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Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship (1998)

Hornblower: The Examination for Lieutenant (original title)
While Lt. Hornblower studies for his promotion examination, he is distracted by the serious supply problems that face his crew.

Director:

Andrew Grieve

Writers:

Mike Cullen (screenplay), C.S. Forester (novels)
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Sir Edward Pellew
Denis Lawson ... Captain 'Dreadnought' Foster
Ian McNeice ... Tapling
Andrew Tiernan ... Bunting
Jonathan Coy ... Lieutenant Bracegirdle
Ian McElhinney ... Captain Hammond
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Chris Barnes Chris Barnes ... Finch
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Simon Sherlock Simon Sherlock ... Oldroyd
Colin MacLachlan Colin MacLachlan ... Master Bowles
Rupert Holliday-Evans Rupert Holliday-Evans ... Steward
Frank Boyce Frank Boyce ... Midshipman Cleveland
Peter Corey Peter Corey ... HM Consul Duras
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Storyline

Still serving aboard the HMS Indefatigable, Horatio Hornblower has been promoted to acting Lieutenant. Neutral Spain has concluded a peace treaty with France and the British now have another enemy to face. They soon come across a sunken British supply ship and rescue its Captain, 'Dreadnought' Foster, a man with a reputation for bravery that some consider borders on foolishness. Hornblower is also pleased to learn that Captain Pellew has scheduled him for the next round of Lieutenants exams. Tempers are short with the crew after they are put on half rations due to the lack of supplies. After acquiring more supplies, Hornblower finds himself in charge of a supply ship when it is feared that plague may also be aboard. He soon makes it to Gibraltar, but when the enemy send a fire ship into the harbor, he must act quickly to avert disaster. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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 | French

Release Date:

11 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship See more »

Filming Locations:

Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine

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

The question given at Hornblower's Lieutenant examination, that of what to do in response to a "full a-back", relates to the sails of a ship suddenly flattening against the mast due to a change in wind. The correct answer (which Hornblower clearly does not know) is to put the helm over, haul up the mainstay and spanker sails, and then shift the helm in the opposite direction in order to fill the after-sails with wind in order to regain headway. Once the wind has been recovered, the ship should then brace up the sails and bring the ship's course directly in front of the wind. The maneuver to regain wind after a fall a-back is known as "chapelling", or "Chapel Ship", and would have been something which Hornblower absolutely should have known. See more »

Goofs

During the examination, Captain Foster describes a situation "with Dover bearing north two miles" and a "nor'easterly wind" that "veers four points". That would put the wind at east, but Hornblower is told that he would have Dover under his lee, whereas he would, at worst, have Folkestone under his lee and that eight miles off. Unless the wind were to veer a further twelve points at gale force, the tide would never put a dismasted vessel anywhere near Dover. See more »

Quotes

[on the quarantine voyage]
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: And slaughter a bullock for the men.
Matthews: A bullock, sir?
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: Every meal may be our last. Let's make sure it's a feast.
Matthews: [laughs] Aye, aye, sir!
See more »

Connections

Followed by Hornblower: Duty (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The British Man-of-War
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
If America only knew how good this was.
17 April 2002 | by TexasRedgeSee all my reviews

If America only knew how good this was,it would be the highest rated Made-For-TV movie series of all time(hard to believe there are more people out there that would rather watch "The Columbo Mysteries" than Horatio Hornblower- that just goes to show the power of major network name-brand advertising.

The Hornblower movie series has been television at its finest. I have seen all 6 of the A&E Horatio Hornblower movies,"The Duchess and the Devil" is my favorite of the 6 films. However I tune in to A&E everytime they air a new Hornblower movie. So far all 6 movies have been based on the Horatio Hornblower adventure novels written by C.S. Forester(the same author who wrote African Queen). Each Movie chronicles the on-going adventures of Horatio Hornblower who is a Brittish Lt. in the Brittish Navy during the late 1790's-to early 1800's during the Napoleonic era in Europe. I sincerly believe that each one of these 6 Films has been good enough to have shown at the movie theaters,if the producers had wanted to. Unlike other Made-For-TV films,The Hornblower films do not have that Made-For-TV feeling to them,like most television movies have.

A common misconception that people who havent seen these movies have is that all 6 of these films go to gether as a mini-series- that is not true. The Hornblower movies are not a mini-series,all 6 of these films are individual movies about the same charactor- with all the same actors playing the same roles in each film(EXAMPLE:think of the James Bond films-They are not sequels, but they are all about the adventures of James Bond- that same principle applies to the Hornblower movies) I give the entire Horatio Hornblower movie series 5 out of 5 stars. Its Perfect entertainment- but you cant please everyone, so for those of you dont like epic battleship battles,historic style drama,high stakes adventure, and danger on the high seas,if you dont like stuff like that-there is always Columbo re-run for you to watch.


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