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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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(screenplay), (novels)
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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

The real HMS Indefatigable was a 38 gun heavy frigate armed with 24 pounders plus six 42 pounder carronades for a total of 44 guns, razéed from a 64 gun Ardent class ship of the line, whereas it is represented here as a 20 gun post ship. See more »

Quotes

[the aristocratic Mr. Tapling is assigned Cook's Mate on the quarantine voyage, and is helping the Steward to butcher a bullock]
Tapling: This is without question the most revolting experience of my entire life.
Steward: It has its advantages, sir.
Tapling: None that I can see.
Steward: The man with the hatchet gets to pick the choicest cuts.
Tapling: Indeed... show me.
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Connections

Follows Horatio Hornblower: The Duel (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Man-of-War
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
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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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