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  1. #1
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    Just wondered if anyone else on here has a soft spot for this entertaining slice of nautical escapism? (Not sure if it qualifies as a true britmovie - was it purely Hollywood-financed, or a UK/US co-production?) Even shorn of colour on an old B&W TV set, it made quite an impression on me when I was young. I've watched it several times since, over the years, and it never fails to provide two hours of solid enjoyment.



    Veteran Hollywood director Raoul Walsh shows a fine understanding of this genre. Apparently Errol Flynn was the initial choice for Hornblower, but I think Gregory Peck is perfect casting. (Oddly enough, his American accent somehow doesn't seem out of place. Even the late Virginia Mayo is also curiously acceptable as the English noblewoman who falls for him. And call me a wuss, but I enjoyed the shipboard romantic interludes just as much as the battle scenes.)



    There's also fun to be had from spotting the likes of Stanley Baker, Christopher Lee, Sam Kydd and Richard Johnson in early roles. And there's stalwart support from Robert Beatty, plus an uncharacteristic but very effective turn from James Robertson Justice as archetypal salt-of-the-earth seadog Quist - "He knew me name!"



    Mention should also be made of Robert Farnon's rousing music score - one of the best of its kind, in my opinion.



    As has often been pointed out, Hornblower was one of the main inspirations behind Star Trek (Peck's character perhaps resembling that of Picard more than Kirk), and the villainous El Supremo is amusingly like a kind of prototype Klingon.



    All in all, it's high time this film received the restoration work it deserves and a DVD release.

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Simon Bermuda:

    Just wondered if anyone else on here has a soft spot for this entertaining slice of nautical escapism?

    [snip]
    It's not as good as the books (IMHO) - but it is pretty good. ISTR it combines a few of the books into the one film story.



    They're showing it on BBC2 at 13:05 on Feb 10th (next Thursday).



    But how do you think the film compares to the TV series with Ioan Gruffudd as Hornblower & Robert Lindsay as Pellew?



    Steve

  3. #3
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    According to Halliwell's,CHHRN is listed as a GB film,made by Warners in the United Kingdom.

    Before the Ioan Gruffudd/Robert Lindsay tv series,the BBC were planning a few years ago to make the drama with Mel Gibson in the title role.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B thumbs_u

  4. #4
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    Just got this DVD in. I'm not sure I'll ever consider Gregory Peck as 'perfect' for this role, hrumph or no hrumph. But it's got enough swashbuckling to make me watch many more times.

  5. #5
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    Was that the era when some of the box-office receipts were "frozen" in England by the government, i.e., couldn't be sent back to the U.S? If so, Warners probably used some of that cash to finance HORNBLOWER as a British production. Same for THE MASTER OF BALLANTRAE and THE CRIMSON PIRATE.



    I like this movie. Peck is good -- and Virgina Mayo. That girl had talent she rarely got to use. She's terrific in COLORADO TERRITORY and WHITE HEAT.



    I couldn't help wondering how Terence Morgan felt about being reduced to "T. Morgan" in the credits. Same with "James R. Justice." Unusual to see such abbreviations -- just to save space, I assume.



    The Farnon music is quite good. I'm not a big fan of his film work, but he gets the job done. I think he has the music credit on HIS MAJESTY O'KEEFE, but when I heard it, I thought, this just has to be Dmitri Tiomkin. Anyone know who actually wrote the O'KEEFE score...? Maybe Farnon was hired, then they thought his score wasn't dynamic enough and brought in Tiomkin without credit. Or am I remembering the credits wrongly...?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineCB
    Just got this DVD in. I'm not sure I'll ever consider Gregory Peck as 'perfect' for this role, hrumph or no hrumph. But it's got enough swashbuckling to make me watch many more times.
    I like this version of Hornblower because it has my namesake in it as Mr Cristal - Moultrie Kelsall (the Kelsall part, not the Moultrie)! No relation though!



    I remember seeing Virginia Mayo and drooling into my popcorn - now I just drool!!!

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