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Hornblower: Duty (2003)

TV Movie  -  Adventure | Drama | War  -  3 December 2003 (USA)
8.1
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Admiral Pellew interrupts Hornblower's wedding reception and tasks him to locate a British ship which has disappeared off the French coast, where Napoleon's troops are engaged in covert activities.

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Title: Hornblower: Duty (TV Movie 2003)

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Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Prowse
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Mrs. Mason
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Jonathan Coy ...
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Etheridge
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Orrock
David Birkin ...
Jerome
Camilla Power ...
Betsy
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Storyline

Now married to Maria, Horatio Hornblower is soon sent by Admiral Pellew in search of the sloop Grasshopper captained by their old friend, Bracegirdle. The ship had been patrolling a stretch of French coast but had not sent in a report for over two weeks. During a raging storm they take aboard two passengers, an American woman and her French speaking Swiss husband. They are not what they pretend to be. Horatio and his men also encounter Wolfe, the Irish rebel turned traitor and now fighting France. They also realize exactly what Wolfe's plan is when they see three French frigates riding high in the water near his encampment. At home, Horatio is getting used to marriage and having to share his life with someone. Written by garykmcd

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Plot Keywords:

french | ship | duty | british | water | See All (57) »

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Adventure | Drama | War

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Release Date:

3 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hornblower - L'arte del comando  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The blue and white print gown worn by Julia Sawalha (Maria) to church is the same costume worn by a guest at the Easter Ball in Wives and Daughters (1999). See more »

Goofs

After the long boat is destroyed the French are shown loading a shell into a field piece. It makes a rolling sound as it goes down the barrel. This would be inaccurate. A shell fit tightly enough to require ramming, and a shell would have been carefully positioned in the barrel so the fuse would face away from the powder charge. See more »

Quotes

Admiral Sir Edward Pellew: You see things, sir, that others do not. One thing you do not question is your loyalty to your King. One day, Hornblower, you'll fight for more than England.
Commander Horatio Hornblower: What is there more than England?
Admiral Sir Edward Pellew: [He pointedly does not answer]
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Connections

Follows Horatio Hornblower 3 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
Traditional
Performed by Sean Gilder
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User Reviews

Duty does as duty says
23 February 2003 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

From Midshipman to Post-Captain, the fictional career in the Royal Navy of one Horatio Hornblower has been well documented by Andrew Grieve over the past few years. `Duty' is the latest in the series with our hero getting married to his landlady's daughter (Julia Sawalah) and then sailing off across the channel for some close and personal stuff with the French.

There's nothing to the story and yet somehow you are dragged in. Maybe it's Ioan Gruffud's saturnine charm as Hornie (or `Horrie' as his wife calls him). He's actually a bit of a prig but unlike most of his species acts fast and gets away with things a more hesitant man would never achieve. His facility for putting his own neck on the line strangely endears him to his crew (if my boss was that reckless I think I'd ask for a transfer to something less hazardous, like fireships). His attitude towards his new wife is peculiar; he has married her out of a sense of duty, he doesn't dislike her but he is aware she's not Admiral's wife material. Still when a character's mother-in-law is played by Barbara Flynn, a man has to take his chances.

Realism is not a big feature of this show (the French unconcernedly moving their troops around with a British ship in the bay) despite the use of what looks like a full-sized replica of the sloop `Hotspur'. In an earlier episode a few hundred British troops manage to get ashore in full view of the French on the beach without being noticed. It's also not too likely that a steward as good as Doughty would have been put on a capital charge for accidentally striking a junior officer, nor that a younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte would wind up aboard one of His Majesty's ships (though come to think of it one did become King of Naples). But all that doesn't matter. C S Forester could tell a good yarn and the series makers have ultilised his formula to good effect. The whole thing is overflowing with chauvinism and xenophobia (even the Americans can't be trusted) and yet we cheer every time Hornie puts his sword through some unlucky foreigner.

There's plenty of good period detail without too much pedantry and Matthews the Bosun (Peter Copley and Styles (the lower deck trouble magnet played by Sean Gilder) are always entertaining. It's simple, but not mindless stuff and its US popularity is intriguing. I can't see it having much appeal to the French, though.


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