Roistering sea captain Jonathan Clark, who poaches seal pelts from Russian Alaska, meets and woos Russian countess Marina in 1850 San Francisco. Events separate them, but after an exciting ... See full summary »
Capt. Richard Lance is unjustly held responsible, by his men and girlfriend, for an Indian massacre death of beloved Lt. Holloway. Holloway is killed while escorting a dangerous Indian ... See full summary »
A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »
John M. Stahl
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
The movie is based on three "Hornblower" novels: ""Beat To Quarters", "Ship Of The Line" and "Flying Colours." These were all written in 1938 and were the first books of the series. See more »
At one point Hornblower and his officers give the loyal toast whilst seated. While it is true that the Royal Navy do toast the King or Queen seated, this tradition only dates to the reign of William IV (1830-1837), aka the Sailor King. At the date when this film is set, RN officers would still have got to their feet to toast the King. See more »
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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It's unfair that Raoul Walsh's name is labeled by the books as a second-level filmmaker in relation with, say, a Ford or a Hawks. He was an extraordinary crafted and prolific director, capable of incorporating standard studio material into his own personal worldview. `Captain Horatio Hornblower' is full of little moments that exceed any genre limitation. These `sparkles of Truth' may be the tracking shot along the empty room while Peck reads the letter of his deceased wife, or when Virginia Mayo kisses the youngster the way his mother used to did. So the adventure film becomes something bigger than life, just as `White Heat' used of the conventions of the gangster film to turn into metaphysics, or `Colorado Territory' departed the western into the depths of existentialism. This film is enjoyable from beginning to end, and it's a clear predecessor of Peter Weir's `Master and Commander', with which it shares a few tone, character and plot elements.
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