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Horatio Hornblower 3 (2003)
"Hornblower: Loyalty" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  2 December 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,282 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

Hornblower is given a dangerous mission to deliver an emigre French nobleman to a secret rendezvous near Brest while coping with enemy agents in his own ranks.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Horatio Hornblower 3 (TV Movie 2003)

Horatio Hornblower 3 (TV Movie 2003) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Mason
Midshipman Jack Hammond
Jim McManus ...


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 With his ship, the Retribution, laid up and his promotion to Commander rescinded as a result, he finds himself a poor Lieutenant in a peace time navy.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 garykmcd

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Adventure | Drama | War


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2 December 2003 (USA)  »

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Horatio Hornblower 3  »

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Did You Know?


The brown and beige floral print day dress worn by Barbara Flynn (Mrs. Mason) is the same costume Georgine Anderson (Mrs. Croft) wears at Barton Cottage in Persuasion (1971). See more »


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 »


Styles: If that's their idea of the cavalry I pity the poor bastards!
See more »


Follows Horatio Hornblower: The Duel (1998) See more »


God Save the King
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User Reviews

Good, but is it Hornblower? Read the books!
4 December 2003 | by (Pasadena) – See all my reviews

By now this series has attracted its own set of fans, so the issue of how faithful it remains to the Forester stories may be moot. Still, I've always been puzzled by one element of the credits -- the show never seems to say which of "the novels of C.S. Forester" a particular movie is based on. LOYALTY and DUTY are loosely based on HORNBLOWER AND THE HOTSPUR, the tale of Hornblower's first command. Gruffudd, though a good enough actor and quite charming, seems to miss what was always the key element of Forester's Hornblower -- his constant self-doubt and crushing insecurity. The power of the novels comes from Hornblower's inability to see his own heroism and greatness for it is. He might be a hero to the world; to himself he was always the gangling Midshipman who was "seasick at Spithead." Julia Sawahla, on the other hand, is a perfect choice for Maria. A comment objected to her seeming "dowdy" -- that is precisely the point. Hornblower's unhappy marriage and unrewarding personal life were always intended to contrast with his glory on the sea. The show is fine -- the books are true classics. If you like the show, be sure to read the book.

30 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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