Hormblower – Duty

I watched the Hornblower – Duty DVD last night. I was not all that impressed but I will let you make that judgment for yourself. I just cannot stand Ioan Druffud – he is a paltry looking sod. Commander Hornblower is getting married and the Grasshopper is missing off France. Admiral Pellew orders him to take off and find what has happened to the Grasshopper. So Hornblower sails for France on the Hotspur and a storm comes up. They see a ship’s boat and they put out in the ship’s longboat to rescue them. Hornblower jumps in the water to save the lady(but not as good as Jack Aubrey). The storm scenes are really pathetic. It was like these really lame models in a bathtub with a fan blowing.

The woman is an american and she has a frenchman with her that she says is her husband. She tells Hornblower she has seen the Grasshopper to the north so they head north-west and find the Grasshopper wrecked on the coast. They put out a boat to search for survivors and find dead men on the Grasshopper. The french fire on them and they find Captain Bracegirdle alive. The Hotspur beats to quarters and fires on the French on shore, and Hornblower escapes. Meanwhile Admiral Pellew is given orders by the Admiralty to catch the american lady and the frenchman. The English political agent says that they are dangerous to any ship they are on.

The American lady says that they are not a cargo you would wish to hold. The american guy rows up to the Hotspur and they are boarded by the French who are looking for the frenchman on board. Hornblower finds out that the frenchman is Napoleon’s brother and so does the admiral. Hornblower lands back on the French beach and sees that the French have a cannon and lots of soldiers. (Hornblower is always doing lots of shore actions – boring!) They then find lots of cannons hidden away in a barn. Back on board, the French fire a detonator bomb and Hornblower puts it out with his wife’s gloves. (huh?) The Hotspur sails back to England and Hornblower reports to the Admiral. Hornblower wants to go back to France but the Hotspur is quarantined.

The political chap decides that Boney’s brother has to go back to France and the american lady has to go on board an American ship. The Hotspur sails for France back to the beach. They put Boney’s brother off a little south of Brest without his wife. Hornblower goes ashore again and sees three frigates without guns. He finds out that they are part of a plot to invade Ireland. The Hotspur goes closer in to shore, sounding all the way in the snow storm. They go very close to the French ships, get their guns ready and fire on a French ship. The other French ships hit bottom and sink. Hornblower heads back to England and meets the Liberty an American ship and they load off the American ship to her. Admiral Pellew promotes Hornblower to Post-Captain.

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