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Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil (1999)

Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil (original title)
Lt. Hornblower and his crew are captured by the enemy while escorting a Duchess who has secrets of her own.

Director:

Andrew Grieve

Writers:

C.S. Forester (story "Hornblower, the Duchess and the Devil"), Patrick Harbinson (screenplay)
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Sir Edward Pellew
Cherie Lunghi ... Duchess of Wharfedale
Christopher Fulford ... M'Man Hunter
Ronald Pickup ... Don Massaredo
Jamie Bamber ... Kennedy
Jonathan Coy ... Lieutenant Bracegirdle
John Woodvine ... Sir Hew Dalrymple
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Simon Sherlock Simon Sherlock ... Oldroyd
Jean-Yves Berteloot ... Etienne de Vergasse
Vincent S. Boluda Vincent S. Boluda ... Spanish Lieutenant
Jolyon Baker Jolyon Baker ... Captain Joubert
Colin MacLachlan Colin MacLachlan ... Master Bowles
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Storyline

Hornblower captures the French vessel, Le Reve, and is asked by Pellew to sail her back to England so that she can be outfitted for the English navy, and also, as a favor, to convey the unusual Duchess of Wharfedale back home. Unfortunately, Le Reve, Hornblower, the duchess and the crew are captured by the Spanish and imprisoned. There, Horatio finds Kennedy, wasted and hopeless from months in solitary. Against the odds, Horatio must find a way to escape with Kennedy, against Hunter's protests, and with the growing suspicion that the duchess may not be who she appears. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

deception | duchess | french | fog | navy | See All (63) »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

A&E's Behind the Scenes

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

18 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil See more »

Filming Locations:

Peniche, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As Hornblower's second ruse is in play, just after Matthews warns him the Spanish suspect something, one line of dialogue makes clear, as the captain of the Spanish ship orders one of his officers: "Señala al almirante. Avisa que vamos a abrir fuego sobre piratas ingleses." Translated: "Signal the admiral. Say we are about to open fire on English pirates". See more »

Goofs

In the opening shot, when a rowing boat comes close to the shore, a helicopter can be heard. See more »

Quotes

[Horatio stopped Hunter from shooting the French]
Hunter: We're here to fight them aren't we?
Hornblower: No, Mr. Hunter, we're here to defeat them.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Hornblower: Duty (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intrigue and boredom on the high seas
27 February 2011 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

This was the first HORNBLOWER with Ioan Gruffudd I watched all the way through. As a massive fan of the Sharpe novels who's been disappointed by the cheapness of their subsequent TV adaptations, I had some idea of what to expect.

This starts off strongly, with a good action-focused narrative propelling it along. Then there's a twist, and for an hour absolutely nothing happens. Things pick up again for an admittedly exciting climax, but by that time my interest had already waned.

The pluses: decent acting (Ronald Pickup's dodgy Spanish accent aside). Gruffudd is a solid if unspectacular hero, and has a certain vulnerability about him which makes him a hit with female viewers. Robert Lindsay is strong, as are the supporting players like Christopher Fulford and Jamie Bamber. Cherie Lunghi overplays it a little for my liking, but at least she adds life to the film.

With a better script, this could have been an excellent piece of television drama; as it is, it's merely okay.


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