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Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship (TV Movie 1998) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • As young Hornblower gets the opportunity to test for lieutenant, the Spanish fleet suddenly attacks the British ships in harbor by sending a burning ship into shore. The ships are saved only through the quick thinking and heroism of Hornblower and one of the Captains who was testing him.

    - Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>
  • The reckless legendary Captain Foster destroys a supply ship rather than let it get into enemy hands, and he and his crew are rescued by the Indefatigable. Hornblower finds himself admiring Foster, despite Pellew's disapproval. But the loss of supplies puts them on half-rations, and there's mutinous talk, led by Bunting. Hornblower tries to study for his lieutenant's examination, but he has to accompany a diplomat, Tapling, to secure more supplies. But when Tapling and Hornblower discover that the grain and cattle may be tainted with bubonic plague, Hornblower must keep his crew and cargo in quarantine in defiance of Foster's demands for victualling. And if Horatio survives, how will Foster judge him at the Lieutenant's Examination?

    - Written by Kathy Li
  • It's late in the 18th century, and acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower is serving on board the HMS Indefatigable, part of the British fleet at Gibraltar. Spain and France are allied against Britain, and Spain is intercepting and sinking most supply ships. His ship is sent to Oran, in Algeria, to buy supplies. While ashore, it is discovered that plague is rampant in the town. Quarantined on a smaller ship for two weeks with his crew and a diplomat, Hornblower uses the time to study for his upcoming lieutenant's examination. None of his crew is stricken with the dreaded disease, and they rejoin their ship just in time for the exam. During the actual oral exam, a Spanish "fire ship" (a ship ablaze sent into the midst of the fleet to burn it), is spotted and it's up to Hornblower and one of his chief examiners to save the fleet. This bravery more than proves Hornblower's ability to take on the duties of a lieutenant.

    - Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>
  • While Lt. Hornblower studies for his promotion examination, he is distracted by the serious supply problems that face his crew.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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