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The Hornblower Collection (6 discs) [DVD]

Ioan Gruffudd , Denis Lawson , Andrew Grieve    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Denis Lawson, Robert Lindsay, Ian McNeice, Dorian Healy
  • Directors: Andrew Grieve
  • Producers: Andrew Benson, Liz Bunton
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Feb 2003
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007L3RS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,591 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


From Amazon.co.uk

Based freely on the classic novels by CS Forester, Hornblower is a series of TV films following the progress of a young officer through the ranks of the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The series' greatest asset is the handsome and charismatic Ioan Gruffudd in the lead role, surely a major star in the making.

For television films the production values are very good, though as Titanic, Waterworld and The Perfect Storm demonstrated, filming an aquatic adventure is a very expensive business, and it is clear that the Hornblower dramas simply make the best of comparatively small budgets. No more faithful to Forester's books than the 1951 Gregory Peck classic Captain Horatio Hornblower, the real inspiration seems to have come from the success of Sharpe, starring Sean Bean, which likewise featured a British hero in the Napoleonic Wars. Nevertheless, while rather more easygoing than the real British navy of the time, the Hornblower saga delivers an entertaining adventure, greatly enhanced by the presence of such guest stars as Denis Lawson, Cheri Lunghi, Ronald Pickup and Anthony Sher. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

The first six episodes of the maritime adventure series based of the novels by C.S. Forester. In 'The Even Chance' seventeen-year-old seaman Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd) boards the Justinian at Portsmouth. Nervous, seasick and afraid of heights, Hornblower soon falls prey to resident bully Jack Simpson, but refuses to blab to his superiors, even when Simpson beats him. Hornblower's fortunes change for the better when he is transferred to the frigate Indefatigable under Sir Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay), who puts him in charge of his own division. 'The Frogs and the Lobsters' has the Indefatigable join a task force to return Lord Moncoutant to his loyal villagers in Muzillac. However, Republican supporters in the community threaten Moncoutant's safety and he responds with draconian measures. Local schoolteacher Mariette stands up against the Lord's brutal regime, and Hornblower finds himself siding with her. 'The Examination for Lieutenant' finds Hornblower being encouraged by Captain Pellew to take his lieutenant's exams; meanwhile, Spain joins forces with the French against the English fleet, and the young seaman must find a way to keep control of his crew whilst they are subjected to severe rationing and quarantined due to a deadly plague. 'The Duchess and the Devil' sees Hornblower entrusted with the protection of important naval despatches and asked to accompany the Duchess of Wharfedale on a journey to England. When they are captured by the Spanish fleet, Hornblower reveals the despatches to the Duchess, but begins to wonder how far she can be trusted. 'Mutiny' finds Hornblower serving as third lieutenant on board the HMS Renown and suffering under the erratic will of its captain, James Sawyer (David Warner). In fact, Sawyer's behaviour gets worse and worse as time moves on, so much so that the other officers start to fear for the safety of the vessel. Hornblower starts off defending Sawyer, but eventually even he begins to think the unthinkable; namely, that a mutiny might be in order. Finally, in 'Retribution', the HMS Renown has run aground, but Hornblower has come up with a plan that could save the day: why don't they surprise the Spanish by making an unannounced land attack on the same fort they recently tried to attack by sea?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower: Loyalty 27 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This is one of the best hornblower's so far, demoted to lieutenant, and on half pay, hornblower is stuck in plymouth forced to pawn his possesions to pay his rent. that is until he is reinstated as commander of the hotspur, then the action and drama begins, which I wouldn't spoil for you. There is a good mix of action, but this one also shows hornblower begin to think about marrage and family. As always there are lots of naval and land battles. The dialogue is easily up to the usual standard and the story moves along briskly. As with hornblower DVD's there are no special features except scene selection. however I feel the story and production values more than make up for this. This is part 1 of 2, so to see the conclusion you will need to purchase Hornblower: Duty.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hornblower collection on dvd 13 Feb 2003
This would make an excellent present. It is ingeniously packaged. When you remove what looks like a book in a slipcase and unfold it you discover 6 DVDs. This represents very good value. Stories are: the Even Chance, Examination for Lieutenant, the Duchess and the Devil, the Frogs and the Lobsters, Mutiny and Retribution - all of these are already reviewed as individual DVDs. There are no special features such as making of or historical background which is a pity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Hornblower yet 23 May 2003
This episode, with its partener 'Retribution' a close second, is my favourite out of all 8. It sees the return of our old friends Pellew, Matthews, Styles and, of course, Hornblower. Though absent from the book, a place is found for Archie Kennedy, and his cheeky smile really brightens up the screen. Paul McGann makes an excellent, and very welcome enterance as Lieutenant Bush. A tale of loyalty and mutiny follows, as they serve under a mad captain and unassertive First Lietenant. This is an interesting interpretation, but it stays within the bounds of the book, and really manages to flourish. A few unrealistic blue-screen effects, and one or two convictionless lines, fail to mar this great programme. Well done.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best. 7 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This has to be one of my favourites of the Hornblower series. Hornblower and the others find themselves under the charge of a crazy captain. Mutiny is inspired after his harsh and cruel treatment of Wellard, a young midshipman. However, in other episodes, Hornblower has been my favourite character, but in this, he was taken over by Bush, beautifully played by Paul McGann. He appears somewhat heartless and weak, particularly when he fails to defend Wellard, but is later reveal to be loyal and determined. In this episode more is made of Matthews and Styles, played well by Paul Copley and Sean Gilder. I always enjoy these characters, which get better and better with every episode. Kennedy makes a welcome appearance as Wellard's defender, the only officer to do so, making him well loved by the audience. The two stars of the show have to be young Terrence Corrigan as Wellard, and of course, crazy captain Sawyer. Corrigan is wonderful. He handles some difficult and potentially humilating scenes with dignity and courage. Sawyer was horrifying and eventually pityed. Gruffudd as Hornblower, was, as usual, charming. But unfortunately, slightly overshadowed by an excellent supporting cast.
Any Hornblower fans must see this episode, one of the best. Again however, no extras on the DVD. I'd love to see cast interviews or a 'making of...' documentary.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swashbuckling Napoleonic Action 14 Feb 2003
Format:VHS Tape
This collection follows the adventures of Horatio Hornblower as he rises through the ranks of the British Navy. Set in the Napoleonic Wars which would see Britain triumph over Republican France and later Imperial France, leaving them master of the Seas.
The series is excellent having the right balance of story, action and historical accuracy. It is good to see an excellent Napoleonic drama following in the steps of the interesting if not slightly inaccurate Sharpe.
Hornblower is a must have for any Napoleonic, Naval history buff or somebody just looking for swashbuckling adventure the likes of not seen in these shores for quite some time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant drama, excellent value 2 Jan 2004
By Caroline P. VINE VOICE
This series is just so good. Each episode is utterly absorbing (they're around 2hrs long each) so that it comes as a shock when they end and you're back in the 21st Century. Very fine acting particularly by Hornblower. With 6 discs in the box and a high re-watchable value, this set represents excellent value for money for anyone with even a hint of saltwater yearning in their veins! Wonderful escapism.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower: Duty 27 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Here it is the exciting conclusion to Hornblower: Loyalty. Starting off with hornblower's marriage, things quickly turn to action and adventure, as hornblower picks up two suspicious passengers. In this installment we see many of the mysteries from loyalty unravelled. In my opinion this is a fantastic story and it is told very well, leaping from action to adventure and back again. I was not at all bored throughout the whole film, I was transfixed by the attention to detail and wonderful standard of acting. Having previously reviewed Hornblower: Loyalty, and having said that I felt it was one of the best, i have to say that this is better.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower-Blows me away evertime i watch it! 9 Nov 2005
I have every Hornblower made in a box set. I think it's brilliant and a definate watch if you like action films with a little history behind them. When I told my friends that I watched Hornblower everyone said they hated it- even though they'd never seen it
But i totally disagree its brilliant and I love it so much all of them i dont have a favourite.
Im a girl and I'm 13 and i think that anyone who wants to watch it can even if your girl boy young or old if you like action and adventure then any Hornblowers are the things to watch!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good series
Episode of HB filmed in a Mola fortress menorca!!Where i live. Great to see how they changed backgrounds. good story
Published 5 months ago by Mola
2.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower box set
Disapointing product due to not being widescreen thus making it all but unwatchable.
Onto the series - I love Hornblower, the screenplay is excellent adventure stuff, well... Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Griffin
4.0 out of 5 stars good
thought it was good it was nice to watch this is my third dvd like the stories and the acting
Published 10 months ago by ysanne andrews
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
The Hornblower collection is well presented, full of action, performed by some of Britain's best actors. This collection is a must if you like period drama.
Published 13 months ago by Jem
5.0 out of 5 stars Didn,t catch the series when on T.V.
Bought it really, because I love historical fiction of any kind. This won,t disapoint, and I believe there was a followup chapter but I haven,t got around to buying that as yet but... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mrs. B. Preston
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hornblower Collection
What wonderful value for money, hubby looks forward to watching the 6 DVDs which make up this collection. Packaged really well and looks brand new. Thank you
Published 16 months ago by Mrs. Jennifer Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Epsidoe Yet?
Mutiny has and always will be my fave epsodie of the Hornblower series, The Frogs And Lobsters is a close second with the Duchess and The Devil third. Read more
Published on 10 Jun 2009 by Ms. J. F. Gilby
5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower Unbeatable
I now have the complete set of Hornblower DVDs and can watch them over and over. This is one of the best series ever produced for TV. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2009 by Mithril 13
4.0 out of 5 stars Saving the best til last?
The eighth and final (so far) episode of this Hornblower series is a continuation of the seventh ("Loyalty"), though both discs can stand on their own as integral stories. Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2007 by Nicholas Casley
3.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower as Superman
In terms of story and acting, the Hornblower series can stand side-by-side quite easily with the likes of Hollywood's "Master and Commander", but the effects and realism present in... Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2007 by Nicholas Casley
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