The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War, and the soldiers on both sides that fought it, while their wives wait nervously and anxiously at home for the good news or the bad news.
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
Some filming was done in the same tank that was built for the filming of Titanic (1997), in Rosarito, Mexico. See more »
At about 65 minutes in, while in the Galapagos island, when the Surprise picks up the sailors from the Albatros from the small life boat, Captain Aubrey orders "food and water for these men." While the Captain of the Albatros is telling his story, the camera pans to the right, and targets a sailor who is drinking from a cup. When the cup is raised to his mouth, one can clearly see his lips are firmly closed. See more »
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performed by The New Queen's Hall Orchestra
(Barry Wordsworth conducting)
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd. under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
As a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels, I have to say that this is an amazing adaptation. Crowe isn't big enough for Aubrey, Bettany is too good looking to play Maturin, and Billy Boyd is far too small for Barrett Bonden... but they all work very well in the roles.
Much of the charm of the novels is that there is much that goes unsaid - actions must be inferred from future events. Translating this to the screen is not easy, but here it works out well. Because the film takes bits from all of the books (or many of them, at least), it's chock full of tasty bits of O'Brian. The preeminent pun of the series, regarding dog-watches, is oddly absent, but others are there.
If you like the novels, you will like the film. It captures the feel of the books. The flavor of Nelson's navy is retained. Had I not seen the movie, I would complain about the casting. Having seen it, I have no complaints.
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