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Hornblower: Duty (2003)

Admiral Pellew interrupts Hornblower's wedding reception and tasks him to locate a British ship which has disappeared off the French coast, where Napoleon's troops are engaged in covert activities.


Andrew Grieve


Stephen Churchett (screenplay), C.S. Forester (novel)
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ioan Gruffudd ... Commander Horatio Hornblower
Robert Lindsay ... Admiral Sir Edward Pellew
Paul McGann ... Lieutenant Bush
Lorcan Cranitch ... Wolfe
Tony Haygarth ... Prowse
Julia Sawalha ... Maria Hornblower
Barbara Flynn ... Mrs. Mason
Paul Copley ... Matthews
Sean Gilder ... Styles
Jonathan Coy ... Captain Bracegirdle
Jim Carter ... Etheridge
Ron Cook ... Steward James Doughty
Jonathan Forbes ... Orrock
David Birkin David Birkin ... Jerome
Camilla Power ... Betsy


Now married to Maria, Horatio Hornblower is soon sent by Admiral Pellew in search of the sloop Grasshopper captained by their old friend, Bracegirdle. The ship had been patrolling a stretch of French coast but had not sent in a report for over two weeks. During a raging storm they take aboard two passengers, an American woman and her French speaking Swiss husband. They are not what they pretend to be. Horatio and his men also encounter Wolfe, the Irish rebel turned traitor and now fighting France. They also realize exactly what Wolfe's plan is when they see three French frigates riding high in the water near his encampment. At home, Horatio is getting used to marriage and having to share his life with someone. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

french | ship | duty | british | water | See All (56) »


Adventure | Drama | War


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Did You Know?


Mr. Proust says, "come to port" when telling the helmsman to steer to the left. However, the term "larboard" was the nautical term for left in use before the Royal Navy authorized the use of "port" in 1844. See more »


Bush and Hornblower refer to the shell which Hornblower extinguished as a "five inch". The cannon was clearly no more than a 12 pound gun which would have had a bore diameter of about 3.7 inches. A five inch gun would have been too large to be easily moved by hand as shown in the scene. See more »


Mrs. Mason: Horatio. You think you're just the Hotspur's captain, you think only of your hundred crew. But you're also a husband now. Is it too much that you might think of one wife? That you might think of her as your duty too?
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Follows Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999) See more »


Yankee Doodle
Performed by Sean Gilder
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User Reviews

another dashing romp
22 February 2003 | by StoryLady66See all my reviews

This episode follows on from the previous one, Loyalty. It carries on as Hornblower attempts to find out what the french are up too and keep his crew intact at the same time. The entire Hornblower series of tv movies is on a par with Sharpe starring Sean Bean and set in the same era and with a cast of well know actors I highly recommend anyone to buy the DVD's it's something you can watch again and again, we want more!

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Release Date:

3 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hornblower - L'arte del comando See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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