The war with France has been over for a year and Horatio Hornblower finds himself on land. With his ship, the Retribution, laid up and his promotion to Commander rescinded as a result, he finds himself a poor Lieutenant in a peace time navy. He has taken to playing cards to make a living. Luck presents itself in the form Sir Edward Pellew, his mentor and former commanding officer. Horatio soon finds himself again promoted to Commander and in charge of a sloop, the HMS Hotspur. He recruits his old shipmate Lt. Bush as his first officer, along with Matthews and Stiles. His task is to transport a French officer to the coast but once ashore, Horatio discovers the French amassing an invasion force. Once again at war, the men of the Hotspur are tasked to lead an advance force against a shore battery ahead of the British fleet. Hornblower soon realizes he has a traitor among his crew. In his personal life, he has to deal with the lovely Maria, his landlady's daughter who has taken quite a ... Written by
Did You Know?
Almost certainly the result of deliberate chuckles by the film makers, two filler scenes showing ships under way with crew members scurrying around have voice-overs calling orders that make no sense. The first is "Splice the mizzen!", which can't happen because the mizzen is the third (back) mast on the sloop being shown and a splice is a means of joining or adding a loop to a rope (not that many pieces of rope are called 'ropes' on a sailing ship!). The second is "Weigh the sails!", which is equally goofy because sails can be 'handed', 'reefed', 'sheeted', 'brailed' and lots of other things, but only anchors are 'weighed' when they're taken up as in "anchor's a-weigh, Sir!", and even that the ship is now 'under weigh'. See more
Commander Horatio Hornblower
For a long time now no one ashore cared much whether I lived or died.
I care, Horatio. My heart leaps when I hear your footsteps on the stairs and when I hear your voice.
Followed by Hornblower: Duty
God Save the King
Traditional See more