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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

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During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.



(novels), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 90 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Woodall ...
Jack Randall ...
Boyle, Midshipman
Hollom, Midshipman
Richard Pates ...
Mr. Higgins, Surgeon's Mate
Tony Dolan ...
Mr. Lamb, Carpenter


In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, is under the command of Captain Jack Aubrey. Aubrey and the Surprise's current orders are to track and capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron. The Acheron is currently in the Atlantic off South America headed toward the Pacific in order to extend Napoleon's reach of the wars. This task will be a difficult one as Aubrey quickly learns in an initial battle with the Acheron that it is a bigger and faster ship than the Surprise, which puts the Surprise at a disadvantage. Aubrey's single-mindedness in this seemingly impossible pursuit puts him at odds with the Surprise's doctor and naturalist, Stephen Maturin, who is also Aubrey's most trusted advisor on board and closest friend. Facing other internal obstacles which have resulted in what they consider a string of bad luck, Aubrey ultimately uses Maturin's scientific exploits to figure out a way to achieve his and the ship's seemingly impossible goal. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Courage To Do The Impossible Lies In The Hearts of Men.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Far Side of the World  »


Box Office


$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,105,990, 14 November 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Coincidentally, during the film's pre-production, the replica of Captain James Cook's ship, HMS Endeavour, was circumnavigating the globe. The production was able to fly 2 cameramen to the ship as it was about to sail round the bottom of South America, a route the HMS Surprise takes in the film. Thus, the footage of the stormy seas from that part of the voyage is genuine. See more »


The opening text of the film sets the date of the events as April, 1805 and says that "Napoleon is master of Europe", but this assessment isn't very accurate, since at this point in time Napoleon didn't exert nearly as much influence over Europe as he would a few years later. From 1805 onwards he would fight multiple campaigns against Austria, Russia and Prussia. Napoleon was only truly "master of Europe" in 1810, after marrying an Austrian princess and having all of continental Europe (except Spain) under either his influence or direct control. From 1809 to 1813 there were no campaigns set against him, but from 1805 to 1809 there was several. See more »


[first lines]
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward: [taking egg from chicken coop] Come on, come on. It's all right.
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Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »


Referenced in Dr. Kent Hovind Q&A: Episode dated 12 November 2016 (2016) See more »


Don't Forget Your Old Shipmates
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great story with powerful performances. Sweeps you away to 1805.
25 December 2004 | by See all my reviews

A very complete tale, interwoven with beautiful cinematography, powerful performances (Russel Crowe, especially), masterful score (Bach, Motzart...to name two),and a truly believable storyline with many twists. At the heart of which is the conflict inside Capt. "Lucky" Jack Aubry (Russel Crowe) who balances his duty to the British Empire and his personal relationships with friends and crew members on board the HMS Surprise. All this while playing cat and mouse with a french enemy vessel that is twice his ship's size and double her strength. The conclusion is a great blending of commonality of human cause and duty. All in all, this is one of the most well rounded stories I've ever seen on the motion picture screen.

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