Hornblower: Mutiny (TV Movie 2001) Poster

(2001 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
16 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Blew me away
Spilling_Moonbeams29 August 2004
I am now addicted to Hornblower! This is one of the most realistic historical dramas out there.

Everything in Hornblower is played to perfection, from the sets

(fantastic, towering ships) to the costumes to the cast. The actors

are all so believable in their roles that it's hard to pull yourself out

of that world. I had only flicked onto it by accident on TV, but I couldn't pull myself

away. I have to say, Ioan Gruffudd is one of the best British actors

around. If you haven't watched any of the series, well then, shame on you!
14 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Hornblower with style
quadrophenia7181 December 2001
These two latest films are the continuing story of Ioan Gruffudd's Horatio Hornblower, and they follow the first four films without fault. As I have said earlier, I have yet to discover a person who has not enjoyed the series fully.

Again, acting nods go to Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, and Jamie Bamber, yet these particular episodes are also to include Paul McGann as 2nd Lieutenant Bush, Nicholas Jones as 1st Lieutenant Buckland, and also Paul Copley and Sean Gilder in expanded roles as Hornblower's faithful shipmates. Jamie Bamber particularly did a wonderful job as poor Mr. Kennedy - such a terrible pity that he can not be found in very many movies.

I doubt you'll be disappointed with the series, I certainly wasn't, my friends weren't, my brothers weren't, and neither were my parents. They're good for all ages, so go out and see them at first opportunity!
8 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
fun book; boring adaptation
WeeClaude18 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Lieutenant Hornblower is a fun, fast-paced adventure novel -- not that you could tell that from watching this turgid, dreary TV adaptation that crawls along at a snail's pace.

In addition to being boring, this adaptation misses the whole point of C.S. Forester's original story. In the book, Hornblower seizes the opportunity to fill a void in leadership when his captain is incapacitated, and the ship's first officer proves to be an incompetent replacement. By devising a series of brilliant tactical maneuvers, Hornblower salvages his ship's mission, saves the day, and proves that he deserves the command of his own vessel.

This stupid version of the story totally ignores all that. For one thing, Hornblower is depicted here as nothing more than a brave, pleasant young man, with little resemblance to the neurotic genius from the books. (He's Sherlock Holmes at sea, not a swashbuckler!) Also, the emphasis is shifted from Hornblower proving himself, to a lot of clumsy melodrama about the mentally ill captain and the mutinous act of removing him from command. Cue 700 scenes of David Warner overacting as the wacky Captain Sawyer, endlessly terrorizing his crew and, by extension, the bored viewer who is tired of watching his shenanigans.

There are other things I could complain about - the direction is flat, the dialogue is unrealistic (Royal Navy officers wouldn't be so openly critical of their captain), everything looks too clean, the music is annoying, Mr. Bush has too small a role, etc. It beats me how fans of the novels generally regard this series as a good adaptation; I think it lacks the psychological depth of the books and just plain stinks. My advice is, leave this corny relic of the early 2000s un-viewed and read the book instead.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Series better as "Master and Commander" movie
pete366 March 2004
Big budgeted Brit TV-series based on the books of C.S. Forester, set during the Napoleonic wars in the beginning of the 19th century.

Hornblower starts of as a midshipman and the series follows him as he climbs up through the ranks.

Only the British can make such a spectacular historical series. No costs or means have been spared to recreate life at sea in those times. Not much of CGI or whatvever, the ships and fight are all real. When Hornblower is trapped on a sinking ship, there is no money for some elaborater special effect so they just sink it for real. Plots are full of twists and turns and are never predictable. Series is very intelligently scripted, great charactarisation and humour is provided when needed.

It seems this series was the inspiration for US movie "Master and Commander" with Russel Crowe. It's the same theme, same era and nearly same plot. If you are familiar with the Hornblower series , Master and commander is almost a kind of rip-off, although it is based on another bookseries. Master and Commander is an OK movie but it just pales in comparison with this simply brilliant series. I think this is again proof that TV is getting better then cinema.

It is not the first adaptation of the CS Forester saga on Hornblower . In 1952 Hollywood made a very worthy effort with "Hornblower" by cramming three books into one movie. Starring Gregory Peck as Hornblower and Virginia Mayo as the love interest. Directed by actionspecialist Raoul Walsh, it's a real winner.
7 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews24 October 2013
We meet Hornblower(Gruffudd, with a strong sense of justice, though he doesn't always make the right decisions) in prison - facing the charge of mutiny! With the framing device securely put in place, the rest of this is presented as one long flashback. Him and his men serve under Capt. Sawyer(Warner, who renders the role explosively unpredictable, going back and forth between unflinching determination, and resigning confusion, in his eyes), who they gradually come to doubt the mental well-being of. But the man is a hero! One of the most revered commanders - and his own crew hold him in such high regard.

This is one of the most thrilling entries. With Sir Pellew(Lindsay, tough, but fair) no longer in charge of our heroes, the problem they face is at the top of their own ranks. This explores potential problems with the military where each post has the hands necessary to run it - what if just a few vital ones fail to live up to their responsibility? The filming(barely ever letting slip that this was made for TV), editing, writing, acting, production values(just look at those ships!), richness in detail, realism, all superb. Themes explored include the enemy within, loyalty, rules, leadership, and acceptance.

There is some disturbing, bloody, brutal and violent content in this. I recommend this to fans of drama. 8/10
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
True Swashbuckling Adventure
Quicksilver 215 June 2001
I didn't see the A&E movie when it first came out and missed part two the second, so have bought the video from Amazon.com. This is true adventure with enough action to keep the suspence continual. My husband has read several of the books and both forms of the stories are excellent. A great cast and the sight of the beautiful sailing vessels in full rigging -- I'd forgotten how much I love them. I recommend this movie to everyone of any age.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Another excellent period piece
hispro8 April 2001
This is another beautiful example how A&E Networks knows exactly how to make a proper period movie. A top notch script, excellent sets and brilliant cast members make this one of the most polished television movies made in recent years. Star Ioan Gruffudd shines in the lead role, showing true lead star quality. I'm certain that he is on his way to bigger projects in his career. Coupled with established actor David Warner and well-known face Paul McGann (nice to see him doing more television after his abruptly cut-short turn in "Doctor Who"), the cast flow through the excellent script with everything they've got, not just acting the parts but expressing the feeling of the story.

Let's hope that this movie (and it's sequel "Retribution") are not the last we see of the Lydia and her crew. A&E could show other television networks exactly how to make a truly entertaining TV movie, something that seems lost to everyone else.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An interesting film, but it is far from the author's story.
wfurger-111 October 2003
To anyone not familiar with c.S. Forrester's book this film should be interesting. It is colorful, well acted and depicts high adventure, but to those of us who know the original stories it is appalling. I could hardly sit through it.

For some reason screen-writers seem compelled to rewrite the stories they are working on. Of course, the spoken word is different from the written word, and there are some episodes that would be difficult to film. But, why do the screen-writers rewrite the story instead of just adapting it? In this case the writers out-did themselves.

Just a few examples: There was no mutiny on the Renown. The officers did take over the ship after the half-insane Captain was driven completely mad when he fell through a hatchway -for reasons implied but never given. There was no court martial. The court of inquiry was conducted in an almost congratulatory atmosphere. Captain Pellew does not appear appear in this part of the Hornblower saga, nor does Col. Ortega's wife. Hornblower, himself, was never in the brig either on the ship or on shore. There are plenty of such manipulations of Forrester's story.

On a purely technical basis, I think the film's repeated use of the flash-back device hurts the continuity of the story.

Why, oh why did screen-writers have to mess up a good story?
10 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
continuing the hornblower tradition with style
Anna-558 April 2001
I have been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the Hornblower series since the first four came out two years ago. This movie doesn't disappoint! I can only wait for next Sunday to see the next one. Ioan Gruffudd has grown into the shoes of Forrester's legendary seaman and its really not hard to see how he eventually (in the book series) rises to Admiral of the Fleet. The man who plays Capt Sawyer provides a wonderful performance of a national hero unhinged by too many years at sea. As easy he is to hate, there are moments where you see him at the very brink of mental control and just about to fall over the edge (no pun intended) and feel maybe just a tad more sympathetic. (But don't think for a second I that I wasn't rooting for some "accident" to befall him). Congrats to Ioan Gruffudd and the rest of the cast and crew for a wonderful 5th Hornblower!
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I never read the books
bcolquho9 May 2005
I loved this movie though I never read the books. The movie was on A&E four years ago. Hornblower's now a third lieutenant on a British two-decker under the command of Captain Sawyer. Sawyer goes a tad loco en la cabeza and punishes Hornblower by having him stand watch all night without sleep. Hornblower does it and he joins a conspiracy to remove Sawyer from command. Somebody pushes Sawyer into the hold of the ship and he's in bed for a long time. The ship's surgeon says he should be relieved of command. Hornblower's eventually court-martialled for mutiny but the charges are dismissed by Sir Edward Pellew, a real life Royal Navy officer, who regularly appeared in C.S. Forester's Hornblower novels. Hornblower, like Jack Aubrey, was based on the real-life British officer Sir Thomas Cochrane.
2 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
one of the worse of an generally outstanding series
TheNorthernMonkee16 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS Every production which consists of many chapters has a black spot. Whether it's television series with a week season, or a drama with a weak episode, all have them. In episodes five and six, this magnificent series has it's black-spot.

As third lieutenant aboard the HMS Renown, Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd) is working under the legendary Captain Sawyer (David Warner). After a few major errors in judgement by Sawyer however, Hornblower and the other lieutenants begin to suspect the captain might not be entirely well. To remove him however means mutiny, and the punishment for this crime is death.

After the irritating adventures in a French village in the previous episode, it is at least refreshing to get back out to sea in this stretched out two part encounter.

Based almost entirely on either the HMS Renown or in the Lieutenants' trials, this story is a remarkably simple one which feels over long. Perhaps too much of a squeeze to have been contained into one two hour period, three hours feels excessive. In effect, we are left with a no win situation.

As the slowly deteriorating captain Sawyer, David Warner is suitably aggressive and insane. Sadly this pushes him from seeming like a serious actor into an over the top one. Normally an outstanding actor, Warner frustrates in these episodes.

Whilst Warner might not convince, series regulars Ioan Gruffudd, Jamie Bamber, Paul Copley and Sean Gilder all perform unsurprisingly well. All these actors have taken their characters to heart and made them their own, and it is a shame that one of them won't feature in any more episodes.

The problem with both "Mutiny" and "Retribution" however is not acting, but purely that the script feels drawn out and grates on the nerves. Written by T.R.Bowen and Ben Rostul these episodes are far the finest of the series and could do with a rewrite.

Even the almighty Hornblower series has a few bad episodes. Often the finest thing on British television, the series is let down in particular by both "Mutiny" and "Retribution". Featuring an excessive performance by David Warner and an awkward story, these episodes should have been so much better.
2 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Stop being so insular
Daft_Evader7 August 2002
This may well be an excellent production, but I would like to ask the Americans amongst you not to credit an American Network with its production but rather the UK casts crews and channels responsible for making it rather than the US network which seams to incessantly repackage mid quality UK productions
4 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Top TV entertainment!
Ron-18116 April 2001
I have now seen all six of the A&E Hornblower series and find it one of the best produced series TV has ever done. I will say five and six were slow paced and moved more like a soap opera but the writing has been outstanding the cast is professional and superior in every way. The first four episodes rated 8 & 9 's in my book but these last two dropped a little to a 7 because of the pacing. Excellent family fare and I am sure everyone will find them entertaining.
1 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
There is no chance for suspense
Pro Jury15 April 2001
As with the other episodes in this made-for-TV series expanding on the many adventures of the sea legend, Horatio Hornblower's super human infallibility ruins all chance for suspense.

As little Wesley Crusher ruined many seasons of THE NEXT GENERATION, Horatio Hornblower invincibly saves every situation. Each and every clever solution inevitably comes only from the lips of Horatio Hornblower. Immeasurably superior, Hornblower's main trouble in this movie series seems to be tolerating the many error ridden characters above and below him in the chain of command. A perfect being makes for dull story telling. So superior is our hero, that even those who attempt to help him are powerless to do something correctly unless Hornblower is there to direct and control their every move.

What is the sense in telling a story about any person who cannot do wrong and will repeatedly win at everything every single time? What is the point of watching such a story?
4 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
great to cast a vote for movies or tv-series
leba836 May 2001
The Hornblower series are just as great as the books, great acting, nice scenes, and the series borders on the truth of that era. I hope they will continue with the Hornblower series. I like to say great job everybody but especially to Ioan Gruffod, Jamie Bamber, Robert Lindsay, Sean Gilder and Paul Copley.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Very good, but a bit slow (partial spoiler)
owl699 April 2001
Warning: Spoilers
I have been following these since A&E first started making them. I have always found them to be reasonably historically and nautically accurate. However, I must say that I found the pacing a bit slow on this one. Perhaps because it is Part one of two? Ioan Gruffudd is great as always. Robert Lindsay is always wonderful. And the chemistry these two actors have achieved in this series is truly wonderful. Very much like that between a father and son. David Warner is brilliant as the slightly crazed Capt. James Sawyer.

See it if you like a good sea drama!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews