The Making of the Hornblower TV Series
The HOrnblower tales are some of the most loved in literature. England and France are in battle for world domination. Horatio Hornblower is a romantic story - a young man coming of age in the british Navy. The heart of hornblower is the character of a young man growing to manhood and given remarkable responsibilities. Ioan Gruffudd plays the part of Horatio Hornblower whose character gradually gains respect as he rises through the ranks of the british navy. Robert Lindsay plays Captain Pellew. The TV film had to recreate an old time of old-fashioned adventure. The stories are about honour and they are just as relevant today as they were then - a man keeping his word and risking his life. These are stories of bravery and romance.
The series combine a sense of drama and romance, it is very elegant and romantic. There is color and vibrancy of far off times. In a time of gallantry Hornblower turns to his captain. Horatio strives to make his mark and at the heart of each story is a man growing up. He is very loyal and compassionate, as well as being perceptive. The world of Horatio Hornblower is a world at war. The british army was having battles all over the place. The hornblower movies are taken from the books of C S Forester and influenced the directors and producers of the Hornblower movies. The movies are very faithful to the books in the detail of life aboard a british navy warship.
You have to really imagine yourself back in a time when things were not so clear cut. It required an immense set of production times. Time was spent in the Ukraine, Portugal, and England. They had to do it all on water as well. The Grand Turk doubled up as the Indefatigable. The sheer logistics of filming at sea was the most difficult thing of all - filming at sea is hard work. The crew and the cast had to learn how to sail and film at the same time. The actors sometimes got seasick but soldiered on. The battle scenes were like pub brawls and there was not a lot of sword play. There is a lot of action.
To make the nautical story was the use of the ship, the Grand Turk - a hand built wooden frigate. Forty craftsmen created the ship - it was the most magnificent square sailed tall ship on the seas, say the cast. It took a full fleet of models, some weighing up to a ton, each fully operational. The models were built in Russia and put on the tank at Pinewood Studios. Award winning costume designers created the Hornblower series and the actors loved them.
Horatio is tested in the crucible of battle as the world around him explodes into flames. In theses movies you are watching a young man grow up - he is finding his sea legs, as well as his courage. It is a journey that is uncertain, you never know where you are going to end up. There are great stories and fantastic characters. Hornblower stands for decency and fair play and the audiences are entertained by the Television movies. The Hornblower TV films were directed by Andrew Grieve and produced by Andrew Benson.
Horatio Hornblower by CS Forester - The Even Chance
Horatio Hornblower by CS Forester - The Examination for Lieutenant
Horatio Hornblower by CS Forester - Duty