HMS Defiant

HMS Defiant

Lewis Gilbert (1962)

A Certificate


Our Score
Director Lewis Gilbert told virtually the same tale (albeit set in a different war) in Sink the Bismarck! as he does here in this entertaining seafaring adventure. The richly coloured romp benefits immensely from the experienced playing of Dirk Bogarde, Alec Guinness and an underused Anthony Quayle, all of whom are clearly enjoying themselves as they swash buckles in the Napoleonic wars. Long-standing Coronation Street fans should keep an eye out for a young Johnny Briggs cavorting in the galleys, but it's hard to keep your eyes off the young Bogarde, who's absolutely splendid as a demented martinet. The maggots-in-the-meat scene owes something to Battleship Potemkin.


The commander of a British warship fighting in the Napoleonic campaign faces bitter opposition from his right-hand man, a cruel and sadistic officer hated by the crew. In a battle of wills between the pair, the captain's second-in-command tries to provoke his leader's wrath by tormenting his son, an officer on the vessel. Drama, starring Alec Guinness, Dirk Bogarde and Anthony Quayle.

Cast & Crew

Captain Crawford Alec Guinness
Lieutenant Scott-Padget Dirk Bogarde
Vizard Anthony Quayle
Evans Tom Bell
Surgeon Goss Maurice Denham
Admiral Jackson Walter Fitzgerald
Dawlish Victor Maddern
Wagstaffe Murray Melvin
Senior Midshipman Kilpatrick Nigel Stock
Lieutenant Ponsonby Richard Carpenter
Lieutenant D'Arblay Peter Gill
Harvey Crawford David Robinson
Pardoe Robin Stewart
Hayes Ray Brooks
Johnson Peter Greenspan
Wheatley Johnny Briggs
Director Lewis Gilbert
see more

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia Picture Corp. LtdGuidance: Edited for violence.Available on: video and DVD