Laurie F. from SISTERS, OR Reviewed on 11/13/2011...
Among my favorite books turned movie.
Fabulous cast, great costumes, exciting action.
All time favorite series.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Peter Q. (Petequig) Reviewed on 1/5/2010...
Classic tale of Duty and Loyalty.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Hornblower Lives! Three cheers for A&E!
John Botkin | Bay City, MI United States | 01/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A&E continues to treat fans of the Horatio Hornblower book series with two new movies. These movies are at least of equal quality, if not better, than the six previous films. Everything from the ships to the costumes to the sets hit all the notes and make you feel a part of the period. Likewise the stories and acting are fabulous. Horatio is given command of the Hotspur and is forced to deal with a new crew (with some old faces), the French, spies, and rebel Irishmen. Coming through with flying colors, Hornblower tackles the unthinnkable - marriage. This second film, Duty, is the best of the series. The central theme of 'duty' is so thoroughly woven into the fabric of the story that almost all of the relationships in the narrative are faced with the question of duty. Ioan Gruffud continues to give a truly inspiring performance as Captain Hornblower. He continues to let the character grow and mature, while at the same time maintaining the core identity of Hornblower - an honorable, intelligent, courageous soldier who is wholeheartedly devoted to Britain and her navy. The relationship between Hornblower and Admiral Pellew continues to become more of a father-son relationship. Paul McGann (of Doctor Who fame, among many other things) returns as Lt. Bush. McGann gives a strong performance as Hornblower's second in command, showing that that he is more than capable of both being a leading man and an excellent supporting character.Something that many may find as a negative is the lack of totally new music. Much of the score seems to be a reworking of the major musical themes found in the first four films of the series. Personally, I find this a 'plus.' It helps establish a certain continuity to the series that is nice. I always find myself grinning when the "Horatio has done it again" theme begins playing across the cheers or astonished looks of the other characters! For those of you who have seen the Gregory Peck film, Horatio Hornblower, the A&E series is just about to catch up (chronologicall) to the events portayed in that film. Let's hope that A&E continues producing the films until the complete life & times of Horatio Hornblower are done with such excellent acting and production values!Hip-hip Horay! Hip-hip HORAY! HIP-HIP! HORAY!"
Napoleon is back to his tricks but so is Horatio Hornblower
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 12/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the third set of Horatio Hornblower adventures the producers have returned to following author C.S. Forester's stories more closely. This time the the pair of two-hour made for television movies, "Loyalty" and "Duty," each stand on their own, although they occupy the same period of time, when Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd) is in charge of H.M.S. "Hotspur," and war with the France of Napoleon Bonaparte starts up again.In "Loyalty," Hornblower and the "Hotspur" are dispatched to the shores of France to see if Napoleon intends to keep the peace. This mission comes as a welcomed relief to Hornblower, who has been idling on half-pay for a year, during which time he has captured the eye of Maria Mason (Julia Sawalha), the daughter of his landlady. However, what Hornblower does not know is that there is at least one traitor aboard his ship. If that was not a big enough problem, Hornblower has to deal with Styles being his new steward."Duty" begins with Hornblower being sick to his stomach for a different reason that finding his sea legs for once and then being dispatched on the "Hotspur" to find a missing ship. Along the way he picks up a young couple who were trying to get ashore. The husband has a French accent but claims to be Swiss, while the wife is an American. Clearly there is more to their story than they are telling. Meanwhile, once again Hornblower stumbles across one of Napoleon's plans against England and has to take matters into his own hands.Once again in addition to the grand adventures during the Napoleonic wars, the chief attraction of these Hornblower stories are the relationships between the characters. The relationship between Hornblower and Maria is on target with regards to the books and fans of the novels have to be impressed with the way the relationship between Hornblower and Bush (Paul McGann) is developed. But the masterstroke of these productions was the decision to extend the role of Robert Lindsay as Sir Edward Pellew, making him a constant presence in Hornblower's career. Every scene with Pellew is a delight, and at the end of these installments it will be Pellew's surprise for Hornblower that will move you more than Maria's news for her husband. That scene is indeed in the books, although not with Pellew, but having him do it is the highpoint of these stories.My only complaint about "Horatio Hornblower: The New Adventures" is that I really want to see more of Hornblower on the seas and less on the land. I attribute the ratio to production concerns, so I understand the logic, but still would prefer to see a bit more seafaring. Of course, with "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" showing exactly that, it is hard not to want to see Horatio Hornblower giving Lucky Jack Aubrey a run for his money. Granted, the novels of Patrick O'Brian have a depth and detail well beyond Forester, but the Hornblower stories were always ripping good yarns and the commitment of this cast and crew to bringing us more adventures every couple of years deserves a trio of hurrahs. Gruffudd has found the role of a lifetime and apparently will spend a lifetime playing the role. When is the next set of adventures coming out?"
Horblower's back...and in command!
Tyson Torres | Arizona USA | 10/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having viewed the Australian releases of "Loyalty" and "Duty" twice in the last two months, I can say that all the non-Australian fans without region-free players will find their wait has ended on a good note. Great casting, superior location shooting, and some unique special effects will make these DVDs can't miss for Hornblower fans. Old friends are back, and old foes, along with new enemies to deal with, and new allies as well. Look for plot twists galore, some excellent ship battles, and a very unique climactic battle in the midst of snow at sea.
Very close to being my favorites of the episodes, these are so well done as to rank very highly indeed. Four stars, since Horatio fans know, Hornblower is held to a higher standard!"
Magnificent! A wonderful adaptation of the famous novels!
Roger J. Buffington | Huntington Beach, CA United States | 01/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Loyalty" and "Duty" are the titles of the latest two episodes of the A&E Hornblower saga. These episodes are loosely based upon C.S. Forester's novel "Hornblower and the Hotspur" which is one of the very best Hornblower novels. For those who are unaquainted with this series, Captain Horatio Hornblower is a fictional British naval officer set in the Napoleonic Wars period circa 1800. The novels are wonderful. So is this series by A&E.In this latest production by A&E we see Hornblower become master of his own ship, with Lieutenant Bush and many of the earlier characters in the series at his side. In my opinion all of the leading actors, and for that matter the supporting ones, turn in exemplary performances. Ioan Griffudd continues to be magnificent as Captain Hornblower, and Robert Lindsay is fabulous as Admiral Pellew. Watch the series--I'm not too lavish with my praise--these guys really do a bang-up job. They do not over-act, and they are very authentic.The effects in this series, while perhaps not as lavish as might be found in a big-budget movie, are nonetheless superb, and no improvement is needed in my opinion. A&E does a great job with the sets, costumes, and effects."Duty" and "Loyalty" in common with the rest of this series, depart significantly from the storyline of the novel ("Hornblower and the Hotspur") upon which these episodes are based. Now, I am a fanatical Hornblower afficianado, but I am here to say that this is OK--the A&E stories are excellent, and will not offend the Hornblower purist. Every time I felt that the story was departing completely from the original novel, it would suddenly revert to the novel's storyline. No spoilers here--just be assured that these are, in fact, Hornblower stories and not mere pastiches, at least in my opinion.These episodes are as good as the very best movies, and are immeasurably better than just about anything else that television produces. The DVD is crisp and clean, and the sound is excellent as well. This is a great value that anyone will enjoy repeatedly. "Duty" and "Loyalty" belong in every DVD collection."
It is Better To Earn Loyalty Than To Demand It
Ali Ateya Abdali Neama | A'ali, Bahrain | 11/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventure" is great, and even better than the previous movies. The battle scenes are excellent, and very realistic, especially in the sea battles where we can see splinters splashes after explosions.
But A&E takes advantage of our loyalty to Hornblower, by releasing poor quality DVDs, as these are the 7th & 8th sequels, and yet the sound still (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), it should be at least (Dolby Digital 5.1) which gives us better firing and explosions sounds.
Also, the early releases of "Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventure" DVDs are in "Full-Screen format", which is reasonable as it was made for TV. But later, they released "Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventure" DVDs on a "Widescreen format". Actually they trimmed and enlarged it to make it in "Widescreen format", which effect the quality especially in close-up scenes - Lucky me that I own the "Full-Screen version".
And unlike the previous Hornblower DVDs, this one has no useful extras, even the captioning is not an interactive function of the DVD player, but of the TV set (Closed Caption Decoder).
We love Hornblower, and Ioan Gruffudd (Horatio Hornblower) performance was excellent as always, he proved that he always conquer, in love and war."