis of the plot has been given in detail elsewhere and so I will not repeat the storyline again, except to say the as with most British costume dramas the uniforms, weapons and close-up shorts of the warship were mostly historically accurate.
The acting is superb as you would expect from the quality cast and the action scenes are well filmed and directed even without the benefit of modern computer generated effects.
It remains a firm favourite of mine and is a classic of the genre.
The DVD is generally very good although there a couple of small sections where picture and sound quality fade a little, but is very much better than the chopped and spliced version that I watched on television quite recently.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews