more trailers Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Still of Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldStill of Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldMax Pirkis at event of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldStill of Russell Crowe in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldStill of Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldStill of Max Pirkis in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

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.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 7.4/10 (88,519 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Peter Weir

Stars: Russell Crowe, Paul Bettany, Billy Boyd

In April 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars, the 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,...

Writers: Patrick O'Brian, Peter Weir

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

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


Official Website: UIP France [France] |

Release Date: 14 November 2003

Filming Locations: Fox Baja Studios, Rosarito, Baja California Norte, Mexico

Box Office Details

Budget: $150,000,000(estimated)

Opening Weekend: €226,929 (Netherlands) (30 November 2003) (95 Screens)

Gross: $93,926,386 (USA) (9 May 2004)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Russell Crowe did most of the violin playing on camera.

Factual errors: The two insects referred to as 'weevils' during the scene around the Captains Mess table (At 00:34:32) were most certainly not weevils. The insects historically referred to as 'biscuit weevils', at the time, were extremely small and would not have shown up on camera therefore some artistic licence was taken to make the scene work.

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

User Review

Masterly and Commanding


Few films manage to capture the era in which the original work was set and often rely on clichés of the particular genre at the expense of the core story. This film manages to avoid these pitfalls but more importantly serves as a worthwhile historical document. Anyone who is new to this period of history will not go far wrong keeping a copy of this movie as the attention to detail is excellent and adds to the experience as a whole (teachers take note).

This movie manages to tread a fine line between gritty realism and Boy's Own, portraying the pursuit of an elite French warship by an older embattled British frigate. The production values are very high and the dialogue and length allow the director a better than average framework for character development. The predominantly unknown British supporting cast (some aged as young as 12) are expertly handled and provide a counter balance to the excellent performances of Crowe and Bettany. Crowe's delivery is very reminiscent of Richard Burton, exuding a measured screen presence without overpowering the dialogue.

It would have been easy for the director to read through the salty notes of previous period pieces and deliver the usual tale of ocean going brutality and scurvy encrusted woe but Peter Weir's version of order through respect and camaraderie is far more believable especially when you realize that the sailor's greatest enemy was the ocean itself.

I found little to dislike and much to admire. Highly recommended.