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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 (391 customer reviews)

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Horatio Hornblower: Collector's Edition + Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues + Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventures (Loyalty / Duty)
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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 (391 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018C705M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,954 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


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
276 of 284 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, incredible, entertaining... September 18, 2008
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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148 of 150 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "England expects that every man will do his duty" August 16, 2006
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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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horatio blow your horn February 3, 2006
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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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Series from A&E! September 4, 2005
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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27 of 28 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Horatio Hornblower A&E 8 part Series
For those of you who didn't see the original airing on A&E of this classic series by C.S. Forester. Horatio Hornblower is destined to be counted among the classics. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Richard L. Honnick
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series! Wish they had covered all the books ...
Great series! Wish they had covered all the books in the Hornblower series instead of just the first three. Faithfully recreated.
Published 4 days ago by daniel hackett
5.0 out of 5 stars Hornblower is the best series ever IMHO
Horatio Hornblower is a genuine hero and this is the best series of stories made into movies that I have ever seen. Bar none. The movies stay true to the books and that is rare. Read more
Published 14 days ago by bradley d case
5.0 out of 5 stars Horatio! The 18th century hero!
I thought Alexandre Dumas had the market on 18th century action heroes cornered. No, he must make way for Horatio Hornblower! Read more
Published 21 days ago by taaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.. very exciting
Excellent .. very exciting ..
Published 22 days ago by Derek Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb video series. He is a true man of ...
Superb video series. He is a true man of character and integrity!
Published 23 days ago by Mark Bennett
1.0 out of 5 stars The content is fine. The plastic carton it is stored in came ...
The content is fine. The plastic carton it is stored in came broken and is really not much good!
Published 29 days ago by Charles L. Hermansen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Exciting Series! It's watchable Over & Over!
This Horatio Hornblower Collector's Edition Is A Great After Edition, And I Recommend It !
Published 1 month ago by phildantonio
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I have seen it twice. Loved each time.
Published 1 month ago by Lorraine Manor
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't say enough for this series. I wish ...
I can't say enough for this series. I wish that they had continued it... Don't pass this up. It is worth it!!!!!
Published 1 month ago by PSBarger
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Topic From this Discussion
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
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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