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Horatio Hornblower: The Duel (1998)

Hornblower: The Even Chance (original title)
Horatio Hornblower begins his naval career, but a deadly feud with a despicable mate is causing complications.


Andrew Grieve


C.S. Forester (stories), Russell Lewis (screenplay)
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 16 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Midshipman Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Sir Edward Pellew
Dorian Healy ... Midshipman Jack Simpson
Michael Byrne ... Captain Keene
Robert Bathurst ... Lieutenant Eccleston
Duncan Bell Duncan Bell ... Midshipman Clayton
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Simon Sherlock Simon Sherlock ... Oldroyd
Chris Barnes Chris Barnes ... Finch
Jamie Bamber ... Midshipman Archie Kennedy
Colin MacLachlan Colin MacLachlan ... Master Bowles
Roger May Roger May ... Lieutenant Chadd
Vincent Grass ... Captain Forget
Richard Lumsden ... Midshipman Hether


Midshipman Horatio Hornblower joins the British fleet just as the French Revolution is about to change European history. But he has worries closer to home as he incurs the wrath of a shipmate named Simpson, a bully who everyone else avoids and placates. Events lead to a duel, but one of Hornblower's mates takes his place and is killed. At war with France, Hornblower and Simpson are assigned different ships, but are reunited when Simpson's ship is sunk. Events lead to another duel with different results. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Adventure | Drama | War


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Did You Know?


According to the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester, Hornblower was tone deaf and would have heard music as noise. He also suffered from seasickness until he got his sea legs. See more »


Edward Pellew is portrayed as Sir Edward Pellew who is already captain of HMS indefatigable in February 1793 when the French declare war on Britain. In reality, Pellew was not knighted by King George III until the end of 1793 and despite already having a distinguished service record in the American Revolutionary War, was a half-pay Captain working his farm in Cornwall at the time war with revolutionary France was declared and Sir Edward did not take command of HMS Indefatigable until 1795. See more »


Matthews: Beggin' your pardon, sir. Hadn't you better cock your pistol?
See more »


Followed by Horatio Hornblower: Retribution (2001) See more »


Heart of Oak
Music by William Boyce
Lyrics by David Garrick
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User Reviews

One of the all time great seafaring adventures!
22 January 2004 | by Looney Toon joeSee all my reviews

I Have just finished watching the entire series of Hornblower and must say that few seafaring adventures can beat it.It ranks up there with the original Mutiny on the Bounty,The Sea Hawk and Master And Commander as one of the greatest of its kind. Ioan Gruffudd is perfectly cast as young Hornblower,a seasick midshipman who tranforms gradually into a courageous leader of men. Robert Lindsay offers great support as Capt.Edward Pellew,one of the most important characters in the story who guides Hornblower along his journeys.Jamie Bamber,Paul Copley and Sean Gilder are all excellent as Hornblower's loyal shipmates. Ireally can't pick any one episode as they are all magnificent.I also liked Paul McGann who portrays Lt.Bush. All in all i just hope that in the future their will be more parts to this truly brilliant adventure series!!! EASILY 10 OUT OF 10 !

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English | French

Release Date:

4 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Duel See more »

Filming Locations:

Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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