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Horatio Hornblower 3 (2003)

Hornblower: Loyalty (original title)
Hornblower is given a dangerous mission to deliver an emigre French nobleman to a secret rendezvous near Brest while coping with enemy agents in his own ranks.


Andrew Grieve


C.S. Forester (novel), Niall Leonard (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Commander Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Admiral Sir Edward Pellew
Paul McGann ... Lieutenant Bush
Greg Wise ... Major Côtard
Lorcan Cranitch ... Wolfe
Tony Haygarth ... Master Prowse
Julia Sawalha ... Maria Mason
Barbara Flynn ... Mrs. Mason
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Ian McElhinney ... Captain Hammond
Christian Coulson ... Midshipman Jack Hammond
Ron Cook ... Steward James Doughty
Jonathan Forbes ... Midshipman Charles Orrock
Jim McManus Jim McManus ... Pawnbroker


The war with France has been over for a year and Horatio Hornblower finds himself on land. With his ship, the Retribution, laid up and his promotion to Commander rescinded as a result, he finds himself a poor Lieutenant in a peace time navy. He has taken to playing cards to make a living. Luck presents itself in the form Sir Edward Pellew, his mentor and former commanding officer. Horatio soon finds himself again promoted to Commander and in charge of a sloop, the HMS Hotspur. He recruits his old shipmate Lt. Bush as his first officer, along with Matthews and Stiles. His task is to transport a French officer to the coast but once ashore, Horatio discovers the French amassing an invasion force. Once again at war, the men of the Hotspur are tasked to lead an advance force against a shore battery ahead of the British fleet. Hornblower soon realizes he has a traitor among his crew. In his personal life, he has to deal with the lovely Maria, his landlady's daughter who has taken quite a ... Written by garykmcd

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Adventure | Drama | War


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Did You Know?


The brown print day dress worn by Julia Sawalha (Maria) is the same costume worn by Cécile Paoli (Lucille) in Sharpe: Sharpe's Waterloo (1997). See more »


When discussing the threat of a French invasion on board the flagship, captain Hammonds makes a mocking remark about Napoleon issuing orders from Windsor Castle instead of Versailles. However, Napoleon never lived in Versailles: the imperial residence was Tuileries Palace, in Paris. By the time the action is set, the Palace of Versailles had been abandoned for over a decade, having been looted by the French revolutionaries, and would not be restored until 1870, and never used again as official residence. See more »


Wolfe: C'mon, lads! Explosives are nothing to worry about - unless you're careless. Then your worries are over.
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Followed by Hornblower: Duty (2003) See more »


God Save the King
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User Reviews

TV Pablum
3 December 2003 | by magmSee all my reviews

The opening credits note "based on the stories by C. S. Forester". In the interest of fairness, it should say "very loosely based...". I happened across this on tonight and am appalled for Forester's sake. How A&E takes a well-written intelligent drama and turns it into such stupid melodrama that has only a faintly passing relationship to the actual story is beyond my comprehension. Spielberg once said to his crew in regard to a tv-movie he was making, "This is TV folks - Tender Vittles. We have to make it simple for them." Obviously the A&E folks studied at his school of pablum. Certainly this series is entertaining on some level, but don't for a minute think you know the Hornblower story based on seeing it. Call it something else and not Hornblower if they're going to change it so radically. For me, I'm angry, as I hoped to see Forester's great stories given a good treatment.

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Release Date:

2 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horatio Hornblower 3 See more »

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