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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

Trailer
1:02 | Trailer
During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Patrick O'Brian (novels), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,314 ( 137)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 90 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... Capt. Jack Aubrey
Paul Bettany ... Dr. Stephen Maturin, Surgeon
James D'Arcy ... 1st Lt. Tom Pullings
Edward Woodall Edward Woodall ... 2nd Lt. William Mowett
Chris Larkin ... Capt. Howard, Royal Marines
Max Pirkis ... Blakeney, Midshipman
Jack Randall Jack Randall ... Boyle, Midshipman
Max Benitz ... Calamy, Midshipman
Lee Ingleby ... Hollom, Midshipman
Richard Pates Richard Pates ... Williamson, Midshipman
Robert Pugh ... Mr. Allen, Master
Richard McCabe ... Mr. Higgins, Surgeon's Mate
Ian Mercer ... Mr. Hollar, Boatswain
Tony Dolan Tony Dolan ... Mr. Lamb, Carpenter
David Threlfall ... Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward
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Storyline

In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, is under the command of Captain Jack Aubrey. Aubrey and the Surprise's current orders are to track and capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron. The Acheron is currently in the Atlantic off South America headed toward the Pacific in order to extend Napoleon's reach of the wars. This task will be a difficult one as Aubrey quickly learns in an initial battle with the Acheron that it is a bigger and faster ship than the Surprise, which puts the Surprise at a disadvantage. Aubrey's single-mindedness in this seemingly impossible pursuit puts him at odds with the Surprise's doctor and naturalist, Stephen Maturin, who is also Aubrey's most trusted advisor on board and closest friend. Facing other internal obstacles which have resulted in what they consider a string of bad luck, Aubrey ultimately uses Maturin's scientific exploits to figure out a way to achieve his and the ship's seemingly impossible goal. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Courage To Do The Impossible Lies In The Hearts of Men.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first movie to ever film on the Galapagos Islands. Although, the scene where the crew is chasing marine iguanas was filmed in Baja California with regular green iguana which had been dyed black. See more »

Goofs

When all the men are singing at the captain's table, the camera moves round the table. At one point it is knocked by something (at around 1h). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward: [taking egg from chicken coop] Come on, come on. It's all right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The DUFF (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performed by The New Queen's Hall Orchestra
(Barry Wordsworth conducting)
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd. under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

User Reviews

 
Intelligent High-Seas Adventure
25 January 2006 | by kjw379See all my reviews

There is a scene in MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD where the captain of a British Naval ship, circa 1805, debates the difference between duty and passion. Having passed on an opportunity to make wonderful new discoveries in favor of the pursuit of a massive French war ship, the scene manages to make a rather eloquent, yet subtle comment on the nature of man and his place within the world. The beauty of this film is that there are many such moments where the viewer is simultaneously bombarded with thematic musings, exciting action sequences, great acting and historical accuracy to the point where it becomes difficult to take it all in at once.

Those of you looking for something more like Pirates of the Caribbean will be disappointed as this film is short on action and long on character development. There are only two major battle sequences, separated by more than an hour and a half of time. And while they are great; violently realistic and dramatically involving, the real guts of this film lies in the human stories told along the way. The director, Peter Weir, highlights his ability to tell an intimate story amidst a grand backdrop much like he did in The Truman Show. We get to know these men, their strengths and weaknesses and we see how the long and hard voyage plays on their minds over the film's progression. In one scene, a young officer feels the pressure of his men's dismissive stares and decides to end matters in his own way, afraid of what may be in store for him should he stick it out. Weir does a good job at highlighting the many facets of seafaring life.

If you're looking for an intelligent and thought-provoking journey into the life of a 19th Century British Naval Vessell, look no further. Master and Commander has the depth of a good Discovery Channel show and the action worthy of almost any other high-seas adventure that comes to mind.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Far Side of the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,105,990, 16 November 2003

Gross USA:

$93,927,920

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$211,622,535
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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