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Hornblower: The Even Chance

From Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games
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Hornblower: The Even Chance
Hornblower 1 Even Chance.jpg
DVD Cover
Country UKD.jpg UK
Directed by Andrew Grieve
Release Date 1998
Language English
Studio A+E Networks
Celtic Films
Ecou Films
Distributor ITV
Main Cast
Character Actor
Midshipmen Horatio Hornblower Ioan Gruffudd
Captain Sir Edward Pellew Robert Lindsay
Midshipman Jack Simpson Dorian Healy
Captain Keene Michael Byrne
Matthews Paul Copley
Styles Sean Gilder
Midshipman Archie Kennedy Jamie Bamber
Midshipman Clayton Duncan Bell

Hornblower: The Even Chance (released in American broadcast as Hornblower: The Duel) is the first installment of the Hornblower series of British historical war television films based on the works of C. S. Forester and starring Ioan Gruffudd as Royal Navy officer Horatio Hornblower during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Even Chance depicts Hornblower as a rooky midshipmen in the beginning of his naval career in 1793. It is mainly based on the chapters Hornblower and the Even Chance, Hornblower and the Cargo of Rice, and Hornblower and the Man who Felt Queer from the novel Mr. Midshipman Hornblower.

The following weapons were used in the film Hornblower: The Even Chance:


New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistol

New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistols are seen in hands of numerous Royal Navy officers and sailors, including Midshipmen Horatio Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd), Jack Simpson (Dorian Healy) and Clayton (Duncan Bell), Lieutenants Eccleston (Robert Bathurst) and Chadd (Roger May), Ship's Master Bowles (Colin MacLachlan), Seaman Matthews (Paul Copley), Styles (Sean Gilder), Oldroyd (Simon Sherlock) and Finch (Chris Barnes), as well as French Captain Forget (Vincent Grass) and several of his crewmembers. Judging by the flat heel of the grip, these pistols match the East Indian Pattern. Its appearance in 1793 is anachronistic as it was introduced in 1796 and came into widespread production only by 1802. Tower Sea Service pistols would be more correct for the Royal Navy personnel.

New Land Pattern Flintlock Pistol - .65 caliber
Clayton orders Jack Simpson (Dorian Healy) to stop the battering of Hornblower under the threat of the gun.
Simpson takes aim during the duel with Clayton.
Clayton (Duncan Bell) fires. The pistol shot looks very convincing, with the flash and smoke both on the flintlock and on the muzzle.
Seaman Oldroyd (Simon Sherlock) aims his pistol at the French sailors during the boarding of a schooner Marie Gallante.
Styles (Sean Gilder) holds his pistol while Hornblower (Ioan Gruffudd) carries his two guns tucked into his belt in the scene on the Marie Gallante. The correct Sea Service pistols have belt hooks just for such case.
Hornblower cocks the hammer of his pistol in the scene in the lifeboat.
Finch (Chris Barnes) holds his pistol when he gives water ration to French sailors.
A close-up of the barrels of Styles' and Matthews' pistols during the confrontation in the lifeboat.
French Captain Forget (Vincent Grass) holds Hornblower at gunpoint with the pistol, captured from Finch.
Master Bowles (Colin MacLachlan) holds his pistol.
A wounded Hornblower holds his pistol during the duel with Simpson in the final scene.


Brown Bess Flintlock Musket

Royal Marines on board of HMS Justinian and HMS Indefatigable are armed with Brown Bess Flintlock Muskets. In the final scene Captain Edward Pellew (Robert Lindsay) fires a Brown Bess musket. The muskets are claimed to be Pedersoli production.

Modern reproduction "Long Land Pattern" Brown Bess Infantry musket made from 1722-1768 - .75 caliber.
A Marine on guard holds a Brown Bess musket.
Marines on the HMS Indefatigable open fire at a French ship on close distance.
A good view of the barrel of a musket in hands of a Marine.
A close-up of a flintlock of Brown Bess musket.
Bowles: "Exceptionally fine shot, sir.. if I may say so, sir."
Pellew: "You may, Mr. Bowles.. you may."
Captain Pellew (Robert Lindsay) holds a musket.

Brown Bess Mockup

Some French soldiers on board of the ship-of-the-line Papillon carry crude mockups of Brown Bess muskets. The reason of this fact is unclear as Charleville muskets are seen in the same scene.

The Brown Bess style muskets of the French sentries are definitly mockups, only marginally resembling the real guns.

Charleville Flintlock Musket

French soldiers on board of the ship-of-the-line Papillon are armed with Charleville Muskets. These guns are also claimed to be Pedersoli production.

Charleville Mousquet Mle 1777 - .69 caliber
French soldiers fire Charleville muskets.

Other Weapons

Swivel Gun

Swivel Guns are mounted on English and French ships.

Swivel Gun
A swivel gun on the HMS Indefatigable.
A swivel gun on the French schooner Marie Gallante.
A swivel gun on the French schooner Marie Gallante.
A swivel gun on the HMS Indefatigable.

Naval Cannons

Numerous naval cannons are used throughout the movie. These guns are replicas, except for some scenes that were shot on the actual Nelson's Victory (although the exact cases of such scenes are not listed). Small powder charges are used for firing, enough to create a muzzle flash but producing only marginal recoil, as making the cannons to fly back of full recoil would be dangerous to actors.

Naval cannon - 18th century
12- or 18-pounder cannons on the top deck of the ship-of-the-line HMS Justinian.
24- or 32-pounder cannons on the main deck of the HMS Justinian.
A 12- or 18-pounder cannon on the frigate HMS Indefatigable.
The bore of a cannon.

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