The epic saga of Horatio Hornblower, the legendary sea-faring hero, comes to life in these films based on C.S. Forester's classic novels. Set against the bloody backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, Hornblower charts a course for high adventure following the raw recruit as he battles the French, evades capture, and rises through the ranks of the King's Navy. With a powerful performance by Ioan Gruffudd (Titanic) in the title role, Horatio Hornblower brings C.S. Forester's classic tales to life in all their swashbuckling glory.
Volume I: The Duel
The year is 1793. As England prepares for war with France, young Horatio Hornblower reports for duty aboard the battleship Justinian. His welcome to the King's Navy is harsh, however, as the sadistic Midshipman Simpson takes an instant, violent dislike to the young sailor. Transferred to the Indefatigable when war erupts, Hornblower proves his mettle in combat and catches the eye of the captain. But his career is threatened when thy come upon the flaming wreckage of the Justinian, and Simpson is among the survivors. On a vital mission, Simpson's treachery nearly costs Hornblower his life, and a final showdown is inevitable.
Volume II: The Fire Ships
In the dark days of the Napoleonic War: Horatio Hornblower and the crew of the Indefatigable are put on half rations. But Hornblower is distracted from his hunger by the prospect of a commission, for Captain Pellew (Robert Lindsay) has nominated the young sailor for the lieutenant's exams. The Indefatigable sails to the African Coast to buy provisions. While ashore, Hornblower and his men are exposed to the Black Plague. He proposes that a they serve their three-week quarantine by sailing another ship back to Gibraltar to rendezvous with the fleet. The mission proves that the real test of a sailor's worth comes at sea, not in the examination hall.
Volume III: The Duchess And The Devil
Horatio Hornblower and a of seven men capture a small French ship, La Reve. His is rewarded with his first command, sailing the ship to Britain. Traveling with him is a beautiful and intriguing duchess and a vital package of documents bound for the Admiralty. In a thick fog, the La Reve strays into the path of the Spanish fleet. The duchess is brought aboard the enemy flagship, while Hornblower and his crew are exiled on a remote island. But when a ship sinks offshore during a violent storm, he convinces his captors to let him mount a rescue operation, promising not to escape.
Volume IV: The Wrong War
After winning his freedom from prison and rejoining the fleet, Horatio Hornblower learns that he has been promoted to lieutenant. But news of his next mission is not as welcome, for the Indefatigable will be transporting a small of French Royalists on a desperate plot to invade Brittany. Despite British doubts, the French insist that their plan will succeed. Traveling with a led by a cruel and condescending Marquis, Hornblower is shocked at the lack of discipline among the French soldiers, and becomes increasingly disillusioned with his allies. His doubts are quickly -- and tragically -- proved right.