After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
Sir Edward Pellew visits Horatio Hornblower who is jail in Jamaica awaiting his trial on a charge of making a mutiny. His problems began six months earlier when he was appointed Third Lieutenant aboard the HMS Renown under the famous Captain James Sawyer. It soon becomes apparent to several of the officers, including Horatio's friend Archie Kennedy who is aboard ship as Fourth Lieutenant that the Captain is suffering from madness of some sort. He is cruel and sees conspiracies everywhere. Both Horatio and Midshipman Welland prove to be the particular objects of his wrath. The situation is not helped by an inexperience First Lieutenant who does not command the Captain's respect and a newly arrived Second Lieutenant who doesn't seem ready to challenge the Captain in any way. Written by
The HMS Renown is painted in the style known as the Nelson Chequer, with black and yellow bands and black gun ports, which is dated from 1803 when he took over command of the Victory, and subsequently painted his ships as such. The film is based in 1801. However, it is possible that Nelson was copying a ship he saw before his command of the Victory, and captains were allowed to paint their ships however they wished, so the Renown may have been the ship or one of the ships that may have inspired Nelson to create the Nelson Chequer. See more »