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Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

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During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Patrick O'Brian (novels), Peter Weir (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,310 ( 226)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 90 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Crowe ... Capt. Jack Aubrey
Paul Bettany ... Dr. Stephen Maturin, Surgeon
James D'Arcy ... 1st Lt. Tom Pullings
Edward Woodall Edward Woodall ... 2nd Lt. William Mowett
Chris Larkin ... Capt. Howard, Royal Marines
Max Pirkis ... Blakeney, Midshipman
Jack Randall Jack Randall ... Boyle, Midshipman
Max Benitz ... Calamy, Midshipman
Lee Ingleby ... Hollom, Midshipman
Richard Pates Richard Pates ... Williamson, Midshipman
Robert Pugh ... Mr. Allen, Master
Richard McCabe ... Mr. Higgins, Surgeon's Mate
Ian Mercer ... Mr. Hollar, Boatswain
Tony Dolan Tony Dolan ... Mr. Lamb, Carpenter
David Threlfall ... Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward
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Storyline

In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, H.M.S. Surprise, a British frigate, is under the command of Captain Jack Aubrey. Aubrey and the Surprise's current orders are to track and capture or destroy a French privateer named Acheron. The Acheron is currently in the Atlantic off South America headed toward the Pacific in order to extend Napoleon's reach of the wars. This task will be a difficult one as Aubrey quickly learns in an initial battle with the Acheron that it is a bigger and faster ship than the Surprise, which puts the Surprise at a disadvantage. Aubrey's single-mindedness in this seemingly impossible pursuit puts him at odds with the Surprise's doctor and naturalist, Stephen Maturin, who is also Aubrey's most trusted advisor on board and closest friend. Facing other internal obstacles which have resulted in what they consider a string of bad luck, Aubrey ultimately uses Maturin's scientific exploits to figure out a way to achieve his and the ship's seemingly impossible goal. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Courage To Do The Impossible Lies In The Hearts of Men.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, related images, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Portuguese

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Far Side of the World See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$150,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,105,990, 16 November 2003

Gross USA:

$93,927,920

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$210,327,920
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Weir shot footage of an actual typhoon specifically to be used during the movie. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, when Aubry calls Mowett into the Captain's cabin to order them to follow the Acheron he also orders Mowett to "beat to quarters". Aubry and Maturin then continue to play their instruments.

In a frigate that has 'beat to quarters' and is 'cleared for action', the Captain's cabin would be opened up to the rest of the ship and gun crews would be manning the guns in the cabin. There would be no way Aubry and Maturin could have remained there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward: [taking egg from chicken coop] Come on, come on. It's all right.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dr. Kent Hovind Q&A: Episode dated 12 November 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Boccherini La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid. No. 6, Op. 30
Composed by Luigi Boccherini
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Most Realistic and Exciting Sea Saga Ever
25 November 2003 | by mediahombre2See all my reviews

See this film NOW at the best, state of the art theater you can find. You'll know why five minutes in.

I didn't want to leave the theater when this roller coaster rhapsody to sea soldiery circa 1805 was over. It's stirring entertainment. No love interests needed. This was what it was really like. One ship, 197 men, 4500 miles from home. Chasing a French ship twice her size. No retreat.

Pirates of the Crappy Be-in was a cute romp, but Master and Commander has real ships, real crews, real cannon,convincing characters, historical accuracy and a REAL film director.

Director/ Peter Weir (Witness) has returned big time and, with this one film, revived classic Australian realism, actually surpassing the production values of Peter Jackson's Ring Trilogy. This is not a fantasy film, but history - painstakingly recreated. And rousing history it is, with plenty of action AND robust character development. The adaptation by Weir and John Colley is right on target, brimming with great characters and scenes.

And Russel Crowe? Other than "The Insider", this is his best role ever. Gladiator was just a warm-up. A Beautiful Mind? Well, nice acting from the neck up. Go see this if you want to see both his athleticism and his formidable acting chops! And he decent musical gifts as well (RC studied violin for the role).

I've always thought Weir was one of our great directors. Now he's been given all the toys Peter Jackson enjoys. And Weir uses them to great effect - recreating a nautical reality that lacks nothing except the need to wipe your face every ten seconds. The cutting of Russel Boyd's fabulous photography is perfect. You get to know every inch of the ship, topside and down below. You also get a strong sense of the social dynamics on board - how men got along with each other for so many months. I felt swept along in a perfect mix of virile action and characters I could get to know and care for. One thing I loved was the constant caring between many of the men along the rank and file. There's a strong sense of honor and decency in the film. Yet enough grog flows to keep things loose.

This is vigorous stuff and my most thrilling two hours in a theater for a while. Congratulations to everyone involved.

For now, the best director Oscar goes to Peter Weir over Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)in 2004. Master and Commander is my pick for best picture, just because it is so masterfully realized. A stunning, exhilarating, and - at last - realistic action saga.


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