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Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship (1998)

Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant (original title)
While Lt. Hornblower studies for his promotion examination, he is distracted by the serious supply problems that face his crew.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bunting
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Chris Barnes ...
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Colin MacLachlan ...
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
Steward
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Peter Corey ...
HM Consul Duras
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Storyline

Still serving aboard the HMS Indefatigable, Horatio Hornblower has been promoted to acting Lieutenant. Neutral Spain has concluded a peace treaty with France and the British now have another enemy to face. They soon come across a sunken British supply ship and rescue its Captain, 'Dreadnought' Foster, a man with a reputation for bravery that some consider borders on foolishness. Hornblower is also pleased to learn that Captain Pellew has scheduled him for the next round of Lieutenants exams. Tempers are short with the crew after they are put on half rations due to the lack of supplies. After acquiring more supplies, Hornblower finds himself in charge of a supply ship when it is feared that plague may also be aboard. He soon makes it to Gibraltar, but when the enemy send a fire ship into the harbor, he must act quickly to avert disaster. Written by garykmcd

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Adventure | Drama | War

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Release Date:

11 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

During the examination, Captain Foster describes a situation "with Dover bearing north two miles" and a "nor'easterly wind" that "veers four points". That would put the wind at east, but Hornblower is told that he would have Dover under his lee, whereas he would, at worst, have Folkestone under his lee and that eight miles off. Unless the wind were to veer a further twelve points at gale force, the tide would never put a dismasted vessel anywhere near Dover. See more »

Quotes

Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: [referring to Captain Foster] He's truly a great man, sir. To be half the man that he is would see my life fulfilled.
Lt. Bracegirdle: Careful, Mr. Hornblower, such greatness always has its price.
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Connections

Referenced in Archer: Sea Tunt: Part 1 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Man-of-War
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Tests
13 October 2013 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Horatio(portrayed well by Gruffudd, imbuing him with a strong sense of justice, and a smart, outside-of-the-box approach) will be taking the examination for lieutenant. Before that, however, he and the rest of the crew of the Indefatigable suffer under halved rations - the Spanish cease their neutrality in the British/French war, and supply ships are a favored target. When a situation already on the edge of survival sees its few resources disappearing, how will the men cope?

The many dangers and risks of sea-faring continue to be explored, both those that come from the outside and the ones from the inside(not everyone can handle less food). All of the acting and character-writing is compelling, rendering everyone a human being, no one is a mere "type". This is impressive for how many are in the cast - of course not everyone gets equal time for development, but no one is presented as a caricature.

The filming and editing is superb - perspective is used well and the level of detail, the way everything has both a setup and a payoff is impressive. This is highly realistic. It doesn't shy away from the nasty stuff. The themes are strong: human relationships, respect, inner strength, etc.

There is disturbing, bloody, and brutally violent content in this. I recommend this to any fan of drama. 8/10


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