13 user 6 critic

Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999)

Hornblower: The Frogs and the Lobsters (original title)
Lt. Hornblower and his mates are sent to accompany a doomed royalist invasion of revolutionary France.


Andrew Grieve


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Captain Sir Edward Pellew
Antony Sher ... Colonel Moncoutant
Samuel West ... Major Lord Edrington
John Shrapnel ... General Charette
Peter Vaughan ... Admiral Lord Hood
Estelle Skornik Estelle Skornik ... Mariette
Jamie Bamber ... Acting Lieutenant Archie Kennedy
Jonathan Coy ... Lieutenant Bracegirdle
Colin MacLachlan Colin MacLachlan ... Master Bowles
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Simon Sherlock Simon Sherlock ... Oldroyd
Jean Badin Jean Badin ... Fauré
Ian Lindsay Ian Lindsay ... Collins


Hornblower is called to take a company of British troops (which the sailors call lobsters because of their red coats) and a company of French nationalists to France to fight in the revolution. But Hornblower is horrified by the brutality of the French commander as he guillotines everyone in a village that destroyed his former home and his unwillingness to take part in the actual battles. However, when the commander and his men set out to rape and brutalize a young school teacher, Hornblower vows his protection of her. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama | War


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Captain Pellew's line, "As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean," is a quotation from the second part of 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Coleridge. It was first published, anonymously, in 1798. See more »


When the convoy is weighing anchor, right after some British sailors run obey the order to man the capstan, one of the French officers visibly trips on a rope holding a deck cannon and lightly stumbles into a British soldier. Yet, neither men react. See more »


Major Edrington: [Watching as Hornblower struggles to mount a horse] Now I see why you chose the Navy.
See more »


The Girl I Left Behind Me
See more »

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.





English | French

Release Date:

25 April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War See more »

Filming Locations:

Peniche, Portugal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed