Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War (1999) - full transcript

Hornblower is called to take a company of British troops (which the sailors call lobsters because of their red coats) and a company of French nationalists to France to fight in the revolution. But Hornblower is horrified by the brutality of the French commander as he guillotines everyone in a village that destroyed his former home and his unwillingness to take part in the actual battles. However, when the commander and his men set out to rape and brutalize a young school teacher, Hornblower vows his protection of her.

Captain Pellew, come in, sir.

My apologies for requiring you
at such short notice.

-Not at all, my Lord.
-Captain Pellew,...

may I introduce General, le baron
de Charette,

commander in chief of His Majesty
King Louis's army in exile.

The general is going to invade France

and we're going to help him.

Once your ships have carried us
across the Channel,

we shall raise an army of the people
and march on Paris-

to restore His Most Catholic Majesty
onto the throne.

May I ask, sir, how many men you
expect to raise for this army?

Within a matter of days,
I shall have 10,000,-

maybe 20,000 men in arms.

Then we shall move east, gathering
more as we go.

Never doubt the loyalty of the people

I understand, sir, in fact, arms have
been raised-

against the rebel government before.

-Certainly, many times.
-?without any success.

Captain Pellew,

for 5 years I have lived in exile
while traitors-

have laid waste to my country.

Well, now the nobility of France
is going home;

and this time, when my countrymen

we, their rightful leaders,
will lead them into battle.

Can I not take it, sir,...

that we have your support in
this great venture?

Oh yes, Baron, you can depend on
Captain Pellew's full support.

You have His Britannic Majesty's
word on it.

-How do I look?
-A most startling improvement,

if I may say so, sir.

So,with 2 shirts,half britches,
buttons and buckles,the sum is-

11 lb. 9 shillings and three pence.

Perhaps pinchbeck instead of silver
for the shoe buckles?

That would make it ... shall we say,
11 lb even.?

Very well, Mr. Collins.

I asure you, baron is still a
figure head-

amongst those loyal to King Louis.

His name will provide the spark-

that sets all northern France afire.

But the Royalist force, my lord,
they're nothing more than-

the remnants of a defeated army.

-A final cast of the dice,I grant you
-Indeed sir,

-and a desperate one.
-You forget what is at stake,
Sir Edward.

For the cost of ferrying
General Charette-

and his men across the Channel,
we can put an end to-

the war with France.
Surely, even in your estimation,-

it's a trifling effort for a place
in history.

Yes, but, if the expedition
should fail, sir,-

what of the cost in lives?

Men die every day this war
continues. When it's over,-

we may count costs at our leisure.

Make way! Make way!

-My lord! My lord!
-Speak up, man!

-The orders?

Gone, my lord.

My lord?

He was carrying a copy
of General Charette's-

plan to the First Lord.

Oh, my God!

-What if they fall into enemy hands?
-Well,we do not know that.

They may be at the bottom of
the Thames, the thieves drunk-

-in a tavern.
-Sir, what if they're not?

His Majesty's government
has decided,

and they are not in the business
of changing their minds.

Should General Charette
know of this?

I don't believe there's any need
to trouble him.

What has passed here will remain
between ourselves.

Is that understood?

Yes, sir.

However, since it would not be
politic for King Louis-

to think that we might have cast
his general ashore unaided,

you will remain on station after
the General has disembarked.

If worse comes to worst,
you can provide him-

-with a means of escape.
-As you wish, sir.

Very well. You have your orders,
Captain Pellew.

Carry on, sir.

-Mr. Hornblower!

Well, don't stand there dawdling,
sir. We must return-

to Plymouth as soon as possible.

Welcome aboard, sir.

A profitable meeting at the Admiralty
I trust.

Quite satisfactory, Mr. Bracegirdle.

Signal the ships Dunbarton, Sophia
and Catherine and-

request the attendance of their
captains in one hour.

Mr. Hornblower, my compliments
to the senior officers.

I will see them in my cabin
in 20 minutes.

-Aye, sir.
-So, Mr. Hornblower, what news?

I know no more than you,
Mr. Bracegirdle.

Well, I expect we shall find out.

By the way, I think you have a splash
of mud on your jacket.

You look every inch the new
lieutenant, Mr. Hornblower.

Long may it remain so.

Gentlemen,the captain's compliments
and he will see-

-all officers in his cabin in
20 minutes.
-What is this?

Gentlemen, it appears we have
a stranger in our midst.

No, no, I'm mistaken.
It's Lieutenant Hornblower,

from top to toe a new man.

And not a patch in sight.

Indeed it is,
acting Lieutenant Kennedy.

Gentlemen, it appears that
Mr. Hornblower is now the standard-

by which we must all measure

All right, all right, that's enough.
Thank-you, Mr. Bowles.

Oi, watch it.

What do you reckon the orders
will be then, eh?

-Stay here and take it easy.
-Not unless the captain-

-has gone soft.
-Naw, pity though.

I could just do with another month
on fresh rations.

Maybe we'll be sent to the Indies,eh?
How about that?

-Palm trees, sunshine.
-Tropical diseases.

It could be the Med again,
have another go at them Dagos.

Yeah, we could go back, give them
another pasting easy. Do it-

on our own too, leave the rest
of the fleet in the Channel.

Oi, Fanny Fearless, 'missed a bit?

-Behind you.


Gentlemen, as you are no doubt aware,

I have lately returned from a meeting
with Admiral Hood.

Our orders are to join the ships
Catherine,Dunbarton and Sophia

and convey a General Charette,
together with forces comprising-

of French Royalist troops and
British infantry,

to the coast of France.

-An invasion, sir?
-Mr. Kennedy,four ships could hardly-

-constitute an invasion, sir.
-Then what is the point, sir?

The point, Mr. Bowles, is that we are
at war, sir;

and when at war, we react to an order
without hesitation.

I understand, Gentlemen, that this
plan may seem somewhat...


However, it is the general's plan,
once landed,to raise an army

with which to march on Paris and
place King Louis on the throne

That would mean an end to
the war, sir.

I believe that is the intention,
Mr. Bracegirdle.

Sir, are we permitted to know
where the general's troops-

-will be landing?
-No, our destination will remain

until we set sail and then
there is no chance of word-

reaching the French until we arrive.
In the meantime, I want-

all dispatch in the loading of
the general's men and supplies-

as soon as they arrive.
Thank-you, Gentlemen.

Perhaps next week we could
be toasting the downfall-

of the French Republic, sir.

Yes, Mr. Hornblower.

That is the plan, at least.

Styles, let's get those bales loaded
as soon as possible

Frogs! What in the world
are they doing here?

Well, what do you make of
them, Horatio?

They seem a little ?disorderly.

The word, "shambles" might be
more appropriate.

Look out for the lobsters!


Good morning, Gentlemen.
Major Edrington, 95th Foot.

I have been told someone here
can see to the embarkation-

-of my men onto the Indefatigable.
-Lieutenant Hornblower.

Acting Lieutenant Kennedy, sir.

-I will see to it myself.

Your men look very fine, Major.
Almost too good for battle.

Really? I usually find that
the more able the officer,-

the better-turned out the men.


-At least in the army.
-...right face!

Charette! Charette!

Bloody Frogs!

-Any idea what the general's saying?
-He's saying today-

is a great day.
They are on a crusade-

to free their beloved France.

Together we will fight, perhaps
to the death?

But it will be for the greatest cause
in the world?

Every one of us?

Will be remembered by history as
men who were not afraid-

to lay down their lives?

For France.

Yea! Vive le roi!

I suppose what the men lack
in discipline, they make up for-

-in enthusiasm.

if you would like your personal
baggage transferred-

to the jollyboat, I'll see it reaches
the Indefatigable.

Very well. By the by, it might
be better-

if you were to address me as,
"My lord."

I am, in fact, the Earl of Edrington.

You see, Horatio, had you been rich
enough to buy a commission,

as well as a new uniform,

you could have joined the army

Please monsieur, I have, I think,
English sufficient-

to the task before us.

Colonel, Marquis de Moncoutant.

I have been charged with conducting
your troops aboard, sir.

Very good. My men are prepared.

I'm looking forward to our trip,

I have always enjoyed the sea air.

Be careful, that is my personal

Don't drop it! Idiots!

It is yours, sir?

Indeed, Mr. Hornblower. It is mine.

Shoulder arms!

All men and supplies secured, sir.

Very good, Mr. Hornblower.
Signal the convoy.

-Mr. Bowles, prepare to weigh anchor.
-Aye, aye, sir.

Prepare to weigh anchor!
Man the capstan!


-See this? Not yours!
-Not yours!

No steal-ee. Savvy? You steal-ee,
get chop plenty darn vite.

-Oldroyd! What's going on here?

Ah, this jerk was after pinching
this chicken, sir.

They're the officers' chickens and
we caught him red-handed.

-Stealing's a hanging offense.
-Yes, Matthews,-

I'm aware of the articles of war on
the subject. Thank-you.

Well, it's the rope for you,
then, Frog.

However, this man may not be.

Has anyone taken the trouble of
explaining messing arrangements

-to these men?
-Not as such, sir.

Let him go.

You're letting him go, sir?

Styles, these people are our guests,
and as such,

you will extend to them every
courtesy and kindness while-

they're aboard.

I mean, playing piggyback with
the Frogs sir.

The Frog is the enemy, sir.

These Frogs, Styles,
these are the good Frogs.

A Frog is a Frog,sir;and the only
good Frog is a dead Frog,sir.

This'll end badly, Mr. Hornblower,
sir. You mark my words.

All right, that's enough!

-Now back to your work.
-Aye, aye, sir.


-Put the chicken back, Styles.

-But, sir!

Yes, sir.


Report from the quarter deck, sir.
Wind's still from the north.

-Course steady.
-Thank-you, Mr. Hornblower.

-Mr. Hornblower?

A word, if you please.

How are the men taking to their
new travelling companions?

As one might expect, sir.

They have a few misgivings
about their presence,

- but nothing untoward.
-Misgivings? What kind of misgivings?

I think they have a little difficulty
in seeing-

the general's troops as allies;
when only yesterday,

any Frenchman was the enemy.

But, you have made it clear to them
that they are to give-

-the general their full support?
-Yes, sir, very clear.

Good, good.

And yourself,

what do you, um..., think of
the general and his plan?

I think he is bold, sir.

Bold? Is that all?

Without knowing either the general
or his plan in detail,

I wouldn't presume to judge, sir.

Ahhh, a prudent enough answer.

There is also some speculation
about our destination, sir.

What would you say if I were to tell
you we were heading for-

the coast of Brittany?
What would be your guess then?

In that case, I would say
Quiberon Bay, sir.

Would you?


From my recollection, Quiberon
affords a good landing.

-It is the logical choice.
-Your deduction is correct.

Let us pray, Mr. Hornblower, that
the French Republicans-

don't share your logic.
Otherwise, Quiberon Bay-

may not be such a welcoming spot,

We have to stop the artillery of
the Republic here,

from moving against us
through Muzillac,

west to Quiberon, here.

Alors, le Colonel Moncoutant,
he will lead a group of men-

to take control of the bridge
at Muzillac, here.

The colonel is Marquis de Muzillac.

He is the lord of that village,

-so he knows the region very well.
-Ah, you must be glad to be-

returning home to Muzillac, Colonel.
No doubt,

Some will be sorry to see me, but-

I shall be glad of the encounter.

Colonel Moncoutant requires
the company infantry to secure-

or destroy the bridge at Muzillac.

Uhh, Major Edrington?

I believe my men are up to
the task, Captain.

Monsieur, I protest.
As Lord of Muzillac,-

the honour of defending the bridge
should fall to my men.

With respect, Colonel, your men
have not seen action-

-for several years, whereas my men...
-You question-

the competence
of our French troops, Major?

Colonel, I merely point out their
lack of recent experience.

So, you do question it.
No, I will not allow it.

Gentlemen, surely we are
all allies here.

As long as our campaign
is successful,

-we will all share the honours.
-Mr. Hornblower is right.

To restore the king,
that is our only concern.

As you wish, Colonel.

May I suggest, Colonel, that one of
my officers act as liaison-

between yourself and Lord Edrington.

You seem to have a grasp of
the situation, Mr. Hornblower.

Perhaps you'd like to volunteer.

Yes, sir.

We'll be taking 2 twelve-pounders
and enough powder-

-to destroy a bridge.
-What size is the bridge, sir?

Well, I'd imagine it's a bit bigger
than the river, Matthews.


Ah, never mind.

Take 10 extra powder casks
to be sure.

Begging your pardon,Mr.Hornblower,sir
but why can't the French-

-use their own cannons?

It may have escaped your notice

but General Charette's troops
don't have any cannons.

Well, I don't mind letting them
take ours sir.

Yesterday you were prepared to
hang a man for taking a chicken.

But, today you're willing to give
them our guns.

Very generous. Decided the French
are all right afterall,-

-have you, Styles?

Your men are reluctant to go
ashore with us?

On the contrary, sir, they are
all quite eager.

I am happy to hear it.
With the help of your men

I hope to see my home restored
to something of its former glory

They will do everything in
their power, sir.

I think you are a stranger to
my country, Mr. Hornblower.

You cannot imagine what these
Republicans are capable of.

There is no place they would
not defile,

nothing they would not besmirch.

Let us hope your fears are unfounded.

You do not know these people.

They are barbarians.

But order will be restored, monsieur.

You can depend on it.

Captain, landing beach in sight, sir.

Very good, Mr. Bowles.
All hands shorten sail.

Aye, aye, sir.
All hands! Shorten sail!

Mr. Hornblower,the beach is in sight.

-Prepare to disembark, if you please.
-Aye, aye, sir.

-Mr. Hornblower.

You will be on foreign soil with
the enemy all around.

Be on your guard, take care.

And do not assume a situation is
safe until you can-

-convince yourself that it is so.
-I will keep it in mind, sir.

Good. I trust you will not abandon
your prudence of yesterday.

-Oh no, sir, I will not.
-Carry on, Mr. Hornblower.

You are concerned for his safety,

I am concerned for the safety of
all my men, General.

But, the lieutenant in particular.

He is one of my best officers,

and despite his lack of years, I...

I would regret his loss.

Then let me reassure you.

I am confident that within a few days
the whole of France-

will be behind us, and then your
young lieutenant

will be able to tell his
grandchildren how he helped restore-

the flag of King Louis to
its rightful place,

to fly once more over
the sacred soil of France.

Number One Company, fall in!
Fall in on the right!

Number Two Company, over here!
Forward, right!

So how does it feel to be
back on this side of the channel?

Better with a pistol and cannon
to hand. We're gonna need-

some kind of transport to get
the guns and powder to the bridge

I'll see what Colonel Moncoutant
has in mind.

He worries more about that machine
than anything else.

At this rate, it will be the only
thing to reach Muzillac.

Are your men ready to move,
Mr. Hornblower?

-Yes, my lord, save for our cannon.
-My goodness,-

if that's any of ours,
I'll have them flogged.

Those are the French troops,
I believe.

It would be.
What do they think they're here for?

-Gentlemen, you are ready to advance?
-My men are ready, sir!

-What? What are you saying?
-Colonel, I believe-

we still require transport
for our cannon.

That is already taken care of.

When you are ready, we will proceed.

Muzillac awaits, gentlemen.

This stuff bloody stinks.

The least they could have done
was clear it out.

Styles, let's have less
griping there.

Just be glad you're not carrying
those cannons-

all the way to the village.

From acting lieutenant to commander
of a dung cart-

in no more than a step.
My career's looking up.

Mr. Hornblower, as you and I are
the senior British officers,

I think we should advance together.

Come sir, unless you prefer
the dung cart.

I see now why you chose the Navy.

All men and supplies ashore sir,
all boats returned.

Thank-you, Mr. Bracegirdle.
Signal all ships to make sail.

Mr. Bowles, set course
for Quiberon, please.

We shall head west to land General
Charette's main force.

-Course, Mr. Bowles?
-West by north, sir.

We'll be there by noon with
this wind, sir.

'Could've been sent for us.


When we get to Quiberon, Mr. Bowles,
I want you-

to heave to as close in shore
as possible.

Once unloading is complete, we shall
remain there on station.

-Remain, sir? I thought?
-The Sophia, Dunbarton and Catherine-

will return home to England.

But, we?

we stay.

Well, Mr. Hornblower,
there is our objective.

Do you think you can hold it?

We must.
Either hold it or destroy it.

-General Charette is counting on us.
-Well, in that case?

Major Edrington, you will find
a ford-

half a league upstream beyond
the village.

You will station your men there
in due course.

I only hope we're up to it, Colonel.

Mr. Kennedy, have the men set up
the cannon to cover-

the southern approach. We'll see
about setting the gunpowder-

-when I return from the village.
-Aye, aye, Mr. Hornblower.

-You heard, Matthews.
-Aye, aye, sir.

Quiberon Bay, sir.

Very good, Mr. Bracegirdle.

-Take us in shore and heave to.
-Aye, aye, sir.

Now my people will welcome me home.

Captain, a signal from the Catherine.

They are ready to begin disembarking
the troops.

Very good, Mr. Bracegirdle.
Make our own preparations.

General, I would deem it a favour if
you would allow one of my-

officers to accompany you ashore
to send back regular reports.

-Yes. Admiral Lord Hood has ordered-

that we remain here until
your progress is assured.

-But, why?
-I believe the admiral-

wishes us to remain here
as a place of retreat

in case you meet heavier resistance
than anticipated.

Very well, Sir Edward.
Thank-you for your honesty.

But, I can assure you that
these reports,

-they will carry only good news.
-I pray so, sir.

I pray so.

He says he is the mayor.

You are the linen merchant.
Your business is underwear.

Not any longeur, monsieur.
And by authority of?

Authority? You have no authority.
I am the marquis.

-Take off that ridiculous thing
-I regret, monsieur?

?You regret!

I want the people brought out here
to welcome me home.

Gentlemen, if you please.

Arrest them.

You have no right to arrest them.
They know nothing.

No right! By what right have
you destroyed my home?

Monsieur, this house has been
commandeered for-

-the use of the people.

Where are the rest of my paintings?

-My...art collection?
-Monsieur marquis?


They had no practical use.

They were used as fuel for the fires.


Remove those flags.

-Non, monsieur, I regret?
-Remove them.

-Give me your pistol.

-Give me your pistol.
-Non, monsieur, please!

He is a child, he doesn't understand.

Then I will make him understand.

-No, please! Please!
-Colonel, for God sake.

The town is yours.
Why waste powder on a child.

He can do us no harm.
All is well.

Mademoiselle, take
this children away.

Thank-you, monsieur.
Uh, thank-you.

I take it the welcoming
ceremony is now over.

Quiberon. The main Royalist force
marches inland.

You see Monsieur Bowles,
the people are happy to see us.

Aye, sir. I thought we'd meet
more resistance than this.

The Republicans, they have
no stomach to fight.

That's right? bit more, Styles.

That's three barrels already
placed, sir;

and this will be the fourth.
I reckon that'll be enough-

to bring this down when
the time comes.

I think we'll put two more barrels
over the side here,

-just to be sure.
-Beggin' your pardon, sir, but-

if the enemy's expected from
that side; and when we blow-

the bridge up, we're gonna
be that side,

-how do we get back to the beach?
-We don't.

Our orders are to hold this position
at all costs.

Surrounded by frogs and nowhere
to go.

Yes, sir; sorry, sir.

There's more than bloody frogs
down here, sir.

-Carry on then.
-Yes, sir.



I think I'll go see how Major
Edrington is faring at the ford.

-Will you take charge?
-Yes. Yes, of course.

Matthews is right, though, Horatio.

If we have to blow up the bridge,
we will be cut off.

-I know.
-A fine thing, to die in someone
else's war.

Sargent, send pickets at front and
flank and across the river-

-to act as lookouts.
-Very well, my lord.

-My lord, is everything well?

Look at this place, Mr. Hornblower.

No artillery would dare to cross here
and if they tried,-

my mama could beat them off
with her parasol.

-They may send infantry as well.
-They may.

But to be plain with you,
Mr. Hornblower, my greatest fear is-

that the enemy will ignore
this place all together and-

concentrate on the bridge.
If they should cross?

-You do not trust my men, my lord.
-I do not doubt-

your men, Mr.Hornblower
but, I have no confidence-

that the Frogs would stand firm
and support you.

-I see, but General Charette?
-General Charette isn't here.

Our commanding officer is
Colonel Moncoutant.

And from his earlier exhibition,

it is clear that whatever his rank,
he is no soldier.

Never underestimate the enemy,
Mr. Hornblower,

but never overestimate an ally,

particularly one who is caught up
in his own affairs.

I better go and report to him.
See what he's up to.

I think this is a good place to
make camp, Monsieur Bowles.

The men, they can rest; and tomorrow,

tomorrow we take Quiberon.

Darn this animal, what it
needs is a rudder.

Show it who's master, Mr. Hornblower.

I don't need to, it knows.

I've heard it said that
the guillotine is as effective-

at subduing trouble as an army
of 5,000 men.

I don't think it would take 5,000 men
to subdue these people.

By the look of it, a handful
could do it.

Ah, messieurs.
Just the men I need.

Gentlemen, I trust I will have
the pleasure-

of your company at dinner tonight.

-At dinner?
-We look forward to it, Colonel.

Excellent. Shall we say,
eight o'clock?

Come, Mr. Hornblower.
Our men will be expecting us.

There is nothing we can do here.

-Message from Mr. Bowles, sir.

General Charette has made
camp for the night.

-Has he met any resistance?
-No sir. That's good, surely.

Yes. But why is it so easy?

The Republicans could have put
up lines of defense anywhere.

-Unless what, sir?

Mr. Bracegirdle, have you
wondered why-

it is we have been ordered
to remain here.

I had assumed it was to provide
a place of retreat for-

General Charette should circumstances
have turned against him.

Aye, but in one ship, when it
took four to bring him here.

So, if General Charette is
indeed forced to retreat?

It is not expected that he will
return with more than-

a quarter of the men
he set out with.

The mathematics of defeat,
Mr. Bracegirdle.

You see, gentlemen, a Republic,

a country run by peasants, is
a contradiction-

of all the natural laws.

Observe,if you will,how my house
has suffered during my absense

The peasants could not look after
it because they have-

no breeding and thus no intelligence.

Entrust them with fine furniture,

they see only firewood.
They probably used-

my best brandy to ignite the blaze.

Forgive me, sir,

but I have always held it true that
any man may better himself,

-however humble his situation.
-But to what purpose?

Monsieur, I remember I once
had a horse, which-

for amusement I taught to count
off the days of the week.

Did this make him a scholar?
Naturally, it remained a horse.

And so, with the peasant.

Surely, Colonel, given
a chance to learn?

No, Monsieur Hornblower,
I think you are-

a revolutionary at heart yourself.

-Indeed I am not, sir.
-I began to suspect it in the square-

-this afternoon, actually.
-I take offense at that, sir.

But, I tease you, of course.

But, monsieur, my country is
the farce you see today-

precisely because certain good souls
like yourself believe-

they can teach the peasant to think.
Major Edrington,-

like myself, you hold
aristocratic title.

Surely you will support me in this.

Colonel,you have obviously given
the matter more thought than I

However, you may be sure
that I thank God-

daily for the good fortune of
my birth for I am certain-

I would have made
a miserable peasant.

Take this woman, she is a peasant.

She works in my house, as
her mother did before her.

But, in the days of the Republic,
they made her a teacher.

Was this simple creature put on
this earth to teach grammar?

It's much better to leave her
free to do what she does best.

Oh, she says she is not an animal.

There is no need to translate
her words, sir.

I understood her French,as she
clearly understood your English.

-Have a care, Mr. Hornblower.
-So it is self-evident, sir,-

she cannot be as ignorant as
you are so anxious to make her.

Once again, monsieur,
I hear the rebel in you.

Then you mistake yourself again,
sir, for I am no rebel.

I hope I am a gentleman
and that I will always-

-treat any woman with respect.
-Enough! Allez!

I will not argue with a common sailor
in the British Navy.

Before you slight a common sailor,

may I remind you that the British
Navy and its common sailors-

have conveyed your grace's person
thus far-

without incident or injury.

Goodnight, gentlemen.

Now, where is our dessert?

Mademoiselle...I beg your pardon.

So, we are no more than the animals.

I assure you mademoiselle, it is not
a view I share,

nor would wish to hear expressed.

You have been kind. Once again,
you have tried to help me.

I did no more than my conscience

But now, I am afraid there is nothing
more you can do for me.

Mademoiselle, at least allow me
to escort you home.

There is no need to trouble yourself.

I assure you, it is no trouble.

It would be a pleasure.

Very well. Thank-you.

Today, I think there is only one
lord and master in France.

-That machine.

For Moncoutant or the Republicans,
it is the same.

Does he think he will make
us love him this way?

I'm afraid I am not privy to
the Colonel's plans.

Then what are you doing here?

I'm here to do my duty.

And what is that...your duty?

We will hold the bridge until
we are told to leave.

Or, until you are forced to leave.

So, the children have an
unexpected holiday.

I'm sure once the colonel is
more settled?

For twenty years, I lived like a
dumb farm animal.

-I have no desire to live like
that again.
-Nor will you.

I will not let it happen.
You have my word on it.

I accept your kindness, monsieur;
but not your word.

You do not know what
you are talking about.

Whilst I am here you will
come to no harm, I swear it.

-And when you are gone?
-You do not know me, mademoiselle.

If you knew me, you would not
be so quick to doubt me.

It is not you I doubt.

It is this place.

I will protect you.

On your way.
Back to the bridge, both of you.

I'm sorry, monsieur. Officers first,
naturally. Apres vous.

I do not think they will be back.

But, at least allow me to
protect you from them.

I would be glad if you did.

Beggin' your pardon, sir.

-Is everything all right, sir?
-Yes, fine.

Fine, thank-you, Matthews.

-What is it?
-The bridge. Stay here.



Reload and come starboard by a point!

-But sir, we can't see anything, sir.
-Do as I tell you!


Hold there! Form up in ranks!

-What's going on, Mr. Hornblower?
-I don't know, sir.

Fire! Reload!

Archie, where are they?
What are you shooting at?

-Hurry! Come on men, hurry!
-Archie! Mr. Kennedy, report!

Sir, enemy musket fire across
the river. They...

they took us by surprise.
'Came out of nowhere.

Keep your heads down, men.
Don't give them a target!

-Ready Styles?

-Gun ready!
-Hold your fire! Hold your fire!

Cease fire!

Any attempt on the bridge?

Uh, no, sir.

Very well.
I suggest your reform your men.

Yes...Aye, aye, sir.

Come on, men, stand to.

They made good time.

But, where's their artillery?
Why attack without it?

At first, we thought it
might be thunder, sir.

No, Mr. Bracegirdle, that is cannon.

What, in God?s name, is French
artillery doing this far west.

They should be miles over there
to the south of Muzillac!

I feel the general's campaign
is over before it's begun.

General, I've counted at least
30 artillery pieces-

-ranged against us.
-They have made a trap for us-

and we have walked straight into it.

Have we received word
from Mr. Bowles?

No sir, there have been
no further reports.

Then send a squad of men ashore.

They are to reach General Charette
with all speed-

and report back on his situation.

Aye, aye, sir.

If the cannon fire is stopped,
I fear we must assume the worst.

If you would just?

Archie, no sign of their artillery?

Not yet.

I think I'll go see the Major
at the ford.


When they started shooting...

I panicked. I knew I was doing it,
but I couldn't stop myself.

-It was the suddenness of it,you see.
-I think it was-

the same for all of us.

But an officer, even
an acting lieutenant-

has no business to panic.

Archie, you've nothing to fear
from the enemy.

-They mean to kill us, Horatio!
-Aye, of course they do.

But their powder's no threat to us.

From this distance, they'd be
hard-pressed to hit a barn door.

If you can just stay calm and
keep yourself out of their sights

they cannot possibly touch you.

All right.

-We are finished, Mr. Bowles.
-Not yet, sir.

Save yourself, if you can.

This is not your country, Mr. Bowles.

You should not have to die here.

Careful, Mr. Hornblower.
We have a few wasps here-

-who are anxious to sting.
-So I see, my Lord.

Do you have any indication
of their number?

It's hard to tell.
They alter their position constantly.

-It is the same at the bridge.
-I have little time for an enemy-

that daren't show its face.
What do they hope to gain-

-with such a display?
-Perhaps you should inform-

-Colonel Moncoutant.
-By all means,if you can distract him

from his concerns at the village.

Your own concerns there last night,

I trust they were concluded

Why? yes, thank-you, my lord.

I will talk to the colonel.

Mr. Hornblower?
if you should speak to him,

I think a little more diplomacy
wouldn't go amiss.

Yes, my lord.

The shore party have returned, sir.

Well, Mr. Bracegirdle?

They failed to make contact
with General Charette's camp.

It is as we suspected, then.

All men are believed lost, sir.

I stand before you a man
accused, Mr. Bracegirdle.

-Accused, sir? By whom?
-By my own self. I knew?

I believed this campaign was
a forlorn hope-

and yet I held my tongue.

-For what reason, sir?
-I was ordered to remain silent.

Then the responsibility does not
lie with you, sir;

-it is with those who gave the order.
-In principle, perhaps;

but what of conscience,
Mr. Bracegirdle.

And what of my order to remain
here? Must I also follow that-

for if I do, it is certain
more lives will be lost.

Now that the Republican forces
have defeated Charette,

surely they will turn next
to Muzillac.

Do I disobey my order?

Or do I stay here and wait
for the dead to return?

-The mathematics of defeat.

A hateful equation?

and I do not have the answer.

Yes, I got him. Up a bit.

-A bit more.
-Let it go.

Stand back.

Gotcha! Gotcha, you Frog!

Belay firing!
Don't waste the powder!

Jean Fabier, you have been found
guilty of sedition-

and treason and have been
sentenced to death by order-

of the Lord of Muzillac.
Vive le roi.

Mr. Hornblower, should you
not be at the bridge.

Colonel, the enemy continues
to put out only sporadic fire.

But there is no sign of
their artillery.

Afraid to show themselves.
Well, I would expect no more.

Thank-you, Mr. Hornblower.

Sir, may I suggest that you accompany
me back to the bridge.

I have no doubt we would all
benefit from your assessment-

-of the enemy.
-Thank-you for your invitation,

but as you can see, I am rather
preoccupied at present.

Sir,I must strongly advise that
you come to the bridge at once.

-The enemy, sir?
-Name? What is this man's name?

Sir, I cannot understand why you
persist with these executions-

when the enemy remains
at large and unaccounted for.

Enough, Mr. Hornblower,
as you can see, I have-

business here in the town.
If you wish to scout-

for the enemy,I will not prevent
you. But may I remind you-

I am your commanding officer and
in my experience it is proper-

to greet the absense of
an enemy as good news.

Good-day, monsieur!

Prepare to set sail, Mr. Bracegirdle,
before we lose the wind.

For Muzillac, sir?
Aye, aye, sir.

What of Mr. Bowles, sir?

We must assume him lost
with the others.

All hands to make sail!

So, you want a fight then, eh?
Is that what you want?

Keep your head or you will lose it,
is that understood?

Do you understand, Oldroyd?

Good man.

As idle as a painted ship upon
a painted ocean.


We have no wind, Mr. Bracegirdle.

We are becalmed.

Call away the boats, Mr. Bracegirdle.

Call away the boats!

Sargent Major, form a platoon of
skirmishes to cross the river.

It's time we smoked these wasps
out of their nest.

Yes, my lord.

Platoon halt!

Right face!

Rear rank, present.
Rear rank, fire!


Number one!

Number two!

Number three!

We'll get to Muzillac if I have
to row there myself.

Platoon, attention.

-How many, Sargent Major?
-Eighteen, sir

Eighteen? Is that all?

Then in God?s name where
are the rest of them?

Mariette, it's me, Horatio!

Have you not seen?

Have you not seen what
is happening in the square?

-I needed to see you.
-Just now, they killed the baker.

He is guilty of no more than
selling stale bread.

Surely you can see how
dangerous Moncoutant is.

He's still my commanding officer.

As an officer, you obey him.

But as a man, you know
what he is, do you not?

I have to ask you something.

Before we came here,

did you see any enemy soldiers
passing through the village?

Which enemy soldiers did
you have in mind?

The Royalists? Or the Republicans?

-Mariette, please?

You come here knowing nothing
about me or this place,

and you dare to ask me
to betray my own people.

Your silence could mean
more bloodshed, not less.

If you mean those butchers.
I am glad of it.

It is not them I was thinking of.
If my men are not prepared?

You...yourself could die.

The Republicans came three days ago.

Now, please go.
You cannot win here.

Take your men and leave now,

while you still can.


I have lost too many people
without saying good-bye.

I will come back and take you
away from here,

if that's what you want.

Now, go.

Bring forth the next man.


You have been found guilty of
sedition and treason, and-

have been sentenced to death by
order of the lord of Muzillac.

I knew we should have went
to the Indies.

I told you before,
yellow fever, typhoid;

Much better off here, eh?

Have a look at this.

Look out for the lobsters!


I believe we've been made fools
of, Mr. Hornblower.

There's no army here,just a handful
of Frogs making idle sport.

I'm convinced the army's massed
to the north, my lord.

We're facing the wrong way.

Did you speak to the colonel of this?
-The colonel?

The village? it's just butchery.

I see. In that case,I suggest we look
to ourselves for command.

I think we have no choice, my lord.

Come on men!

Pull! Pull!



This expedition becomes more
ill fated-

by the moment, Mr. Hornblower.

Quickly now, bring those in.

I don't reckon they'll be
back in a hurry.

Better off without them.

My lord, it seems the emigrees
have had enough.

They may lack discipline,Mr.Kennedy
but those men are no cowards

-They are going to defend the village
-Will it hold, my lord?

It might? for a while.

Mr.Hornblower is there now,
organizing their defenses. But, as-

the commanding officer here,
I think there is-

little more we can
do for these people.

-You wish to retreat?
-I do?

though it gives me no pleasure to
say it. We will take up-

a defensive position on the other
side of the river.

If your men would make ready
to blow the bridge.

At once, my lord.
What of Mr. Hornblower, my lord?

We will give him as long as we can.

Let us hope he does not abandon
his customary caution.

Bring it in!

Quickly, now!

Colonel! Colonel!

-The enemy is massing on the edge
of town.

Your men, they need you, sir.

Very well.

Do we take the cannons, sir?

No it would take too long.
We spike them and then fall back.

Mr. Kennedy, sir, what do we do
if the Frogs get to the bridge?

You heard the major, we blow it up.

-Right, sir; then what?
-Then Styles,we withdraw to the beach

and...we hope for the best.


We've spiked the guns, sir, and
we've blown the trunnions off-

-for good measure.
-Well done, Matthews.

-Mr. Kennedy! Is the powder primed?
-It is, sir.

Then lay the fuse, if you will.

Aye, aye, sir.

Lay the fuse.

-Colonel, we must withdraw.
-We need more men.

-Send for Major Edrington's troops.
-Colonel, our cause is lost

-You must withdraw.
-I know you do not like me-

Mr. Hornblower, but this is
my country.

Your fight may be over but mine
cannot be so quickly abandoned.

I have left here once already.
I will not leave again.

Pull! Pull!

Come on men, pull, pull together.

Captain Pellew, sir,
we have a wind!

Lay on your oars!

Recall the boats, Mr. Bracegirdle!

Pray God it's not too late.

-All set, Matthews?
-Aye, aye, sir.

I believe we are of the
same mind, Mr. Kennedy.

Perhaps we might give it a few
moments more, my lord.

I daresay Mr. Hornblower
will surprise us yet.

Aye, sir.

If he is alive.

You can climb down, no one
will see you.

Do you suppose for one minute
I would leave this place-

-without you?

Come with me.

-C'est la folie.
-I won't leave without you.

All right, go on.

Come on!


-Mon pied!
-Are you all right?

-Ca va.
-Come on! Let me help you.

One, two, three.

Sir, we've not got much time left.

Let me do that, sir.

Make ready.


Hold your fire!

Give covering fire.


Mr. Kennedy!

It's no good Horatio, she's gone.
Come on. Come on.

Well, that should hold them
for a while, at least.

Mr. Kennedy, we will retreat
to the beach and-

-make our stand from there.
-Aye, my lord.

-March the men off, Sargent Major.
-Shoulder arms!

Mr. Kennedy.

Just look after him, will you?

Of course.

Come, Horatio.

You did all you could.

First company, halt!

That's lovely, that is.

Well, take your pick, the devil
or the deep blue sea.

Sargent, form the men up
and colours to the rear.

Very well, sir.

Battalion will form line.
Five sections on the right.

Right way! March!

I believe our old friends are
upon us.


One more step and I'll see
you in hell.

Not that Frog.
That Frog is a good Frog.

Mr. Bowles!

I thought to see you gentlemen
in Paris by now.

Front rank, make ready!

Front rank, kneel!

No one fancies a swim then, eh?



-It's the Indy!
-Alternate guns...


I think we are well done with
this place, Mr. Hornblower.

Aye, my lord.

Well done, indeed.

My lord.
Where's your coat, Mr. Bowles?

Welcome back, Mr. Hornblower.

Mr. Kennedy.

Mr. Hornblower! Your report in
my cabin, if you please.

Aye, aye, sir.

Sir, I must report the loss
of six men and two cannon-

from the ship's company.

Not to mention our French allies.

Yes, sir.

If a captain loses his ship,
Mr. Hornblower, he must face-

a court-martial whatever the
circumstances of his defeat.

-Yes, sir.
-And he must defend himself
and his reputation.

-Do I make myself clear?
-Yes, sir.

Well, man? Well?

Sir, I have nothing to say.

The cannons were lost, the men died;

and the Royalist cause?

A failure then?

like the rest of this miserable

we've been engaged upon.
Yes, Mr.Hornblower...

I include myself.

What were we doing there, sir?

We were not wanted.

We brought nothing but?destruction?

death?and defeat.

Forgive me, sir.

It's all right, Mr. Hornblower.
It's all right.

Come on, man, look at you.

Look at your new uniform.
What a sorry state.

Hardly the image we've come
to expect, is it?

Ah, no sir.

When we put on this uniform,
Mr. Hornblower,

we entered into a life of adventure
and adversity.

But, above all, a life of duty,

A duty to our people, our king,
our country,

but also a duty to our men.

We must always be a source
of inspiration to them,-

Mr. Hornblower;

and whatever may befall us,

we must never forget we are officers
in His Majesty's Navy.

Indeed, sir.

I'm glad to see you safe,
Mr. Hornblower.

And I to be back, sir.