Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship ()

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

  • Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 9 nominations.
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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower
Captain Sir Edward Pellew
Captain 'Dreadnought' Foster
Lieutenant Bracegirdle
Captain Hammond
Chris Barnes ...
Simon Sherlock ...
Colin MacLachlan ...
Master Bowles
Frank Boyce ...
Midshipman Cleveland
HM Consul Duras
Commander Morris
Frank Rozelaar-Green ...
Spanish Captain
Clerkly Officer

Directed by

Andrew Grieve

Written by

Mike Cullen ... (screenplay)
C.S. Forester ... (novels)

Produced by

Andrew Benson ... producer
Pavel Douvidzon ... associate producer: Russia
Delia Fine ... executive producer
Vernon Lawrence ... executive producer
Stepan Pojenian ... associate producer: Russia
Peter Richardson ... line producer

Cinematography by

Neve Cunningham ... (uncredited)

Editing by

Keith Palmer

Editorial Department

Matthew Tucker ... assistant film editor
Marc Eskenazi ... on-line editor (uncredited)

Production Design by

Andrew Mollo

Art Direction by

Mike Joyce

Set Decoration by

Christian Huband

Costume Design by

John Mollo

Makeup Department

Kevin Alexander ... hair stylist / makeup artist
Christine Allsopp ... hair department head / makeup department head
Veyatie MacLeod ... hair stylist / makeup artist

Production Management

Lorraine Goodman ... production supervisor
Philip Leach ... executive in charge of production
Andrew Wood ... production manager
Tatyana Shakhgeldyan ... production manager: Russia (uncredited)
Sasha Stratievsky ... assistant production manager (uncredited)
Viktor Taranov ... production manager: Russia (uncredited)
Sasha Voronin ... unit manager (uncredited)
Yulia Zhuravleva ... assistant production manager: Russia (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Valentina Plugaru ... assistant director

Art Department

Gerry Graham ... painter
Dean Hawley ... painter
Brian Henry ... property master
Mickey Spence ... plasterer
Alan Sprawson ... stand-by carpenter
Ilia Iovu ... assistant art director (uncredited)
Ian Murray ... supervising rigger (uncredited)

Sound Department

Michael Crouch ... dubbing editor
Colin Martin ... dubbing mixer
Julie Ankerson ... foley artist (uncredited)
Dave Sloss ... foley recordist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Graham Aikman ... special effects assistant: pyro supervisor
Jem Lovett ... special effects senior technician: model unit (as Jeremy Lovett)
Mark Roberts ... special effects technician: model unit (uncredited)
Dima Stesenko ... special effects supervisor: russian crew (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

Roy Field ... director of photography: model unit
Martin Gutteridge ... model unit director
Mark Thomas-Stubbs ... digital effects


Oleg Botin ... stunts
Aleksandr Baranov ... stunts (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Paul Donachie ... first assistant camera
Keith Mead ... grip

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Gordon Harmer ... Wardrobe Master / costume supervisor (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Amanda Lean ... script supervisor

Transportation Department

Oleg Gres ... unit transportation coordinator (uncredited)
Vladimir Skakun ... unit transportation coordinator: Russia (uncredited)

Additional Crew

Jon Baker ... armourer supervisor
Anna Callaghan ... production assistant
Dani Gordon ... assistant to producer
Pauline Granby ... production accountant
Gerry Savage ... unit nurse
Adele Steward ... production coordinator
Chris Tarry ... assistant accountant
Zinaida Kravchenko ... production accountant (uncredited)
Teodor Matveev ... army supervisor: Russia (uncredited)
Lina Merculova ... production coordinator: Russia (uncredited)
Yulia Zhuravleva ... production assistant: Russia (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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

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Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Horatio Hornblower: The Fire Ship (United States)
  • Hornblower (Germany)
  • Hornblower - Die Leutnantsprüfung (Germany)
  • Hornblower: Examen para teniente (Spain)
  • Kapetan Hornblouer: Ispit za poručnika (Serbia)
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  • 93 min
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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 »
Movie Connections Followed by Horatio Hornblower: The Duchess and the Devil (1999). See more »
Soundtracks The British Man-of-War See more »
Quotes Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: Where's Mr. Tapling?
Matthews: He refuses to rise from his bunk, sir.
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: Does he indeed?
[Below decks]
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: Good morrow, Mr. Tapling! When shall you grace us with your presence above decks?
Tapling: Never. There is no point.
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: The Moors have come to fetch their gold.
Tapling: The Moors? Don't let them aboard, set sail at once.
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: The gold is theirs by right.
Tapling: I will not see them, send one of the men.
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: I need my men, Mr. Tapling!
Tapling: I have pains in my body, I cannot move. The hand of Death is upon me.
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: In that case, you shall have no need for rations.
[Takes away his food]
Tapling: You would withold rations from a dying man?
Acting Lt. Horatio Hornblower: I would consider it my duty to help speed your release from this world, sir.
Tapling: [gets up] The Admiral will hear of this!
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