1797 - the Mediterranean. Britain and France are at war. British warships are fighting French warships.
Young Billy Budd arrives on the British warship, Indomitable. Billy is strong and handsome. Most of the sailors on the ship like billy. But he has an enemy - John Claggart, the master-at-arms.
Claggart hates Billy. And he has a plan. He will make trouble for the young sailor.