Captain Horatio Hornblower RN

Captain Horatio Hornblower RN

Raoul Walsh (1951)

U Certificate


Our Score
Based on three separate CS Forester stories about the scourge of Napoleon's navy, this sprawling, handsome but flat feature suffers from too many shifts of emphasis between action adventure and psychological study. Gregory Peck (in a role originally meant for Errol Flynn) plays Hornblower as a high-principled stuffed shirt and thus confounds director Raoul Walsh's efforts to inject some pace. Virginia Mayo, as the Duke of Wellington's sister, further slows the proceedings as Horatio nurses her through a bout of fever. What should have been stirring stuff spends too much time becalmed.


The famous British sea captain is sent to aid a Latin American rebel fighting against the Spanish during the Napoleonic wars. When a political shift occurs, Hornblower finds his former allies are now his enemies, and his mission is further complicated when he must protect the Duke of Wellington's sister. Swashbuckling adventure, based on the character created by CS Forester, starring Gregory Peck, James Robertson Justice and Virginia Mayo.

Cast & Crew

Captain Horatio Hornblower Gregory Peck
Lady Barbara Wellesley Virginia Mayo
Lieutenant William Bush Robert Beatty
Quist James Robertson-Justice
Admiral Leighton Denis O'Dea
Lieutenant Crystal Moultrie Kelsall
Lieutenant Gerard Terence Morgan
Polwheal Richard Hearne
Midshipman Longley James Kenney
Hebe Ingeborg Wells
El Supremo Alec Mango
Mr Harrison Stanley Baker
Captain Christopher Lee
Director Raoul Walsh
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner Bros Pictures Ltd