Top positive review
The Struggle Between Law and Justice
Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2010
Peter Ustinov does a superb job in his writing, directing, acting, and producing this classic sea drama which deals with the issue of law versus justice on a ship whose men are pitted against one another because of the underhanded cruelty and the unscrupulous actions of the crew captain, played by Robert Ryan.
I would rate BILLY BUDD equal to the 1935 production of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton. Yet, BILL BUDD delves deeper into the tension between a sea captain's obligation to effect law on the high seas, and his human and moral responsibility to ensure that 'justice' is aptly served to restore order, and instill a collective harmony and trust among his men when problems erupt on board.
Terrance Stamp is especially poignant in his debut performance as the amiable, innocent young seaman, Billy Budd.
This film is a must for your collection of 'message' films, which deals with moral ethics.