Horatio Hornblower Collector's Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The show is great, however the DVDs that came in the package were wrong. Each disc had the appropriate label and title on it, but episode #4 was actually episode #7. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful engaging, positive series. Love this and all the actors in it. Well done. Only complaint the English subtitles for HOH are only on the first few disks and then there... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Anonymous
This is a very good complete collection of made for TV movies by A&E. The mix of action and drama are fantastic. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer Alpha