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Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventures (Loyalty / Duty)

4.7 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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(Nov 11, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Jamie Bamber. The adventures of C.S. Forester's seafaring hero fighting for the British flag against the armies of Napoleon come to life in two all-new, full-length features, Loyalty and Duty . 2 DVDs. 2003/color/3 hrs., 20 min/NR/widescreen.


Dashing Ioan Gruffud stars as dashing Horatio Hornblower, unparalleled British naval hero, in two more delightful episodes from the A&E series. In Loyalty, a peace with France has left Hornblower decommissioned and short on funds. Only the help of his landlady's daughter Maria (heartbreaking Julie Sawalha, Absolutely Fabulous) keeps him from being kicked out into the street. Fortunately for our hero, Napoleon's armies are afoot, and Hornblower soon finds himself sailing to France in command of the Hotspur, grappling with Irish traitors and French skullduggery. Duty picks up where Loyalty leaves off; Hornblower marries Maria with some ambivalence, but the day after his wedding sails for the coast of France to find a missing ship. After rescuing a supposedly Swiss man and his American wife in a storm, Hornblower finds himself caught between an old foe in France and diplomats in England. Though the derring-do is sometimes melodramatic, Horatio Hornblower swiftly becomes engrossing and suspenseful. Credit is due to smart scripts, efficient direction, Gruffud's heroically curly hair, and a superb supporting cast, including Robert Lindsay and Paul McGann (Withnail and I). --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Includes Loyalty and Duty
  • Commentary by director Andrew Grieve, producer Andrew Benson, and costume designer John Mallo
  • Cast and crew biographies
  • Photo gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Paul McGann, Greg Wise, Lorcan Cranitch
  • Directors: Andrew Grieve
  • Writers: C.S. Forester, Niall Leonard, Stephen Churchett
  • Producers: Andrew Benson, Delia Fine, Emilio Nunez, Liz Bunton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 200 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DJZAC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,006 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Horatio Hornblower - The New Adventures (Loyalty / Duty)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"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.
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