Captain Horatio Hornblower

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Captain Horatio Hornblower is a 1951 film about the adventures of a British Royal Navy captain during the Napoleonic Wars. It starred Gregory Peck in the title role.

Directed by Raoul Walsh. Written by C. S. Forester, Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts and Aeneas MacKenzie, based on several Forester novels.

Captain Horatio Hornblower[edit]

  • Our mission here is over, gentlemen. I would like to thank you all for the way you have ...carried out your duties. Mr Gerard! I told you to clear the decks for action in ten minutes! [Gerard looks at Hornblower apprehensively] You did it in eight.

El Supremo[edit]

  • Three months ago, the Spanish viceroy sent a diplomat who warned me to curb my political ambitions. In answer, I sent part of him back to Panama - his head, to be precise.
  • A burning town is a magnificent sight!

First Lieutenant William Bush[edit]

  • [On his way to Paris with Hornblower to be executed as a spy] Well, I expected to lose my leg, sir... but not all the way up to the neck.

Dialogue[edit]

Narrator: In the year eighteen hundred and seven, a small ship of the Royal Navy set sail from England for a secret destination. With five million French and Spanish soldiers poised on the Continent under Napoleon, nothing could save England from invasion except her 300 ships. HMS Lydia was soon far beyond battle-charged Europe. Under the most secret of sealed orders, she sailed for southern waters, fought her way around the Horn...headed north again into the Pacific. For seven months, she stayed out of sight of land. Becalmed finally, her weary crew toiled at the oars in the vain hope of towing her into a wind. They thirsted and hungered and wondered where she was going, what they would do when they got there...if she got there. These were things known only to one man.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: You know why I'm having Hummill flogged, Mr. Gerard?
Second Lieutenant Gerard: I reported him for fighting, sir.
Hornblower: I am not having him flogged for fighting, Mr. Gerard. I'm having him flogged because you said in front of the men that you'd flog him. This is a ship of war - as it's captain, I must uphold my lieutenants' authority.
Gerard: I understand, sir.
Hornblower: Flogging only makes a bad man worse, Mr. Gerard... but it can break a good man's spirit. Is Hummill a bad man?
Gerard: Aside from his temper, sir, he's a good sailor.
Hornblower: A good sailor, ill-fed and thirsty. Watch the cat as it cuts his back to pieces, Mr. Gerard... and in the future, perhaps you'll think twice when you threaten a man with flogging.

Surgeon Gundarson: You'll lose more than Hazlett if you don't put ashore for fresh food and water!
Captain Horatio Hornblower: Perhaps you'll dig into your medical kit and get me a breath of fresh wind.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: Gentlemen, we will raise our objective within two days. It will be identified by a fortress on a hill overlooking a large bay.
[Hornblower leaves the quarterdeck]
Third Lieutenant Crystal: A fortress... and a wind before morning. Huh! Heat's gone to his head.
First Lieutenant William Bush: Well, I think he knows more than he's saying.
Crystal: Perhaps you'd care to take a wager on it, Mr. Bush?
Bush: How much can you afford?
Crystal: Five shillings that says no wind and ten shillings that we don't sight any fortress.
Bush: Done!

Captain Horatio Hornblower: This ship is getting slack, Mr. Gerard. It's taking you longer every day to clear for action.
Second Lieutenant Gerard: The hands are weak, sir, and...
Hornblower: And what?
Gerard: Restless, sir. After all, sir, seven months without sighting land.
Hornblower: No excuse. You ought to control them...
Lookout: Land ho! Off the starboard bow!
Hornblower: ...An officer who cannot control his men is not reliable.
Gerard: Yes, sir. Excuse me, sir, that was "Land ho."
Hornblower: I have ears, Mr. Gerard.
Gerard: I thought you might be interested, sir.
Hornblower: It took you eleven minutes and twenty seconds to clear for action the other day. I want it done in ten. Now!
Gerard: Now, sir?
Hornblower: You seem to have your mind on something else - I said, "Now!"

Hernandez: Captain Hornblower?
[Hornblower nods]
Hernandez: I am Don Jose Hernandez, Admiral in the service of El Supremo.
Captain Horatio Hornblower: El Supremo? That means The Almighty.
Hernandez: El Supremo was formerly known to men as Don Julian Alvarado.
Hornblower: Ha-h'm. Where is this Don Julian Alvarado?
Hernandez: El Supremo is in his fortress.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: Mr. Bush, here are the keys to my dispatch box containing the Admiralty's orders. If I am not back aboard by midnight, you will assume command.
First Lieutenant William Bush: Not back on board, sir? But you said they were on our side!
Hornblower: War breeds strange allies, Mr. Bush.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: Captain Horatio Hornblower at your service. King George of England charges me with messages of his friendship...
El Supremo: I am not interested in the words of a mere king!
Hornblower: Ha-h'm!

Captain Horatio Hornblower: If I am not back aboard the Lydia within one hour, she'll train her guns upon your fort and reduce it to rubble.
El Supremo: With you in it, Captain?
Hornblower: That is my order.

El Supremo: Make known your needs to Admiral Hernandez.
Captain Horatio Hornblower: Aside from water, I shall need 200 bullocks, 500 pigs, 100 quintals of salt, 40 tons of flour, ten tons of sugar, five tons of tobacco, one ton of coffee, the juice of 40,000 limes... And are there any wines to be had here?
Hernandez: We drink a spirit distilled from molasses which you probably do not know. We call it rum. Will that do?
Hornblower: Ha-h'm. Well, if there's nothing better that will have to do. One hundred barrels.

Second Lieutenant Gerard: A sixty gunner! What do you suppose he's up to?
Third Lieutenant Crystal: We don't clear the bay, I'll wager we'll all dead before morning.
First Lieutenant William Bush: How much can you afford this time?
Crystal: Twenty shillings.
Bush: Done! Where shall I send the money if you win?

Midshipman Longley: What if the Spanish attack while we're at anchor?
First Lieutenant William Bush: The Lydia'd be blown to bits... and I'd lose twenty shillings.
Third Lieutenant Crystal: Signal from the lookout, sir. Natividad's gone about - one more tack and she'll be at the harbor mouth.
Captain Horatio Hornblower: Very good, Mr. Crystal. Well, gentlemen, that leaves time for a rubber of whist.

Captain Horatio Hornblower: You may retain your sword, Captain. Mr. Bush, will you remove these officers to the Lydia and put them in irons?
Spanish captain: B-but we have surrendered! There are rules of war!
Hornblower: Believe me, Captain, if Don Julian so much as sees you during the next day, he'll have you all killed. Those are his rules of war.

First Lieutenant William Bush: It is the captain's wish, Your Ladyship, that from now on you and your maid remain below.
Lady Barbara Wellesley: [to Hornblower] Can two women really be so distracting, captain?
Captain Horatio Hornblower: May I remind you that my men have been continously at sea for eight months?
Lady Wellesley: [as Hornblower begins to walk away] Oh, captain!
[He stops and turns to her]
Lady Wellesley: And how long have you been at sea?
Hornblower: Ha-H'mmm!

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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