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Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951)

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During the Napoleonic wars, a British naval captain has adventures in Central American waters.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Moultrie Kelsall ...
Lt. Crystal (as M.Kelsall)
2nd Lt. Gerard (as T. Morgan)
Midshipman Longley
Seaman Quist (as James R.Justice)
Denis O'Dea ...
RAdm. Sir Rodney Leighton
Richard Hearne ...
Polwheal (Hornblower's Batman)
Michael Dolan ...
Surgeon Gundarson
Mr. Harrison (Bosun)
Alan Tilvern ...
Alec Mango ...
El Supremo (Don Julian Alvarado)
Spanish Captain
John Witty ...
Capt. Entenza


In 1807, Captain Horatio Hornblower leads his ship the HMS Lydia on a perilous voyage around Cape Horn and into the Pacific. The men, even his officers, don't know exactly where he is leading them. England is at war with Napoleon and everyone wonders why they have been sent so far from the action. They eventually arrive on the Pacific coast of Central America where the HMS Lydia has been sent to arm Don Julian Alvarado, who is planning an attack against France's Spanish allies on the North American continent. The hope is that Alvarado's forces will require the French to divert some of their military resources to North American defense in the aid of their Spanish allies. He arrives to learn that a Spanish Galleon is en route and he no sooner captures it and hands it over to Alvarado that he learns the Spanish are now England's allies and he must take it from Alvarado. He also gets a very comely passenger in the form of Lady Barbara Wellesley, sister of the Duke of Wellington. The ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wherever adventure beckons, you'll find Captain Horatio Hornblower! See more »


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Release Date:

10 April 1951 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Captain Horatio Hornblower  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The ship Bush and Hornblower board to meet the admiral at the end of the movie is the actual HMS Victory, currently dry-docked at Portsmouth, England. As Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, she still commissioned as an official vessel of the Royal Navy, and the only surviving, original ship of the line still in existence. See more »


Several times sails shown already furled away in the wide shots, are still shown unfurled in the closeups. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In the year Eighteen Hundred and Seven, a small ship of the Royal Navy set sail from England for a secret destination. With five million French and Spanish soldiers poised on the Continent under Napolean, nothing could save England from invasion except her 300 ships. HMS Lydia was soon far beyond battle-charged Europe. Under the most secret of sealed orders, she sailed for southern waters, fought her way around the Horn... headed north again into the Pacific. For seven months, she ...
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Edited into Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

" I'm Not worried, ' Long as Captain Hornblower is in command "
31 August 2007 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Raoul Walsh has many great films to his credit and once you see his name as director, you know the man has imbued his work with all the panache of a great artist. To his credit and well placed among his best work is the sea epic " Captain Horatio Hornblower." This story comes from the fertile and imaginative mind of novelist C. S. Forester who's famed hero has spawned a dozen books, films and T.V. specials. In this particular movie, we have legendary actor Gregory Peck playing the gallant and dashing swashbuckler aboard His Majestys' ship Lydia, Her secret mission is placed in the mists of the Napoleonic wars, charged to deliver guns and ammunition to a pint-size delusional dictator Don Julian Alvarado (Alec Mango) who greets him as a ally but later becomes a belligerent adversary. To help him in his quest is, Lt. William Bush (Robert Beatty) an admirable and courageous second in command. Lt. Crystal (Moultrie Kelsall) an excellent navigator. 2nd Lt. Gerard, Gunnery Officer (Terence Morgan) and Mr. Longley, (James Kenny) Midshipman and junior ensign. Together, with James Justice as 'Seaman Quist' they spend five years on the high seas, braving hunger, thirst and war time experiences, including saving beautiful Lady Barbara Wellesley (Virginia Mayo). A fine story fit for re-telling to any generation ****

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