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Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999)

Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters (original title)
Lt. Hornblower and his mates are sent to accompany a doomed royalist invasion of revolutionary France.

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(novels), (screenplay)
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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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Colonel Moncoutant
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Major Lord Edrington
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General Charette
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Admiral Lord Hood
Estelle Skornik ...
Mariette
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Colin MacLachlan ...
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Jean Badin ...
Fauré
Ian Lindsay ...
Collins
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Storyline

Hornblower is called to take a company of British troops (which the sailors call lobsters because of their red coats) and a company of French nationalists to France to fight in the revolution. But Hornblower is horrified by the brutality of the French commander as he guillotines everyone in a village that destroyed his former home and his unwillingness to take part in the actual battles. However, when the commander and his men set out to rape and brutalize a young school teacher, Hornblower vows his protection of her. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Adventure | Drama | War

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Release Date:

25 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The guillotine used for the execution scenes was designed, built and supervised by a local Portuguese magician. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) one of the British soldiers has a hole in his trousers, revealing his modern underwear. See more »

Quotes

Styles: No one fancies a swim then, aye?
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Connections

Featured in The Story of the Costume Drama: A Call to Arms (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
Composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
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User Reviews

Superb!
22 November 2001 | by (Somewhere over the rainbow) – See all my reviews

This is a wonderful finale to a wonderful series. It is not, in my opinion, the best of the lot, but that does not mean that it doesn't have it's strong points.

I skimmed Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, the book that these four films are based on. Consequently, as someone who enjoyed this particular chapter immensely, I could have skipped the love story - but then again, I'm not a romantic by any stretch of the imagination. I thought that because of time constraints, the whole thing was rather rushed. Falling in love in the course of a day is something for a sitcom, not a serious movie, but the actors did an amazing job with what they were given.

The good greatly outnumbers the bad. Ioan Gruffudd did a wonderful job as Horatio throughout the series and he remained consistent throughout this episode. I consider him to be a wonderful actor - the perfect one to play the young, gangly seventeen year-old who comes into his own gradually.

Gruffudd's performance was only accentuated by the brilliance of his dynamic co-star Robert Lindsay, himself an amazing actor. Lindsay's performance as the indomitable (and indefatigable) Captain Pellew was right on the mark.

The rest of the cast was wonderful, including poor Mariette, played by Estelle Skornik. I will never tire of watching Matthews, Styles and Oldroyd and Paul Copley, Sean Gilder, and Colin MacLachlan fit these roles perfectly. Jamie Bamber as Midshipman (Acting-Lieutenant) Kennedy also did very well. John Shrapnel as Charette affected a decent French accent, as did Antony Sher as the infamous Moncoutant.

One last praise goes out to the fabulous Sam West, admitibly one of my favorite actors. West does an amazing job portraying Major Edrington and that dry, upper-class sarcastic wit never fails to earn a grin from me. The character of Edrington is one of my favorites in the book and West does an amazing job portraying him.

I find it a horrible pity that wonderful actors such as these listed above have trouble finding roles in internationally acclaimed films. After seeing this particular film, I performed an extensive search for the above actors. Armed with a list of some of the ones I desperately wished to see, I visited all of the local movie stores. Apart from Howard's End (Sam West), Fierce Creatures (Robert Lindsay), and 102 Dalmatians (Ioan Gruffudd), I came up empty-handed. So, here I am, armed only with a taped version of the Frogs and the Lobsters.

You will not be disappointed with this film - at least I doubt you will. I have yet to find someone who didn't enjoy it throughly. The costuming is accurate, the characters wonderful, the story is gripping and the acting is phenomenal. I highly recommend it to just about anyone.


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