Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldNovember 14, 2003
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
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
Capt. Jack Aubrey
Dr. Stephen Maturin, Surgeon
1st Lt. Tom Pullings
2nd Lt. William Mowett
Capt. Howard, Royal Marines
Mr. Allen, Master
Mr. Higgins, Surgeon's Mate
Mr. Hollar, Boatswain
Mr. Lamb, Carpenter
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward
The Courage To Do The Impossible Lies In The Hearts of Men.
UIP France [France] |
Release Date: 14 November 2003
Filming Locations: Fox Baja Studios, Rosarito, Baja California Norte, Mexico
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: €226,929
(30 November 2003)
(9 May 2004)
Did You Know?
Russell Crowe did most of the violin playing on camera.
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.
Preserved Killick, Captain's Steward:
[taking egg from chicken coop]
Come on, come on. It's all right.
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.