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Horatio Hornblower - The Adventure Continues VHS
VHS | Box Set
Just released: "The Adventure Continues" with more high-seas derring-do from C. S. Forester's heroic Hornblower as he captains His Majesty's ships during the chaotic Napoleonic wars. Magnificently re-creating the era, these new tales were filmed like the originals, with full-scale replica ships, far-flung locales, and Ioan Gruffudd ("Titanic") reprising his role as the much-loved commander. Also stars David Warner ("Time Bandits, Titanic"). 3 hours 20 min. on 2 cassettes or 2 DVDs. Also available: The Emmy® Award-winning original as seen on A&E. 1998, boxed set is 4 hours 40 min. on 4 cassettes.
Move over, Mr. Darcy, A&E has a new heartthrob. He's third lieutenant Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd reprising his star-making role), C.S. Forester's swashbuckling hero of the high seas. Devotees of the original Emmy Award-winning miniseries will want to "have at" this boxed set containing two feature-length episodes in which the dashing Hornblower and crew engage in "foolhardy actions, rash judgments, and irresponsible adventures." "Mutiny" finds our young hero awaiting trial for "black bloody mutiny" against a once distinguished, but increasingly unhinged Captain Sawyer (David Warner). "It was for the good of the service," Hornblower insists to his mentor, Sir Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay). "We were headed for disaster." Hornblower relates the events that led him to a Kingston, Jamaica, prison cell. In "Retribution," Hornblower's trial unfolds, and the events surrounding the mutiny are further revealed: Captain Sawyer is detained in a straitjacket, disgruntled crew members desert, dithering acting captain Butland assumes command, and Hornblower leads a surprise attack on a Spanish fort. Meanwhile, the judges look for a scapegoat "to take away the smell." Maritime buffs will have a merry time, with all the shipboard intrigue and skirmishes. Like the "hot shot" that disables an escaping enemy vessel, this boxed set will be "a palpable hit." --Donald Liebenson
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Wife and I both got quickly drawn into the story and also purchased the original set along with the New Adventures, which were all very good. We now wish the series continued even more, or that they made it into a "theater" movie also. While these were made for TV and a little "rough", the stories and acting were very good. I highly recommend them!
Captain Sawyer's dementia is soon spotted by all four of his leutenants. HOwever the first senior leutenant is an incompetent, indecisive, timid, careerist. This means that when control of the ship is assumed by the young officers, the new leader is just as problematic in his own way as was Captain Sawyer.
Underneath all the bravery and action is an important theme. This theme has to do with loyalty and the strength of loyalty. The old heroic Captain Sawyer has men who have fought for him for years and worship him. Thus, they are not inclined to recognize his growing dementia and are in fact familiar with his robust leadership style. They see the young bright leutenants as upstarts and mutineers. Thus the crisis in strong leadership leads to factions and divisions which weakens the entire enterprise. When Sawyer is replaced by an incompetent,the conflicts continue.
The first episode "Mutiny" is very engaging as you see the struggle between Hornblower and Sawyer. However the second episode "Retribution" has a terrific ending with the incredible loyalty of Lt. Archie Kennedy demonstrated for Lt. Hornblower.
It is the aspects of dominance, leadership, loyalty, judgement that lies behind these 2 episodes and these films explore these fascinating concepts very well. Of course we get all the daring do of Ioan Gruffudd playing the role of Horatio Hornblower somewhat as if he were an 18th century James Bond, but all the wild dramatics and action add to the underlying theme of loyalty that is the infrastructure of the entire plot.
and fine acting, I can only say that I envy the pleasures that lie ahead in the many books that they now have before them.