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Horatio Hornblower: Collector's Edition (2008)

Ioan Gruffudd , Andrew Grieve  |  NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)

Price: $99.99
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Horatio Hornblower: Collector's Edition + Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues + Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventures (Loyalty / Duty)
Price for all three: $62.69

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ioan Gruffudd
  • Directors: Andrew Grieve
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video (New REleaset)
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 800 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (369 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018C705M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

From midshipman to commander, experience the thrilling escapades of the ultimate high-seas hero with the HORATIO HORNBLOWER COLLECTOR'S EDITION, an eight-volume treasure chest of sweeping naval adventure and lavish historical drama.

Joining the British Royal Navy at the outset of the Napoleonic Wars, the enterprising Horatio Hornblower rises quickly from raw recruit to seasoned sailor, charting a course from the West Indies to the coast of Africa in the name of the Crown. Along the way he encounters roiling sea battles, mutiny, plague and love, but always proves himself equal to the task. Gorgeously filmed and richly produced, A&E's Emmy®-winning adaptations of C.S. Forester's classic novels star Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four, Black Hawk Down) and a stellar supporting cast that includes Robert Lindsay (Wimbledon), Jamie Bamber (Band of Brothers) and Paul Copley (Queer as Folk).

The HORATIO HORNBLOWER COLLECTOR'S EDITION contains all eight feature-length Hornblower films (with many a bonus material below deck):

The Duel, The Fire Ships, The Duchess and the Devil, The Wrong War, The Mutiny, Retribution, Loyalty, Duty

DVD Features: Exclusive Interview with Ioan Gruffudd; Filmmaker Commentary on Loyalty and Duty ; 3 Bonus Programs: England s Royal Warships, Sail 2000: Aboard the Eagle, and The Making of Horatio Hornblower ; About C.S. Forester; Nautical Terms and Definitions; Interactive 3D Naval Cannon; Guide to Royal Warships; C.S. Forester Biography; Cast and Crew Biographies; Photo Gallery; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
268 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, incredible, entertaining... September 18, 2008
Format:DVD
Given the title and subject matter- seaman- you might think that this is the latest release from Falcon (and I'm sure that they or another adult studio has certainly released their version of these classics). You'd be wrong. Horatio Hornblower is instead an epic story of honor, loyalty, and duty. Featuring bloody battles, incredible adventures, and a cast of characters as good as any ever imagined, it's no wonder that this Emmy Award-winning series got raves from critics and the general public alike.

Based on the novels by C.S. Forester, A&E's Horatio Hornblower was a made-for-TV series that ran from 1998-2003. The eight individual films that make up this Collector's Edition chronicle the unlikely rise of young Horatio from lowly midshipman to powerful commander, during the early years of the Napoleonic Wars. The stories are engaging and entertaining, the production grand and lavish, and the overall result brilliant.

Nothing was spared in making these films and they're worth watching for the visuals alone. (It's also interesting to note that no computer generated effects were used, which makes the intensity of the battles that much more exciting to watch.) That being said, the story lines are also enthralling, the characters fully developed, and the performances powerful all around. This is a series that will keep anyone engaged; from small children to grandparents.

Each film (or "episode") runs about an hour and a half, and each can stand independent of the others. Having said that, if you're going to watch them all, why not watch them in order and add that much more to the experience? The underlying theme to all episodes is strong personal ethics, against all odds, and while that may sound frighteningly preachy, I assure you that the films are not.
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145 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "England expects that every man will do his duty" August 16, 2006
Format:DVD
Horatio Hornblower - or simpy Hornblower to us non-Americans - is British historical fiction and naval adventure at its very best; an era when men were gentlemen, courage could still be found, and loyalty actually meant something. The series features fine acting and memorable characters, combined with action sequences of a scale and quality rarely found in made-for-TV productions.

Like many other British-American films (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, for instance), the titles on this Region 1 US Disc differ markedly from the rest of the world: The Duel = The Even Chance, The Fire Ship = The Examination For Lieutenant, The Wrong War = The Frogs and The Lobsters, Hornblower 3 = Loyalty. Although one or two of these titles may seem obscure to an American audience, the terminology is covered in the episodes themselves and it seems a shame to change them, as I believe these titles to be more accurate and appropriate to the British source material.

As for the films themselves, Welshman Ioan Gruffudd is perfect in the title role, playing the gallant officer with ease whilst displaying just enough fear and self-doubt to make the character believable. CS Forester's original inspiration for this character is uncertain, with many citing Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (whose exploits and daring is indeed evident in the character of Hornblower). Yet to my mind Hornblower's severe seasickness, brilliant tactical improvisation under fire, and "Nelson Touch"-like ability to command respect from the highest officers and the lowest seamen, are all reminscent of the legendary Horatio Nelson.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horatio blow your horn February 3, 2006
Format:DVD
Being a huge fan of the original Hornblower movie with Gregory Peck, and "Damn the Defiant" with Alec Guinness, I was an immediate fan of this series from the start when it first aired on TV. This is a magnificent series. Any fan of seafaring movies or British drama will love it. Some of the greatest acting, scenery, costumes, and music you will ever find. This set is now a bargain compared to what the original three sets sold for on release. This set is less than half the size of the three sets together. The DVD cases are very slender making a nice compact set of 8 DVDs. Shop around, although Amazon is competitive, I have seen this set for under forty dollars. I like you wish for at least another six movies so it would have at least as many as the Sharpe's set not to mention a great deal more enjoyment for us.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Series from A&E! September 4, 2005
Format:DVD
A outstanding mini-series from A&E TV!! Tells the story of a young Midshipman who through a series of acts of bravery and determination becomes a Captain of his own ship. Very good script, costumes, and above all the actors seem to "be" the people they are playing. Set during the war with France this multi disc collection is a must for anyone who likes a good story.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Although a bit uneven, on the whole, this is a very enjoyable series of films.

The first 4 movies stand out as the best. The first, "The Duel" is an introduction to our young hero, and his hard introduction to the ways of the sea and sailors. It has the best battle at sea footage of the entire series.

The second entry, "The Fire Ships" also includes some fine special effects work, and is possibly the best movie in the series.

"The Duchess and the Devil" and "The Wrong War" end the first series of movies. The former is finely done, perhaps more "real" than any of the other episodes, and you never know how this one will end. The latter is still very entertaining, and gives us more of the war on the land than any other movie. The love interest, unfortunately, ends the same way here as it does in most dramatic movies of this kind.

Set aboard the "Indefatigable", the series is in full sail. Ioan Gruffudd is very good as our hero, although he appears a bit older than 17, as he supposedly starts out. Robert Lindsay is the captain with which everyone would wish to sail.

Produced later, and set about 7 years after the first movies, now aboard another ship, "The Mutiny" and "Retribution" are actually two parts to the same movie. Therefore, allow yourself time to watch these two close together. Although done well again, there is something unsettling about any movie that is about the removal of a captain. David Warner does a fine job as the famous captain of the "Renown", who's more brutal than normal ways are fueled by growing paranoia. But when it get to fighting (mostly, again, on land), the movie takes off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Had In Mind; Disappointed.
Only saw first DVD in a series. Too rugged and depressing for me! Gave away whole series right after that. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Bob T.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I liked this series so I bought the collection.
Published 11 days ago by Virginian in LA
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movies.
The movies are fantastic! I watched them when they came out on A&E with my dad and have enjoyed reliving them with the purchase of this collector's edition. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Tek Jansen "David"
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A nice series.
Published 15 days ago by Jerry
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done!
Excellent mini series. Not one to miss!!!
Published 15 days ago by James Or Sherri Barger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this. Swept back I. Time from beginning to the end. Didn't want it to end
Published 17 days ago by Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Hornblower!
Other than maybe the Winds of War I don't think there was ever a better mini-series...
Published 21 days ago by TBA
5.0 out of 5 stars how can I not like such a high sea adventure
how can I not like such a high sea adventure? Well, I do and truly love this series over and over which for me is saying a lot as I rarely watch any movie or TV series more than... Read more
Published 21 days ago by June Ahern
5.0 out of 5 stars Early 19th century naval life
My husband loved it. I even enjoyed it. If you're a fan of 19th century British naval life, like a little drama--this is the series for you!
Published 27 days ago by R. Selders
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series. If you haven't seen it
Great series. If you haven't seen it, it is well worth buying the collection.
Published 29 days ago by margied
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Blu Ray?
I doubt it will happen any time soon since we can't even get DVDs released of the series with proper subtitles.
Sep 4, 2010 by SM |  See all 4 posts
Subtitles
I have a copy of these in the original sets they were released in, respectively 4, 2 and 2. The "midshipman" set (the one of 4) had english subtitles, while the other 2 sets of 2 were only closed captioned.
Jun 27, 2007 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
Sailor/Swasbuckling movies
Have you seen the big screen Hornblower made in 1950 with Greg Peck? It is as enjoyable if not more so than the tv version. You can buy it solo or as part of a box set called "Literary Classics" which also includes Billy Budd (1962), Madame Bovary (1949), The Three Musketeers (1948:... Read More
Nov 11, 2009 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 3 posts
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