Billy Budd is exceptional and underrated film about a sea faring ship during wartime. Like Master and Commander it so effectively creates the sense of life aboard the ship. Even the smaller character seem vivid in part due to the performances as well as the terrific screenplay. It in addition to that creates well an understanding for the naval code and how it is that Robert Ryan's sadistic Claggart is even able to exist. It's a marvelous film though in the way the good vs evil originally conflict is set up between Billy who is innately good against the life loathing Claggart. It transitions well though to the secondary conflict of doing the right thing against doing the lawful thing. Both eventually build to very memorable and powerful conclusion to each.