IMDb > Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999) (TV)
Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters
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Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999) (TV) More at IMDbPro »Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters (original title)

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C.S. Forester (novels)
Chris Ould (screenplay)
View company contact information for Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 April 1999 (USA) See more »
Lt. Hornblower and his mates are sent to accompany a doomed royalist invasion of revolutionary France. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A deep entry See more (11 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Andrew Grieve 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
C.S. Forester  novels
Chris Ould  screenplay

Produced by
Andrew Benson .... producer
Delia Fine .... executive producer
Vernon Lawrence .... executive producer
Peter Richardson .... line producer
Cinematography by
Alec Curtis 
Costume Design by
John Mollo 
Makeup Department
Elizabeth Minshull .... hair stylist (as Liz Minshull)
Elizabeth Minshull .... makeup artist (as Liz Minshull)
Art Department
Augusto Mayer .... art director: Portugal
Sound Department
Rudi Buckle .... production sound mixer
Colin Codner .... boom operator
Sue Lenny .... sound effects editor
Dave Sloss .... foley recordist
Julie Ankerson .... foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Graham Aikman .... special effects assistant: pyro supervisor
Jeremy Lovett .... special effects senior technician: model unit
Mark Roberts .... special effects technician: model unit
Visual Effects by
Mark Thomas-Stubbs .... digital effects
Camera and Electrical Department
David Bourke .... best boy
Paul Donachie .... focus puller
Tom Gates .... gaffer
Jon Head .... grip
Micky May .... generator operator
Steve Murray .... camera operator
Jamie Summers .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gordon Harmer .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Matthew Tucker .... first assistant editor
Marc Eskenazi .... on-line editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Jon Baker .... armorer
Jon Baker .... armourer supervisor
Anna Callaghan .... production assistant
Matt Cooke .... production runner
Dani Gordon .... assistant to producer
Pauline Granby .... production accountant
Amanda Lean .... script supervisor
Erhan Ozogul .... assistant accountant
Gerry Savage .... nurse
Adele Steward .... production coordinator
Chris Tarry .... assistant accountant

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters" - UK (original title)
See more »
Brazil:100 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The guillotine used for the execution scenes was designed, built and supervised by a local Portuguese magician.See more »
Errors in geography: The invasion is supposed to take place in Brittany (Bretagne), which has an oceanic climate, with abundant rain leading to a green countryside. However the location used for filming seems to be Mediterranean, warm and dry, dusty, and with typical vegetation (less grass, coniferous trees like pines), possibly Provence.See more »
Master Bowles:Gentlemen, it appears that Mister Hornblower is now the standard by which we must all measure ourselves.See more »
The Girl I Left Behind MeSee more »


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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
A deep entry, 21 October 2013
Author: Grann-BachB from Denmark

Exiled French Royalists gain British support for a desperate attempt to take back the Republic. Against his better judgment, Capt. Pellew(Lindsay, who balances maintaining discipline with a respect and fondness of Horatio) is made to oversee the operation, as well as keep secret a terrible fact that may doom it. Hornblower(Gruffudd, a man who stands against injustice, and here experiences his otherwise strong sense of diplomacy failing him in favor of that principle) is joined by the "Lobsters", English army soldiers, and their officer, Edrington(West, a man who reveals more layers to him as this progresses, with none of them conflicting with the earlier ones). They must work under the seemingly endless certainty of the "Frogs" in charge - General Charette(Shrapnel, fierce in his support of the monarchy) and Colonel Moncoutant(Sher, who cannot wait to take on the role of Marquis of the village they take as part of the assault).

Thematically and in developing characters, this is possibly the richest of these so far. One particular object appears a number of times in this, each bathed in meaning, altering the situation, in a manner that flows logically from what has been seen until that point. As already mentioned, this further fleshes out our main cast(Bamber's Kennedy, while youthful, growing into a man, delivers a line that, compared to what he's said earlier, simultaneously elegantly shows one of the larger conflicts in this), as well as doing justice to the new ones. They are human beings, for better or for worse, and they will grip and effect you - I spent most of this glued to my seat, and either clenching my fists in hope for some, or digging my nails into my hands to quell my fury with others. The arrival of nobility in their post-revolution motherland is a microcosm of the international clash of two vastly different political and philosophical approaches. The UK's king was terrified for his own position. Would "liberty, unity, and power" spread? Could it even be stopped?

We see a historically early example of traditional warfare facing off against guerrilla tactics, of the psychological repercussions of being in such a situation. The two countries are contrasted - in favor of one of them? Absolutely. However, vital points are nonetheless made, and the people of the other are not made out to be, even mostly, "bad". We come closer than before to the intimate, nasty detail of the reality of armed battles - meeting people caught between those who overthrew Louis XVI, and those who wish to reinstate such a ruling system(and yet the perspective always remains that of our returning ensemble). Production values, filming, editing all continue to be amazing - hardly anything betrays that this was made for TV, and not the silver screen. It inspires debate, research, and delving into what made what this depicts, and other things like it, occur. The people and nations involved and what drove them to be and do such.

There is disturbing, brutal, bloody, violent content in this. I recommend this to everyone - if you are not yet old enough to handle the unpleasant aspects, make a note to see it once you are. 9/10

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