Horatio Hornblower: The Duel (1998) - full transcript

Midshipman Horatio Hornblower joins the British fleet just as the French Revolution is about to change European history. But he has worries closer to home as he incurs the wrath of a shipmate named Simpson, a bully who everyone else avoids and placates. Events lead to a duel, but one of Hornblower's mates takes his place and is killed. At war with France, Hornblower and Simpson are assigned different ships, but are reunited when Simpson's ship is sunk. Events lead to another duel with different results.

Shore boat, ahoy!

Aye, aye.


You'll be all right.

Welcome to purgatory.

Mr. Eccleston, sir.

Come aboard, sir.

Your name?

Horatio Hornblower, sir,

Eccleston, first lieutenant.

Mr. Chadd

of the watch.

Did you bring your dunnage
aboard with you?

My sea chest, sir,
it's coming aboard forward.

I'll see it sent below...

where you should go, too.

Get out of those wet clothes.

Yes, sir.

I mean, aye, aye, sir.

Mr. Kennedy

take Mr. Hornblower down
to the midshipman's berth.

Aye, aye, sir.

(fiddler playing)

(merry shouting)

Mind your step.

(woman shrieking)

Get off me,
get off me!

Difficutt to say
who smells worse

the men or the beasts
in the manger forward.

One gets used to it.

(pig squealing)

Watch your head.

There goes
His Majesty's

latest bad

Belay that, Styles...
unless you want

to find yourself
at the gratings.

Aye, aye, sir.

(music, yelling continue)

They're not bad men
for the most part

provided they're kept busy.

But this endless waiting...

most of us have been
here six months already.

Discipline, you see?

Things will be different
once we transfer

to a fighting vessel,
i don't doubt.

But who knows
when that may be?

Our only...

our only hope at present

is the unpleasantness
in France

might come to something.

You've heard the
latest rumors, of course?

That Louis was captured
just before Christmas?

What do you think
they'll do with him?

You can't kill a king.

(shouting continues)

It's as my father
explained to his gillie:

All right, perhaps
some of these people

have missed
the odd meal or two

but lopping the heads
of the nobility

is not going to fill
their bellies, is it?

Still, that's Johnny
Crapaud for you.

Well... allow me
to introduce the midshipmen

of His Majesty's ship
of the line Justinian

known elsewise
to her intimates

as the good ship
Slough of Despond.

What's this, Archie?

Another messmate, gentlemen.

And whose pretty arse
did you neglect kissing

to find yourself among
the fleet's forgotten, eh?

Well, speak,

M-my name is Hornblower.

What an infernal piece
of bad luck for you.

How old are you,
Mr. Hornblower?

17, sir.

"17, sir,"
you hear that, Cleveland?

If you wanted to be
a seaman

You should have started at 12.

I doubt he even knows

the difference
between a head and a halyard.

but I'll make sure

it's the first thing
I look up in...

Norie's seamanship.

(men chuckling)

if you'll excuse me, I...

(all laughing)


Seasick, in Spithead.

Your pardon, sir.


Aah... just lie quiet
until you feel yourself again.

(ship's bell ringing)

The captain's
coming aboard.

Captain Keene.

If ever a man
was wrongly named.

He looks frailer
by the day.

I must thank you for your earlier
kindness, Mister...


You mustn't mind
Hether and Cleveland.

It's just their way...

till they
get used to you.

Present arms!

(boatswain's whistle blowing)

(drum roll begins)

(drum roll ends)

Your father writes
that you are a solitary boy.

Well, on a vessel
of over 800 souls

You are unlikely to find
either time or place
for solitude.


How is the good
Dr. Hornblower?

Well, I trust?

Yes, sir.

Thank you, sir.

He said to be sure
to thank you

for accepting me
in Justinian
as midshipman, sir.

One good turn
deserves another.

Your father
is an excellent physician.

Yes, sir.

The son
of a doctor, hah!


You'd have done better
to choose a lord for your father

if you wanted to make a career
in His Majesty's navy.

How far did
your education go?

I was a Grecian
at school, sir.

Speak up.

I was a Grecian,
sir, at school.

Oh, you've construed Xenophon
as well as Cicero.

Yes, sir.

But not very well, sir.

You would have done better
if you knew something

about sines and cosines.

Better still if you
could foresee a squall

in time to get
t'gallants in.

We have no time for
ablative absolutes in the navy.

No, sir.

Obey orders, do your duty

and no harm will come to you.

That will do.

(playing melancholy tune)

Ah, the Indies.

Now, that's the place,

Clear blue skies...
and waters, too.

I should very much
like to see that, Mr. Hether.

So you may...

if we ever get off
this stinking hulk

and put to sea again.

(stops playing)

You're in my seat.

The head of the table
is my place.

Come on,

How now, my sweet
brother officers?

No cheer
for Jack's return?

We took you for
a lieutenant boy now, jack.

Did you?

Your commission?


Oh... bad luck.

Bad luck, indeed.

So acting Lieutenant Simpson
is once again...

Mr. Midshipman Simpson.

At your service.

What's this, a new face
among our august company?


Hornblower, sir.

Pleased to meet you.

What have you there?

Mutton, sir.


Very fine.

Very fine indeed.

A mite satty for my taste.

What do you mean by helping
yourself to my vittles, sir?

I should have thought
my intention was quite obvious.



You'll acquaint young Snotty
here with the way of things.

Or have you forgotten so soon?

N-n-no, I... I...

Mr. Simpson may levy a toll
upon our sea chests

for fresh shirts.

Likewise, our issue of spirits
and best cuts of meat go to him.


He's senior officer in the mess.

We are all midshipmen.

That smacks of Republicanism
to my mind, Mr. Hornblower.

Is that what you are?

Well, to my knowledge, there's
nothing in King's regulations...

I piss on your regulations!

There's but one law
in this mess:

Render unto Caesar.

And I'll leave it to you
to figure which of us is Caesar

and which
is to do the rendering.

He takes your meaning, Jack.

Oh, Clayton,
you gin-soaked sot.

Strangle a tune
from that fiddle of yours.


Cut a reel.

Did you hear me, sir?

Dance, I said.

Dance, dance, dance!


I've seen men caper more lively
on the end of a gibbet.

Mr. Kennedy, that Mr.
Hornblower might learn

who runs this mess

you'll wake him every
half hour, day and night

until I tell you otherwise.

Very well.

(fitful muttering, groaning)





I said wake Hornblower

not me and
the whole damn ship.

Something's wrong.

He's sick.

I don't care
if he's dying.

Keep him quiet.

(Kennedy shivers)


He's started again.

Damn, I feared as much.

Clayton, if he's unfit

you'll take his duties

in respect of
waking Hornblower.

Do you hear?

As you please, Jack.

As you please.

Help me get him
back to his bed.

It's all right, Archie.

It's all right.

A bad dream.

Sleep now, sleep.

What ails him?

What ails us all.

(whistle blows)


Mr. Hornblower!

Mr. Eccleston asks if you can
attend him in the fighting top.

The fighting top?

Aye, sir.

At once, he said.


Not afraid of heights,
are you, Snotty?

Mind you...

Mighty long drop.

Help me.



Help me, please.


Time, gentlemen!

Now, let's see
how you have fared

with the problem set for you
by Mr. Bowles.

Mr. Simpson.

We must all rejoice.

The sources of the Nile
have been discovered at last.

Your ship, as far as I can make
out from your illiterate scrawl

is in Central Africa.

Let's see what
other terrae incognitiae

have been opened up

by the remaining
intrepid explorers.

Mr. Cleveland.


Mr. Hether.


Mr. Kennedy.


Mr. Hornblower.

You must be proud
to be alone successful

among this crowd
of intellectual giants.

If you double your attainment
while you double your years

I'm afeared you'll leave
the rest of us behind.

Well done, Mr. Hornblower.

Mr. Bowles!

Be so good as to see
that Mr. Simpson

pays even further attention
to his mathematical studies.

Good day, gentlemen.

I've been thinking,

Time to reconvene
the proceedings

of the inquisition.

Who shall we question?

Well, there can only
be one candidate.

Who else but
the captain's favorite?

Mr. Hornblower.

Cleveland, Hether, table.


Do it, unless you want
to take his place!

Leave me go!

Quiet, boy.


You're a bit of a dark horse,
aren't you, Snotty?

Showing us all up
in front of
Captain Keene.

Turn him over.

Come on!


The purpose
of this inquisition

is for me to get
to know you better.

You see,
I know these dogs.

I know what gnaws
at their souls at night.

Things they'd rather
no one knew of.


What's your
dirty little secret?

A fancier of other
boys, perhaps?

(grunts as chain breaks)

Or is it that your mother
makes a living on her back?

You fitthy...

(punch lands)

(banging head)

Come on, Snotty! Get up!

You've won, Jack,
he's finished.

This little whore's son needs to
learn respect for his betters.

Come on, Snotty.

Get up!

Enough, Jack,
you'll kill him!

Stay down, boy,
for God's sake.

(lash lands,
Hornblower grunts)

(trigger cocks)

Stand off.

Clayton, my bold friend,
I've no quarrel with you.

Stand off, Jack

or by God, I'll trim the wall with
your brains.

Take him to Dr. Hepplewhite.


but how bold you are
with a pistol in your hand.

But I know you for the
coward you are, don't I?

Come on, lads, look lively!

Mr. Hornblower.

Mr. Hornblower!

What is the matter
with you this day?

I gave orders...

God, what happened to you?

I missed my footing
in the dark last night
and fell, sir.

Onto both sides of your
face at once? Hmm?

Come, no more
of this nonsense.

With whom did you fight?

Well, answer me.

Quickly, and you may
be deatt with leniently.

I fell, sir.

Very well, we shall see
if a spell in the rigging

can't teach you
to tread more carefully.

"Dearest Father,
I am pleased to tell you

"that everything is going along

"I count myself
fortunate, indeed

"to serve under Captain Keene,
and with so fine a body of men

"as are to be found
here in Justinian.

"I am very happy here.

"I trust this finds you
as it leaves me

"well and in good spirits.

Your affectionate son, Horatio."

(seagull crying)

Drop of grog in it
to warm you through.




I was thinking on death.



Damned unsporting
of the everlasting

to fix his canon
against self-slaughter

if you ask me.

You could always desert.

I'd never be free
of him then.

He'd have won.

And that should be
worse than death.

Someone should stand
against him.

The beating
he gave you

that was nothing.

Believe me.

You don't know half
what he's capable of.

The East India convoy
is expected today.

Mr. Simpson will take
a party of men ashore

and report to Lieutenant
Chalk of the Goliath

who is in charge
of press gangs.

Mr. Hornblower
shall accompany him.

Aye, aye, sir.

Some hands from
the East India convoy

may try to sneak ashore

to escape being pressed
to further service.

It's our business
to cut off their retreat.

Mr. Simpson and, uh...

this is Mr. Hornblower, sir.

Distinguished as
the midshipman

who was seasick
in Spithead.

You shall arrange
a cordon along the waterfront

to sweep up any absconders.

I leave the details
to you, Mr. Simpson.

Aye, aye, sir,
thank you, sir.

Rendezvous is back here
at the lamb.

(woman laughing)

Why aren't you on watch
where I left you?

The convoy has
not yet signaled.

Then all is well
with the world.

Here's to the East India convoy.

Long may it be delayed.

Come on, Hornblower,
give us a toast.

Come on!

Confusion to

(door opens)

Your men are all properly
placed, Mr. Simpson?

Indeed they
are, sir.

This is Mr. Caldwell,
also of the Goliath.

Mr. Simpson and Mr. Hornblower
of the Justinian.

We have a long wait
before us, I fear.

Will you gentlemen
join me in a glass?

Yes, sir.

And a game of cards
to pass the time?

Gladly, sir,


cards and a light.


And the rest are mine.

What do you mean,
the rest are yours?

Five tricks... game and rubber.

I might take another.

I trump lead of hearts
with diamonds

and make three more clubs.

You're very sure.

It's a mathematical certainty.

You know too much
about this game.

Seems to know the backs of the
cards as well as the fronts.

That is an insutting remark,
Mr. Simpson.

For that I shall have to ask

Come, Mr. Hornblower.

Mr. Simpson had a momentary
loss of temper.

I am sure he will explain.

I have been accused
of cheating at cards, sir.

That is a hard thing
to explain away.

The wine was in
and the wit was out.

Mr. Simpson was speaking

in jest, I'm sure.

Let's call for
another bottle

and drink it
in friendship.

With pleasure.



Mr. Simpson begs my pardon
at once

before you two gentlemen

and admits that he spoke
without justification

and in a manner
no gentleman would employ.

Apologize to you?

Never this side of hell.

You hear that, gentlemen?

I have been insutted

and Mr. Simpson
refuses to apologize

while insutting me further.

There is only one way now

in which satisfaction
can be given.

A duel?

Are you mad?

Tomorrow sees an end
to it, Archie.

One way or another,
I shall be rid of him.

I have an even chance.

An even chance?

Simpson's reckoned one of
the best shots in the navy.

He'll kill you
certain sure.

I'll act as your second,
of course, but...

Have you ever fought
a duel before?

You ready?

I can't prevail upon you
to change your mind?

Very well.

Hand me my cloak,
will you?

(driver yelling)

(horse neighs)

(bird squawks)

Where is he?

I regret my principal
has met with an accident

which prevents his
attendance this morning.

You mean the little coward
has pissed himself?

As his second,
I am willing to stand proxy.

I shall fight
the duel in his stead.

Unless Mr. Simpson
is willing to withdraw
his accusation, of course.


Wait a moment,
Mr. Clayton.

Wait a moment,
I'm not sure
if that's legal.

Legal or not, Dr. Hepplewhite, it
would settle the matter.

I am here.

And you're not afraid
of me, are you, Jack?

(bell ringing)

I will say
"one, two, three, fire."

At the last word, gentlemen,
you can fire as you will.

Are you ready?







(cries out)

Got you... bastard.



(man yelling)



I'm sorry.

I didn't kill him.

(people shouting outside)

What is it?

What are they shouting about?

I don't know.

Archie, see if you
can't quieten them.


You were right.


someone had to stand
against him.

But not a boy.

You shamed me.

Even a coward
cannot run forever.

I thought I could beat him.

I had an even chance.

Oh, Jesu!


Is it evening?

(bells tolling)


I'm not done
with you yet, boy.

I'm going to flay
you alive!

(lively chatter in street)

(dog barking)

Look lively!

Push them along!

He's dead.


No, you fool,
not Clayton, Louis.

The frogs have
murdered their king.

Tried and executed for
crimes against the people.

It means war, Horatio.

Don't you understand?

It means war.

what's the word?

Do we

A third of the crew are
to remain with Justinian.

A third will go to Arethusa,
under black Charlie Hammond.

And we few...

We fortunate few...

Don't keep us
on tenterhooks!

Keene has recommended our
transfer to...



A frigate!
You hear that?

It means prize money.


Poor old Clayton.

He always wanted
to serve on a frigate.

It is a sure opportunity
for advancement

for distinction,
for prize money.

It is the opportunity
of a lifetime, sir.

I thank you for it, but...

Any ambitious young officer
would jump at the chance

to serve on a frigate!

I know, sir...

but you accepted me here
as midshipman and...

of course,
I must stay with you.

Not, uh, many young men would
have said that, Mr. Hornblower.

I am very touched
by your loyatty

even though I won't live
to appreciate it.


No, please don't interrupt!

Youth and quick wits belong
where they can be rewarded

not on a channel groper,
with a dying captain.


A midshipman's share of prize
money is not much, I grant you

but at last you can start
to repay the debt
you owe your father.

It is the good of the service
I have in mind, Mr. Hornblower

when I insist that
you take up this posting.

Aye, aye, sir.

My name is
Captain Sir Edward Pellew

and I am here to tell you
your days of idling are over!

(hearty cheering)

You have a mind to fight?

(lusty approvals)

That is well,
for you shall have your fill!


Yesterday, his majesty received

a communication from Paris.

The revolutionary government
in France

has declared war on Britain.

The old adversary may wear
a new face

but whatever mask he chooses
to hide behind

a Frenchman
is still a Frenchman

and we will beat him
as we always have beaten him.


For there is no power on Earth

that can withstand the might
of the British navy.


God save the King.

God save the King.

Midshipman Hornblower, sir.

You sent for me.

Mr. Simpson, as I'm sure
you will be glad to hear

shall recover
and rejoin the service.

However, he is to remain with
Captain Keene aboard Justinian.

You should know,
Mr. Hornblower

that I do not think much of men

who let others fight
their battles for them.

No, sir.

But neither will I base
my opinion of an officer
on hearsay.

I judge a man
by what I see him do

not what others
tell me he has done.

Yes, sir.

Doubtless had you been
properly led

this situation
would not have arisen.

Captain Keene bears no blame.

It is not your place to damn him
or defend him, sir.

No, sir, I, I meant only that what

was outside his control.

Aboard his ship, sir,
there is nothing

outside a captain's control

and you would do well
to remember it.

Yes, sir.

England is at war,
Mr. Hornblower.

You have already cost this navy
two midshipmen

one injured,
one dead.

No one mourns
Mr. Clayton's loss

more than I, sir,
and I resent...

You resent!

Damn your impudence, sir!

I will not lose men
to no better cause

than the satisfaction
of their own vanity.

Whilst under
my command

you will issue
no further challenge.

Is that understood?

Aye, aye, sir.

Very well.

I have it from
Lieutenant Eccleston

that those hands formerly
of Mr. Simpson's division

are something of an
ill-disciplined rabble.

Would you concur?

Yes, sir.

They are now
your division.

We sail to battle,
Mr. Hornblower.

I cannot afford to feed men
who do not pull their weight.

You will make them work
or you will answer for it.

Yes, sir.

Divisions for inspection.


Stevens, sir.

Williams, sir.

Oldroyd, sir.

Matthews, sir.

Finch, sir.

Styles, sir.

What's the matter
with your face?

Oh, he gets b...

Boils, sir.

Awful bad.

Have you done anything
about them?

Oh, yes, sir.


I've put plasters
on them, sir.

Very well.
What's funny, Oldroyd?

Nothing, sir.


Nothing, sir.

All right.

Carry on.

About your work now.

Aye, aye, sir.

(raucous laughter,
men yelling)


God, break his back.

rat squeaking)


(man grunting)


(rat screeching)

Break his back.

Break his back.


Time, Styles!

Aye. I have five dead.

Pay all bets, evens or better.




There, that one's dead.

No, he ain't. Come on.


Yes, he is.

His back's broken.

Who is in charge here?

We're not on watch, sir.

No, you're gambling.

This is, uh...

now't but
a bit of fun, sir.

It is hardly what you
could call gambling.

There are other charges
possible here, Matthews.

Other charges?

A member
of His Majesty's forces

can be charged with rendering
himself unfit for service.

Similarly there could be charges
of aiding and abetting

which might include you.

I should consutt
the articles of war.

The punishment
for such an offense

is flogging round the fleet,
I believe.

Really, sir.

I could bring charges

against every man jack of you.

You could be court-martialed,
disrated, flogged.

And by God one more look
like that from you, Styles

and I'll do it.

Belay that, mate.

You'd all be in irons

five minutes after I've spoke
to Lieutenant Eccleston.

Mr. Simpson had no argument
with our sport, sir.

Mr. Simpson is no longer
in charge of your division.

I am.

And I'll have no more
of these fitthy games.

Do you understand?

The next hint of misbehavior

and you'll all be
at the gratings.

But, sir...

I've said it and I mean it!

After this, I want to see you
in the dog watches

skylarking on deck

not skulking in the cable tiers
like a lot of damned Frenchmen.

Are you going to tell
Mr. Eccleston?


Not this time.

I'm giving you a chance to prove
yourselves worthy of my trust.

Aye, sir.


Now, get rid of those rats there.

Styles, get your face
plastered up again.

Matthews, coil these cables
down properly

before the boatswain sees it.


It was six.

Hands to quarters!
Hands to quarters!

Enemy ship to larboard!

(men shouting)

Fire as they bare,
Mr. Eccleston.

Aye, aye, sir.





Lay us alongside,
Mr. Bowles.

We can carry this action
by boarding her.

Hard a' larboard.

Hard a' larboard, sir.



Help me get him
to the surgery!

(continues screaming)

Come on, Davy!

(firing continues)

(men screaming, moaning)

This man needs help.

I'll tend to him

Lieutenant Chadd, may I inquire

as to the nature
of your injury, sir?


Sir, this man is
from my division.

He'll take his turn!

Well, damn it,
if he's not seen to now

he'll bleed to death!

Mr. Hornblower!

He's right, Hepplewhite.

I can wait.

Very well.

Come on, Styles.

We can do no more.

We must return to our station.

(men cheering, drums beating)



Did you see me?

Did you see?

Well, where were you?

We carried her
by boarding.

I killed two.

Well, one, certainly.

Oh, you should have been there,

You should have
been there.

(cheering continues)

Through our Lord Jesus Christ

who, at his coming,
shall change our vile body

that it may be like
his glorious body

according to the mighty working

whereby he is able to submit
all things to himself.

Therefore, in the sure
and certain knowledge

of the resurrection,
we commit the body of...

Davy Williams.

Of Davy Williams
to the deep.


(whistle blowing)

God have mercy
on his soul.

Mr. Hornblower?

What is it, Styles?

The lads have, uh,
they've asked me to...

say they value the effort
you made on Davy's part, sir.

That was all.



Please convey my thanks
to the men.

Their conduct
in this afternoon's action

was exemplary.

Aye, aye, sir.

A salute.

Well, it's a start, I suppose.

Quel bateau?

Claudette, de Marseilles.

Qu'est ce que vous

trois cents tons.

of Marseilles, sir.


300 tons.

Lieutenant Chadd.


Take six men,
board that vessel.

Take her into any English port
you can make

and report there
for orders.

Aye, aye, sir.

Mr. Bowles, the schooner
to starboard.

Aye, sir.

Brace hard
to larboard.

Hard to larboard, sir.

Course full and by.

Full and by, sir.

She's still running
under colors, sir.

It's not my intention
to chase him across
the seven seas.

He's asked for it,
Mr. Eccleston

let him have it.

Starboard bow chaser...




Not into the hull,
damn it.

Cripple her.

That's better.

More like it.

She's hauling down
her colors, sir.

Marie Galante
de Bordeaux.

Well, Mr. Eccleston?

Marie Galante of Bordeaux, sir.

24 days out of New Orleans
with rice.

About 200 tons, I should say.

Should sell
for a pretty penny.

How many of her crew?

12 at most.

Prize crew of four then,
I should say.

Midshipman's command.

Mr. Hornblower!

Take four men,
board her.

Mr. Bowles will give you
our position.

Take her into any English port
you can make

and report there
for orders.

Aye, aye, sir.

Your first command.

My congratulations.

Today, if you please,
Mr. Hornblower.

I don't intend to lose
any more of this convoy

through your dawdling, sir!

Aye, aye, sir.

They've made best use
of their time, sir

by the holy.

Drunk as lords.

Huh? Wish we were as happy,

Where is your officer?

Midshipman Hornblower

of His Britannic Majesty's
frigate, Indefatigable.

Good day.

This vessel is now a prize
of war, Captain.

Under my command.

A midshipman?

You have no officer
more senior?

Sir, to the British navy
a schooner such as this

warrants no more
than a midshipman's command.

But your are no more
than a boy.

You will find, sir

that even a boy
in His Majesty's navy

is capable of an easy
two-day run to England.


Put that down, Styles.

At once, do you hear?

And take these men forward.

Throw them
into the forecastle.

Come alongee, Frenchie.

Um, this-a way-a?

Come on.

All right, move.

I am an officer.

I do not go with the men.


He goes with the rest.

You, come on.

Go on, move!

Prisoners secured,


Aye, sir.

You've the longest service?

Aye, sir;
18 years, sir.

Very well.

I'll rate you petty officer.

Aye, aye, sir.

Thank you, sir.

Get to work and clear
that raffle away forward

so that we can sling
the topsail yard again.

Aye, sir.


Haul in the forecastle sheets.

Aye, sir.



All right, all right.

I'll be busy aft.

Aye, aye, sir.

And get
that staycastle in

before it flogs itself
to pieces.

Aye, aye, sir.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Those are my orders.

Beg pardon, sir,
but if we're to sling
that yard again

We'll need to use
the jeers, sir.


Well, sir
we'll need more hands

Than we have
to use the jeers, sir.

Can I put some of them
frenchies to work?

That was my intention,
of course.

If any of them are sober enough.

I think we can get them
to work, sir

drunk or sober.

Come on.


What do I do now?


(man shouting in French)

Oui, oui...

(replies in French)


Aye, aye.

We'll, um, square away.

Then return the prisoners
to the forecastle.

Aye, aye, sir.

Square away!

Return the prisoners
to the forecastle!

Matthews, take the wheel.

Aye, aye, sir.

What course, sir?

Nor'west by west
a quarter west.

Nor'west by west
a quarter west, it is, sir.

(cannon fire)

Not into the hull, damn it!

Cripple her!

My God, she's holed.


She's holed, all right.

About two feet
below the waterline.

Thank you, Styles.

She was close hauled

and heeling right over
when we hit her.

Her bows must have lifted
just as the Indy fired.

She's lower
in the water now, sir.

The hole's not
so deep under, sir.

On this tack we're headed
for France.

We must fother a sail
and get it over that hole.

Use and old t'gallant,
get the Frenchman to help.

Aye, aye, sir.

She's riding
a bit heavily, no?

She's taking
a little water, yes.

A foul wind for England,

Winds may change, monsieur.

So they say.

Sir, she's riding
a bit heavily now.

Yes, thank you,

I just said so
to your captain.

Well, so much then for your
easy two-day's run to England.


What is it?

The deck seam's
opening up!

I've never seen
anything like it, sir.

It's the rice.


The cargo, Matthews.

We're carrying rice.

The water's got into it
and it's swelling.

The sooner we get a sail

over that hole the better.

Hurry these
damned Frenchmen up!

Come on, mademoiselles.

We're not sewing petticoats.

(speaking French)

I told you I thought
she was riding heavily.

Go to the devil.


Another few feet.


All right, sir.

Lay her back on a larboard tack.

Aye, aye, sir.

This is folly, monsieur.

On this tack we could
easily make Bordeaux.

You're risking all our lives.


Look there, sir.


I don't think our problem's
the hole, sir.

The rice must have
forced her seams open

under the water.

(rats squeaking)

We must jettison the cargo.

Get the sails in and rig
a tackle from the yard.

We'll sway it up.

Aye, aye, sir.

Oh, heave!

C'est une pure folie, monsieur.

Est-ce que vous vous rendez
compte de ce que vous faites?

Madness! This is madness!

We must have moved
about 50 tons.

My men are exhausted!

She's lower
in the water, sir.

Settling fast.

Another hour,
we'll be swimming.

It's no go, sir.

I'm sorry.

I shall make preparations
for abandoning the ship.


You heard me.

Get water and bread
onto the ship's boat

and get everyone aboard.

Aye, aye, sir.

We shall abandon
the ship, monsieur.


Venez, vous autres.


Ready to shove off, sir.

Very good. I'll be up presently.

Begging your pardon, sir.

But you should see as you
have some warm clothes, sir.

I've been in an open boat,
ten days once, sir.

It can get damn cold.

Yes. Thank you, Matthews.

Is everyone off?

All save yourself, sir.

Come aboard, sir.

She's done for.


take the tiller.

Aye, aye, sir.

Get off.

Bear off.


She's going down, sir.

(seagulls cawing)

Breakfast, sir?

Thank you,

Wind's backing
a little westerly today, sir.

That so?

There's a chance we might find
the Indefatigable again

isn't there?

This is her hunting ground, after

We'll make sail.

Very good, sir.

Finch, take the sheet.

Aye, sir.

Styles, take the tiller.

Keep her close-hauled
on the larboard tack.

on the larboard tack, sir.

French captain:
The wind's still fair
for Bordeaux.

We could be there
by tomorrow.

Why do we sail northwest?

We go to England.

This is going to take us a week.

Even if the wind's still fair.

The, the boat's
too crowded.

Should there be
a storm...

you are risking
all our lives.

I insist that you head
towards Bordeaux.

Matthews, take this.

Aye, aye, sir.

Begging your pardon,

but hadn't you better
cock your pistol?

Monsieur, I was in a stinking
English prison for five years

so let's make an agreement.

Let's go to France.


When we reach shore

anywhere you choose,
we will land.

And you may continue
your journey.



I said no!

Shall I clout him
on the jaw, sir?

Not unless he misbehaves.

Put that pistol away.

It's dangerous.

I will do nothing to interfere with
your command of this boat.

Do you swear it?

I swear it.

And your men?

Ce n'est pas
le moment, mes garcons.

Nous attendrons
notre heure.

D'accord, mon capitaine.

What do they say?

They swear it, too.

Very well.

(gulls cawing)

Both hands, you fool!

That water's got to last
until we reach England!

Or do you want us all to die
of thirst?

Lay down your arms!


Do as he says.

But, sir...

Do it!

(speaking French)


I'm sorry, sir.

It's all right, Finch.

Thank you, sir,
thank you.

Est-ce qu'on les jette
par-dessus bord?

Non! Lache-le.

My men are in mind of throwing
you overboard, monsieur.

But I think you deserve
some time to reflect

on your own stupidity.


As I told you

I have spent
five long years

in one of your country's
fine prison hulks

and I'm grateful now

for an opportunity
to return the courtesy.

The chart and compass,
if you please.

Fish for it.

(shouting in French)

As you were, Styles!

That was a foolish thing
to do, boy.

I might have killed you.

And forgo the pleasure of
crowing over my discomfort?

I think not.

it was a futile act.

All I have to do
to gain France

is to turn this boat
about through 180 degrees

and then sail southeast.

If you can find it.

Oh, I can read
a chart, monsieur.

I only need the sun

and the polestar
for reference.

A feat of navigation
even you might manage.

(speaking French)

Vous fermez la aussi,
vous autres!

Vous verrai bien
quand on arrivera.

Je suis votre capitaine.

What's to do, sir?

A crisis of confidence, Styles.

Forget's men are complaining,
and rightly so

that we should be in sight
of the coast by now.

Well, where is it,
though, sir?

He said he had only
to follow the chart.

So he did.

But that would presuppose

that our position upon the chart
was accurately plotted.



Nine against five.

The odds of them gaining
the upper hand

were always favorable.

It would be a poor captain
that did not take precautions

against such an eventuality.

So, where've you got
our true position, then, sir?

In my head, Matthews.

We were sailing north,
not northwest

when they seized control.

Forget simply turned us about.

Then we're headed south,
not southeast?

Indeed, Styles.

We're rowing parallel with
the coast but getting no closer.

(laughs softly)

Now you may see how the tree
of indiscipline bears fruit.

(arguing in French)


An interesting situation,

Sail to windward!

It's the Indy!

It's the Indy, sir.

Thank God it is!

(cheering, shouting)

Right, that's
the last one, lads.

Take him away,
lock him up.

Je suis capitaine!


So, I'll tell you
what he does.

He drops the compass
over the side, plop.

"Fish for it," says he.

Bold as brass!

He did.

And him with the pistol
in his face.

The frog captain says...

Here he comes, lads.

Oh, I'll tell you later.

Step lively now.

Well done, sir.

Well done, sir.

(bell ringing)

Mr. Hornblower.

The Marie Galante was damaged
when you boarded her.

And had you had
a larger prize-crew

you might have been able
to save her.

No. Better by far

that France was
deprived of her cargo

than England should
benefit by it.

Still, it's fortunate
for you

her captain was so poor
a navigator, hmm?

Else we might never
have found you.

No, sir.

Sail to leeward!

Make sail before we lose her!

Aye, aye, sir.

(man shouting)

(cannon echoes in distance)

Damn this fog.

(cannons booming softly)

That's one of ours.

God, the Frenchman.

Ship to starboard!

(men yelling)

She'll hide in the fog!

After her, Mr. Bowles!

Aye, aye, sir.

Starboard, two points.

Starboard, two points, sir.

We're losing her, damn it.

(men groaning in pain)


Where is she?

Where is she?

There she is!

Now we have her!

(cannons firing)

(cannonballs whistling)

(men yelling and groaning)

(men screaming in pain)

(cannonballs whistling)

Mr. Bowles,
we're in over our heads.

Take her out of range
of their shore batteries.

Aye, aye, captain.

(whistle blowing)

Mr. Eccleston, what was
the ship you saw afire?

I couldn't see, sir.

One of ours, though,

Launch boats,
pick up survivors.

Aye, aye, sir.


(men yelling in the water)


Over here!

Sir, help us!

Courage, boys!

You're safe now.

Keep shouting, we'll find you!

Man (in water):
Here! Here!

There they are, sir.


Hold water.

Come on, lads.

(man sputters and coughs)

Up with ye, lads.


Give him this
and keep him warm.


Mr. Hornblower.

The Papillon jumped us
from the fog.

Every time we thought we knew
where she might come from

she, she came at us
from somewhere else.

It was like there were
four ships, not one.

Poor Captain Keene.

I was standing with him
when he was hit.


Tore his insides out, and...


Yes, all right,
Mr. Simpson.

Please, do not distress
yourself even further.


Mr. Bowles, the chart,
if you please.

The mouth of the Gironde.

The Papillon lies just here

between the shore batteries
of St. Di and Blaye.

You, gentlemen, will go in
with the boats and cut her out.

Lieutenant Eccleston will
be in general command.

Mr. Eccleston.

As you have seen at firsthand

she is a ship of war

well armed and fully crewed.

(voice fading):
But we will be attacking her

at night,
taking her by surprise...

Kennedy! Acquaint
young Snotty here

With the way of things.

Mr. Chadd will
command the gig.

Mr. Kennedy and
Mr. Hornblower, the jolly boat.

Mr. Bowles?

High water tomorrow
is at 4:50.

Dawn is at 5:30.

The attack will...

Simpson (echoing):
So what's your
dirty little secret?

Is it that your mother
earns her living on her back?

Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Hornblower

board as you see fit

and at once ascend
the main rigging.

You will insure that
the main topsail is loosed

and sheeted home on
receipt of further orders.

I, myself,
or Mr. Bowles

in the event of my being
killed or wounded...


I'm not finished
with you yet, boy.

I'm going to flay you alive.


I said wake Hornblower,
not the whole damn ship.

You mean the little coward

Has pissed himself.

So much for the theory.

Any questions,


I would like to volunteer
to go in with the boats.

If you think you're
up to it, Mr. Simpson.

Lieutenant Eccleston?

We will be glad to have you,
Mr. Simpson.

You will go in
with Mr. Hornblower

and Mr. Kennedy.

Hello, Archie.

It's been a long time.

Jack's missed you, boy.

We were just catching up
on old times, Mr. Hornblower.

These are new times,
Mr. Simpson.

You have no hold
over us here.


No. I see that.

Time we were away, Archie.



Boat crews, away.



Mind what you're
doing, sir, mind.

What's going on?

Mr. Kennedy, sir.

He's having a fit.

Mr. Hornblower,
keep your boat quiet.

Aye, aye, sir.

(Kennedy groans)


Shut up.

Archie, for mercy, shut up!


Do something.


I know, I know!

(muffled yelping)

Mr. Hornblower.




(yelping stops)

(men speaking French)

(speaking French)



(all yelling)

(swords clanging)

(guns firing)

Mr. Hornblower,
get your men aloft!

Quickly now!

Loose the main topsail!

Aye, aye, sir!

Styles, Matthews, lay aloft!

Come on, men!

Come on, me boys!

Stevens, wait!



There are no
foot ropes.

What'll we do, sir?

What'll we do?

Mr. Eccleston.

The forecastle is secured, sir.

Thank you, Mr. Chadd.

Damn it, why does he delay?

If Hornblower doesn't loose
the sails, the attack fails!

Styles, Matthews,
starboard yard.

Finch, Oldroyd, follow me.

Damn, damn, damn.

Good God.

Quickly now, quickly.

(grunts, gags)

Well done!




Mr. Chadd's compliments, sir.

The ship is ours.

God be praised.

My compliments
to Mr. Hornblower.

I'm afraid Mr. Hornblower
is dead, sir.

I saw him fall
from the yard myself.

Ahoy there, Papillon!

Help, help!



(bell ringing)

No sign of the Papillon?

They must have cut her out
by now.

Sail to windward!

My God.

French corvettes.

(seagulls cawing)

It's not too deep.

Head wounds always bleed
terrible bad, sir.

I expect it hurts like the devil

but... you'll mend

Praise the Lord.

What about Mr. Kennedy?

He was, um...

He was still in the boat.

She came adrift
when we went about, sir.

That's what Mr. Simpson said.

I swear you were born
to hang, Mr. Hornblower.

It's a good thing these French
are such a poor shot.

French be damned.

I was shot by Mr. Simpson.

That is a serious accusation, Mr.

and one I trust
you would not make

without the evidence
to support it?

I have the evidence
of my own eyes, sir.

This is hardly
the time or place

to do anything about it.

Get back to your division,
Mr. Hornblower.

I will address the matter

when we get back
to the Indefatigable.


(men screaming in agony)

Oh, my eyes!



It's Mr. Hornblower, sir.

Surgeon! Surgeon!

Where's Mr. Chadd?

I regret that Lieutenant Chadd is
dead, sir.


The ship is yours,
Mr. Hornblower.


Take command.

Get us back to the Indy.


(cannon fires)


I'm senior here.

The ship is mine.

Lieutenant Eccleston
instructed me to take command.

You heard him, Mr. Bowles.

Mr. Simpson is senior,
Mr. Hornblower.

Styles, Matthews,
confine Mr. Simpson below.

You heard me!

Mr. Simpson is
under close arrest.

Who do you think you are?

I have command here!

This ship is mine.

And any man...

any man stands
against me...

he will regret it.

Now, get to work
shoring up this damage.

Get back to work, do you hear?

I have command!

Mr. Bowles.

You will carry out my orders.

If Mr. Simpson resists, you have
my permission to shoot him.

Come on.

(men screaming)

Helmsman, hard to starboard!

Hard to starboard, sir!

Sir, the Papillon!

My God.

It is the Papillon.

Mother of God.

Mr. Bowles, engage
the corvette to larboard.

Engage? Sir, we can't take
on three French corvettes.

We can give the Indy
an even chance.

We've a third of her crew
aboard this vessel.

If the French get close enough
to board her, she's finished.

Aye, aye, sir.

Why don't they fire
at us, sir?

It may have escaped
your notice, Mr. Bowles

but we are still flying
French colors.

Shall I have them
run down, sir?

If you want me to shoot you,
by all means.

It goes against
all articles of war to...

When we have leisure, you
show me where it is written

and I will gladly concede
the point.

Until that time,
please confine yourself

to following my orders.

Aye, aye, sir.







Fire as you bear!

Starboard side!

Starboard side!

Ready, pull!











My God.

The poor devils.


Mr. Hornblower!

(drums playing)

They're surrendering, sir.

They are surrendering!

Three cheers, lads!

Hip, hip...


Hip, hip... hooray!

Launch boats to pick up
survivors, Matthews.

Aye, aye, sir.

Launch boats!

Mr. Bowles...

You may raise
the ensign.

(whistle blowing)

Timely, Mr. Hornblower.


I, uh, take it
by your appearance

Lieutenant Eccleston
is indisposed?

I regret to inform you, sir

that Lieutenant Eccleston
is dead.

Lieutenant Chadd is
also among the fallen.

I see.

(clears throat)

Who then, had command of the
Papillon during the action?

The honor fell to me, sir.

How so?

What of Mr. Kennedy,
Mr. Simpson?

Mr. Kennedy was left behind

after the boarding
of the Papillon.

And Mr. Simpson?

It's a damn lie, sir!

Begging your pardon.

But he's had it in for me

ever since that
incident in Spithead.

Mr. Simpson, are you
saying Mr. Hornblower

brought this charge against you
purely out of malice?

He's impeached my honor, sir

and for that
I demand satisfaction.

There, you see?

He's afraid.

Mr. Simpson.

I would be very wary
of calling a man

only lately distinguished
in battle, a coward.

Oh, I do call him a coward.

And a liar.

If he spoke the truth

he would not hesitate
to face me.

Mr. Hornblower's reluctance
to accept this challenge

is I fear, the resutt
of an order I gave him

when he first came aboard

Is that not so?

Yes, sir.

Mr. Hornblower,
I remove that impediment

but I must caution you

against accepting
this challenge.

I maintain the charge
against Mr. Simpson, sir.

However, since I cannot prove it
other than with my body

I have no choice
but to accept his challenge.

For the last time, gentlemen

cannot you be reconciled?

I'm going to kill you,

just as I killed Clayton.

And your little pal, Archie.


Very well.

You may step out
the distance.

And one...

two, three, four, five.

Are you ready?



I did not say fire, sir!

It just went off.

It's a misfire, I assure you.

Is he dead?

Did I kill him?

No, you did not.


Mr. Hornblower, you may
return fire at will.

I shot him.
The duel is over.

You must stand your ground
and take fire, Mr. Simpson.

Don't shoot!


For the love of God,
please, don't shoot!

Don't shoot me!

I beg you!

You're not worth the powder.

Not worth the powder.


(gun fires)

fine shot, sir.

If I may say so, sir.

You may, Mr. Bowles.

You may.

(whistle blowing)

Walk away with it, lads.


Ah, Mr. Hornblower.

You have fought your duel.

That is well.

Never fight another.

That is better.

I owe you a debt
of gratitude, sir.

I dispensed justice
as I saw fit.

I told you,
Mr. Hornblower.

I judge a man by
what I see him do.

you saved my life.

As you saved
the life

of every man
aboard this ship, sir.

Come on, man.

No false modesty now.

I see something in
you, Mr. Hornblower.

If you continue
in this service

as you've begun,
a great future awaits you.

Thank you, sir.

Carry on,
Mr. Hornblower.

Aye, aye, sir.


Coil those cables down
properly now.

Aye, aye, sir.

Matthews, lend
a hand there.