Synopsis by Mark Deming
Gregory Peck stars as the title character in this swashbuckling saga of the high seas based on C.S. Forester's novel. In 1807, Hornblower is given a special assignment by the British Navy: he is to deliver a supply of weapons to El Supremo (Alec Mango), a Latin American rebel leading an uprising against Spain. However, by the time Hornblower arrives, it is discovered that the political winds have shifted, Spain and England are once again allies, and El Supremo is now the enemy of the British forces. Hornblower and his men are also forced to take on a passenger, Lady Barbara Wellesley (Virginia Mayo), a sister of the Duke of Wellington who is trying to escape an outbreak of yellow fever. When she shows symptoms of the disease, Hornblower tries to nurse her back to health while attempting to organize an attack on the armada he just helped to arm. Upon his return to England, Hornblower parts company with Wellesley (while they were attracted to each other, Hornblower remained loyal to his wife) and is given a new mission to take on Napoleon's naval forces. Captain Horatio Hornblower was originally scheduled to star Errol Flynn, but the role was recast when it was decided he'd grown too old to play the role convincingly (the fact Flynn was in the midst of one of his periodic battles with the brass at Warner Brothers certainly didn't help matters).
against-all-odds, boating, escape, hero, high-seas, malaria, officer, sailor, sea-captain, swashbuckler, tyrant, war