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

PG-13 | 135 or 139-140 mins | Adventure | 14 November 2003

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
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Director:

Peter Weir

Cinematographer:

Russell Boyd

Editor:

Leigh Smith

Production Designer:

William Sandell

Production Companies:

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal Studios , Miramax Film Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles for the film were Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World . The following written prologue appears in the onscreen credits: "April -- 1805 Napolean is master of Europe, only the British fleet stands before him. Oceans are now battlefields. HMS Surprise , 128 Guns, 197 Souls, N. Coast of Brazil. Admiralty orders to Cpt. J. Aubrey: 'Intercept French Privateer Acheron en route to Pacific intent on carrying the war into those waters ...sink, burn or take her a prize.'" The script combined elements of the first and tenth novels ( Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World ) that are part of the twenty-book Aubrey/Maturin series written by Patrick O’Brian (1914--2000). The popular series has been noted for its historical accuracy and specific detailing of seafaring life in the 19th century British Navy. In Dec 1993, the Samuel Goldwyn Company optioned the first book in the series, Master and Commander , but the film moved on to Disney/Touchstone Pictures. A Sep 1996 HR item notes that John McTiernan was under consideration by Touchstone to direct and write the script. A Nov 1998 DV item notes that when Touchstone dropped the project, Twentieth Century Fox picked up the feature rights with Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. mentioned as producer. Fox also acquired rights to all twenty of O’Brian’s novels, the tenth of which was The Far Side of the World . After the film’s release, some news items and reviewers suggested that additional books in the series would also ... More Less

Working titles for the film were Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World . The following written prologue appears in the onscreen credits: "April -- 1805 Napolean is master of Europe, only the British fleet stands before him. Oceans are now battlefields. HMS Surprise , 128 Guns, 197 Souls, N. Coast of Brazil. Admiralty orders to Cpt. J. Aubrey: 'Intercept French Privateer Acheron en route to Pacific intent on carrying the war into those waters ...sink, burn or take her a prize.'" The script combined elements of the first and tenth novels ( Master and Commander and The Far Side of the World ) that are part of the twenty-book Aubrey/Maturin series written by Patrick O’Brian (1914--2000). The popular series has been noted for its historical accuracy and specific detailing of seafaring life in the 19th century British Navy. In Dec 1993, the Samuel Goldwyn Company optioned the first book in the series, Master and Commander , but the film moved on to Disney/Touchstone Pictures. A Sep 1996 HR item notes that John McTiernan was under consideration by Touchstone to direct and write the script. A Nov 1998 DV item notes that when Touchstone dropped the project, Twentieth Century Fox picked up the feature rights with Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. mentioned as producer. Fox also acquired rights to all twenty of O’Brian’s novels, the tenth of which was The Far Side of the World . After the film’s release, some news items and reviewers suggested that additional books in the series would also be turned into films.
       Numerous reviews and articles on the film commented on a major change from the two books, in having the enemy that "Jack Aubrey" and the crew of the Surprise pursue changed from American to French. Some journalists suggested this may have been due to the strongly pro-American political climate in the U.S. at the time of the film's production and release just two years after the terrorism attack on New York and Washington in Sep 2001 and the rise of anti-French sentiment over their refusal to support the 2003 U.S. conflict with Iraq. In production notes, however, Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman stated that the change was made in order to avoid lengthy explanations of why America supported Napoleon during that period. Additionally, some of the later books in O’Brian’s series centered solely on the British-French conflict. As noted in various reviews and feature articles, the "PG-13"-rated film avoided certain elements of the novels (disputed by some modern historical sources), including homosexuality within the British Navy, violent conscription of crewmen and extreme hardships endured by the men.
       The film marked the debut of Max Pirkis as "Lord Blakeney." Stars Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany previously appeared together in the 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind . Director Peter Weir worked with fellow Australian director of photography Russell Boyd on several of his early films, including Gallipoli (1981) and The Year of Living Dangerously (1982). Costume designer Wendy Stites, who is married to Weir and often credited as Wendy Weir, has collaborated with the director on numerous films. The film was shot on location in Baja, California, Mexico using the four tanks constructed by Fox Studios in 1996 for James Cameron's 1998 production Titanic . In addition to using numerous model ships, constructed and filmed in New Zealand, an authentic tall ship, the Rose , a former sail-training ship in Rhode Island, was overhauled and doubled as the Surprise . Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was also shot on location in the Galàpagos Islands, which, according to production notes, was the first time a feature film shot there.
       In the closing credits, the producers acknowledge numerous individuals and naval associations, including the United States Department of Navy, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, U. K., the Historic Naval Dockyard & HMS Victory, Portsmith, U. K. and Royal College of Surgeons of England.
       Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was selected by AFI as one of its top ten films of 2003 and also selected by the National Board of Review as one of the ten best films of the year. The picture received two Academy Awards, one for Best Cinematography (Russell Boyd)and one for Best Sound Editing (Richard King). The picture also received Academy Award nominations in the following categories: Picture, Director, Film Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. Additionally, the film received Golden Globe nominations for Peter Weir for Best Director, Best Picture--Drama and Best Actor--Drama for Russell Crowe. Weir was nominated by the Directors Guild for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2003. Weir and producers Samuel Goldwyn Jr. and Duncan Henderson were nominated by the Producers Guild for the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Nov 1998.
---
Daily Variety
15 Mar 2002
p. 1, 30.
Daily Variety
4 Nov 2003
p. 2, 14.
Entertainment Weekly
21 Nov 2003
p. 56, 58.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Apr 1994
p. 1, 58.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1996
p. 1, 58.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 2003.
---
Los Angeles Times
14 Nov 2003
Calendar, p. 1, 19.
New York Times
14 Nov 2003.
---
New York Times
16 Nov 2003
p. 15, 24.
Publishers Weekly
13 Dec 1993.
---
The Daily Telegraph (London)
15 Nov 2003.
---
Wall Street Journal
14 Nov 2003.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Samuel Goldwyn Films Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir
1st asst dir, Mexico
1st asst dir, 2d unit
2d asst dir
2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir, 2d unit
2d 2d asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Co-prod
Co-prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
CVFX dir of photog, ILM
Miniatures dir of photog, Weta Workshop
'A' cam op
'B' cam op/Steadicam op
'C' cam op
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
Cam op, 2d unit
VFX 1st asst cam op, ILM
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Cam loader
Loader, 2d unit
Loader, 2d unit
Cam tech
Still photog
Video assist op
Video assist op
Video assist op, 2d unit
Video assist op, 2d unit
Video eng, ILM
Key grip
Key grip, Mexico
Key grip, 2d unit
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip, 2d unit
Dolly grip, 2d unit
Rigging key grip
Best boy rigging grip
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Grip, 2d unit
Crane/Libra head op
Crane/Libra head op
Crane/Libra head op
Crane/Libra head op
Gaffer, 2d unit
Rigging gaffer
Best boy
Best boy, 2d unit
Best boy, 2d unit
Best boy, Mexico
Best boy elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Elec, 2d unit
Cape Horn footage
Cape Horn footage
Cape Horn footage
Lighting equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Supv art dir
Art dir
Art dir, ILM
On set asst art dir
Illustrator
Illustrator
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Addl ed
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
Negative preparation, ILM
Preview eng
Projectionist
Projectionist, ILM
Projectionist, ILM
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set des
Set des
Set des
Set des
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Set dec
Prop master
Prop master, 2d unit
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Supv const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Const foreman
Standby painter
Standby painter, 2d unit
Const crane op
Const crane op
Const crane op
COSTUMES
Cost des
Assoc cost des
Cost supv
Cost supv
Key cost
Key cost
On set cost
On set cost
Cost to Russell Crowe
Cost, 2d unit
Cost, 2d unit
Cost, 2d unit
Cutter
Milliner
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Textile artist
Seamstress
Seamstress
Seamstress
Seamstress
On set dresser, 2d unit
MUSIC
Mus/Synthesizer and sample programming
Mus/Score orch and cond
Mus/Score orch and cond/Cabin mus performed by
Supv mus ed/Assoc score prod/Addl rec
Scoring contractor
Mus preparation
Score rec and mixed by
Addl rec
Addl rec
Featured percussionist
Score mock-ups
Cabin mus rec at
Cabin mus performed by
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Sd des/Supv sd ed
Sd mixing
Sd mixing
Film rec eng, ILM
Film rec eng, ILM
Addl mixing
Supv ADR ed
Supv ADR ed, Baja unit
ADR ed
ADR ed, Baja unit
ADR ed, Baja unit
Asst ADR ed, Baja unit
ADR mixer, Baja unit
ADR mixer, De Lane Lea--London, England
ADR mixer, Pinewood Sound--Vancouver, Canada
ADR mixer, Twentieth Century Fox--Los Angeles
ADR mixer, Twentieth Century Fox--Los Angeles
ADR mixer, Soundfirm--Sydney, Australia
ADR rec, De Lane Lea--London, England
ADR rec, De Lane Lea--London, England
ADR rec, Pinewood Sound--Vancouver, Canada
ADR rec, Twentieth Century Fox--Los Angeles
ADR rec, Twentieth Century Fox--Los Angeles
ADR rec, Soundfirm--Sydney, Australia
ADR rec, Soundfirm--Sydney, Australia
ADR eng, Twentieth Century Fox--Los Angeles
Dial ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff rec
Sd eff rec
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley supv
Supv Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Stage eng
Artillery for sd eff rec provided by
Dolby sd consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv
Visual eff supv, Asylum
Visual eff supv, Pacific Title & Art Studio
2d unit visual eff supv, Asylum
Supv visual eff prod
Visual eff prod
Visual eff prod, Asylum
Visual eff prod, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Visual eff prod, Digital Backlot
Visual eff ed
Visual eff ed, ILM
Asst visual eff ed, ILM
Visual eff des
Sr visual eff coord
Sr visual eff coord
Sr visual eff coord, ILM
Visual eff coord, ILM
Visual eff coord, ILM
Visual eff coord, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Visual eff prod supv
Visual eff col consultant
Visual eff asst
ILM visual eff supv
ILM visual eff prod
ILM visual eff prod
Spec visual eff
A Lucasfilm Ltd. Company Marin County, CA
Visual eff
Addl visual eff
Pre-visualization artist, ILM
Pre-visualization artist, ILM
Viewpaint artist, ILM
Graphics and main title des
End title opticals
Spec eff supv
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman, 2d unit
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
Digital compositing supv, ILM
Compositing supv/Lead artist, Asylum
Compositing supv, CAFEFx
Lead compositor, CAFEFx
Lead compositor, CAFEFx
Compositing seq supv, ILM
Compositing seq supv, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, ILM
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Digital compositor, Pacific Title & Art Studio
Computer graphics supv, ILM
Computer graphics supv, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
Computer graphic artist, ILM
CG seq supv, ILM
CG prod, Asylum
Anim, Asylum
Anim, Asylum
Lead sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Sabre artist, ILM
Lead 3D cam matchmove, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
3D cam matchmove artist, ILM
Lead digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital paint & roto artist, ILM
Digital modeler, ILM
VFX prod asst, ILM
VFX prod asst, ILM
VTR op, ILM
Lead physical eff, ILM
Physical eff, ILM
Physical eff, ILM
Physical eff, ILM
Physical eff, ILM
Lead digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Digital plate restoration artist, ILM
Research and development, ILM
Research and development, ILM
Tech support, ILM
Tech support, ILM
ILM senior staff
ILM senior staff
ILM senior staff
Matte paintings by, ILM
Matte painter, Asylum
Matte painter, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Inferno artist, Asylum
Rotoscoping, Asylum
Rotoscoping, Asylum
Rotoscoping, Asylum
Rotoscoping, Asylum
Rotoscoping, Asylum
Rotoscoping & shake compositor, Asylum
Tracking, Asylum
3D lighting, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
3D artist, Asylum
Modeling, Asylum
Galápagos visual eff by
Digital eff prod, CAFEFx
Digital eff coord, CAFEFx
Miniature ships built & filmed at
Miniatures des & supv, Weta Workshop
Workshop prod supv, Weta Workshop
Miniatures head tech, Weta Workshop
Workshop tech, Weta Workshop
Workshop tech, Weta Workshop
Workshop tech, Weta Workshop
Miniature shoot prod, Weta Workshop
Miniatures unit supv, Weta Workshop
Digital intermediate by
VP of tech, EFILM
Digital intermediate prod, EFILM
Digital intermediate ed, EFILM
Digital intermediate services coord, EFILM
Quality control supv, EFILM
Boat scanning & modeling by
Boat scanning & modeling by
MAKEUP
Key makeup dept head
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist, 2d unit
Makeup artist, 2d unit
Russell Crowe's makeup artist
Russell Crowe's spec makeup
Russell Crowe's spec makeup
Spec prosthetic makeup
Key hairstylist dept head
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hair stylist, 2d unit
Hair stylist, 2d unit
Russell Crowe's hair stylist
Russell Crowe's hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Addl casting
Addl casting assoc
Polish casting
Polish casting
Voice casting
Unit prod mgr
Unit prod mgr, 2d unit
Unit mgr, Mexico
Lead historical consultant
Historical consultant
Historical consultant
Historical consultant
Historical consultant
Historical consultant
Historical consultant
Prod consultant, Mexico
Prod assoc
Scr supv, 2d unit
Unit pub
Prod coord
Prod coord, 2d unit
Post prod supv
Post prod coord
Galápagos prod coord
Prod coord, Mexico
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Shipping coord
Prod accountant
Prod accountant, Mexico
1st asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Post prod accountant
Asst to Peter Weir
Asst to Duncan Henderson
Asst to Russell Crowe
Asst to Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe's dialect coach
Russell Crowe's trainer
Russell Crowe's sword master
Russell Crowe's violin instructor
Russell Crowe's violin instructor
Russell Crowe's violin instructor
Paul Bettany's cello coach
Paul Bettany's cello coach
Security for Russell Crowe provided by
Researcher
Gunnery instructor
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Supv medic
Medic, 2d unit
Studio tutor
Studio tutor
Studio tutor
Marine coord
Marine coord
Marine coord
Dive master
Dive team
Dive team
Dive team
Dive team
Dive team
Dive team
Dive team
Sailing master, 2d unit
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
Shipwright
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
HMS Rose sailing crew
Master rigger
Master rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Ship and sail rigger
Support boat op
Support boat op
Support boat op
Support boat op
Animal wrangler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Animal handler
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt, 2d unit
Catered by
Catered by
Catered by
Catered by
Catered by
Catered by
Craft service
Craft service
Helicopter pilot
Staff asst, 2d unit
Staff asst, 2d unit
Staff asst, 2d unit
Staff asst, 2d unit
Staff asst, 2d unit
Film shipping
Film shipping
Helicopters
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Russell Crowe's stunt double
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Russell Crowe's stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing supv, ILM
Col timing, Asylum
Col timer
Digital col timer, EFILM
Digital colorist assist, EFILM
Telecine colorist
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novels Master and Commander (London, 1969) and The Far Side of the World by Patrick O'Brian (London, 1984).
MUSIC
"Ghost of Time," composed by Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon and Richard Tognetti, performed by Iva Davies and Icehouse, featured violin performance by Richard Tognetti, orchestrated by Christopher Gordon
"Endless Ocean," composed by Christopher Gordon and Iva Davies
Violin concerto No. 3 'Strassburg' K.216, 3rd movement, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
+
MUSIC
"Ghost of Time," composed by Iva Davies, Christopher Gordon and Richard Tognetti, performed by Iva Davies and Icehouse, featured violin performance by Richard Tognetti, orchestrated by Christopher Gordon
"Endless Ocean," composed by Christopher Gordon and Iva Davies
Violin concerto No. 3 'Strassburg' K.216, 3rd movement, composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," composed by Ralph Vaughn Williams, performed by The New Queen's Hall Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth conducting, courtesy of Decca Music Group Ltd. under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Adagio from Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 8 in G Minor Christmas Concerto, composed by Arcangelo Corelli
Prelude (from the Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007), composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, performed by Yo-Yo Ma, cello, courtesy of Sony Classical by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
Boccherini La Musica Notturna Delle Strade di Madrid No. 6, Op. 30, composed by Luigi Boccherini.
+
SONGS
"O'Sullivan's March," "Spanish Ladies," "Raging Sea/Bonnie Ship the Diamond" and "Don't Forget Your Old Shipmates," traditional.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Far Side of the World
Release Date:
14 November 2003
Production Date:
17 June--23 October 2002 at Fox Studios Baja, Baja California, Mexico and the Galápagos Islands
Copyright Claimants:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Miramax Film Corporation Universal City Studios, LLLP
Copyright Dates:
18 November 2003 18 November 2003 18 November 2003
Copyright Numbers:
PA0001187979 PA0001187979 PA0001187979
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
Color
DeLuxe
Lenses/Prints
filmed with Panavision cameras and lenses; Kodak Film Stock
Duration(in mins):
135 or 139-140
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
39922
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1805, in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Brazil, the HMS Surprise, a British frigate commanded by Captain Jack Aubrey, comes under an unexpected attack by a French privateer, the Acheron. When return fire from the Surprise proves ineffectual and coxswain Barret Bonden reports their ship’s rudder has been shot away, Jack orders boats lowered to tow his damaged vessel into a fog whiteout. Later, Jack speculates about the Acheron ’s stealth, speed and apparent impregnability and wonders how the French ship, which the Surprise had been trying to locate for seven weeks, found them. Jack then oversees the ship’s numerous repairs while his close friend, Irish surgeon Stephen Maturin, tends to the many wounded. Determined to fulfill his orders to capture the French privateer, Jack refuses to consider returning to England ... +


In 1805, in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Brazil, the HMS Surprise, a British frigate commanded by Captain Jack Aubrey, comes under an unexpected attack by a French privateer, the Acheron. When return fire from the Surprise proves ineffectual and coxswain Barret Bonden reports their ship’s rudder has been shot away, Jack orders boats lowered to tow his damaged vessel into a fog whiteout. Later, Jack speculates about the Acheron ’s stealth, speed and apparent impregnability and wonders how the French ship, which the Surprise had been trying to locate for seven weeks, found them. Jack then oversees the ship’s numerous repairs while his close friend, Irish surgeon Stephen Maturin, tends to the many wounded. Determined to fulfill his orders to capture the French privateer, Jack refuses to consider returning to England for refitting and orders repairs to be made while the ship rests on the coast’s nearby shoals. Learning that Stephen has had to amputate young midshipman Lord Blakeney’s right arm, Jack brings Blakeney a book about the exploits of famed British naval hero Horatio Nelson, who also suffered the loss of a limb in battle. The crew watches with interest when Stephen performs surgery on the ship’s oldest crew member, Joe Plaice, who has sustained a serious head wound. That evening in the great cabin, Stephen joins Jack for their regular meeting to play violin and cello duets. A few days later as the Surprise returns to open sea, carpenter’s mate Joseph Nagle, captain of the mizzen top William Warley, and another sailor bring Jack a replica of the Acheron , which the crew has nicknamed the “phantom ship.” Nagle explains that Warley had witnessed the boat under construction in a Boston shipyard and built the model with exact detail. Jack is fascinated by the double hull design that allows the ship to sit high in the water and move at great speed. Meanwhile, up on deck, the crew celebrates when Plaice utters his first words since his injury. When older midshipman Hollom joins the crew’s lusty singing, however, the men are inexplicably offended. The following day, Jack is stunned when the Acheron abruptly appears on the horizon closing in behind them, and orders the Surprise to make a top speed escape. Jack then orders a decoy raft made and that night has it placed in the water with lit lanterns and cut adrift to attract the Acheron fire while the Surprise slips away. The following morning the officers are impressed to find that Jack has maneuvered the Surprise in a vast circle and come up behind the Acheron . Jack presses his advantage, chasing the Acheron as it hastily retreats southward toward Cape Horn. Near the cape, a fierce storm abruptly closes in and the French ship disappears. Jack orders the Surprise ’s sails taken in, and as Hollom climbs to the mizzen top to assist Warley, the mast snaps, flinging Warley into the sea. As the mast rigging pulls the Surprise sharply over on its keel, Jack and Nagle are forced to cut the ropes to save the ship, but cannot rescue Warley. In private, Stephen comforts Jack but questions whether Jack’s pursuit of the Acheron has become a reckless obsession. Jack admits his orders were to follow the French only as far as Brazil, but is confident he can catch and defeat the privateer despite its superiority. The Surprise continues southward and the temperature drops drastically, bringing snow and ice. Days later, the crew celebrates when the ship turns northward and Jack confides in his officers that he believes the Acheron is headed to the whaling waters around the Galápagos Islands. Stephen, an amateur botanist, is delighted at the prospect of exploring the life on the “enchanted islands” and interests Blakeney in various studies of insect and plant life. Upon arriving at the islands, the Surprise rescues a small boat filled with the survivors of a whaling vessel destroyed by the Acheron . Confirming the French ship’s direction, Jack orders immediate pursuit. When Stephen angrily protests that Jack assured his island exploration, Jack reminds him the Surprise is a navy battle ship. In anticipation of catching his elusive foe, Jack drills the gunnery crews repeatedly, only to sail into the “doldrums,” a hot, airless tropical region that leaves the ship immobile. Led by the now-fully-recovered Plaice, the crew comes to believe that the Surprise is carrying a “Jonah,” or a curse in the guise of Hollom, who is present wherever misfortune occurs. The feeling is heightened when Jack is forced to flog Nagle for flagrantly displaying disrespect for Hollom in front of the crew. Jack advises Hollom, a misfit who has twice failed the officer’s exam, to earn the men’s respect, but the midshipman remains anxious and fearful. Stephen scoffs at the men’s superstitious talk of a curse and is dismayed when Jack supports his crew. On night watch a few days after the flogging, Hollom thanks Blakeney for his kindness and then throws himself overboard. Just after Hollom’s funeral service, the wind picks up and Jack again sends the Surprise in search of the Acheron . As the ship nears the islands, Stephen enthusiastically tracks an albatross flying close to the railing and is accidentally shot by Marine Capt. Howard as he fires at the bird. Alarmed by his friend’s grave injury, Jack weighs anchor at the islands, where an operating tent is set up for surgeon’s assistant Higgins. Stephen refuses to allow Higgins to operate, however, and conducts the surgery himself as Jack’s steward, Preserved Killick, holds a mirror for him to see his wound. Stephen recovers over the next several days and confesses his guilt to Jack over preventing the Surprise from continuing her mission. When able to walk, Stephen takes Blakeney and Padeen along the volcanic surface of the island to retrieve various animal, insect and plant specimens. Excited by the possibility of capturing a flightless bird, Stephen climbs a hill where he discovers the Acheron anchored in a cove on the far side of the island. Abandoning their collection, Stephen and the others hasten to report to Jack. Inspired by a phasmid, an insect that disguises itself to confuse predators, Jack orders the ship to be disguised as a whaling ship, hoping to lure the Acheron to them. The plan succeeds and the Surprise makes a stunning attack on the larger French ship. Jack leads a boarding party onto the enemy vessel, leaving Blakeney in charge of the British ship. On board the Acheron , a desperate hand-to-hand battle ensues while Blakeney’s quick action prevents the French ship’s cannons from firing. After overcoming the enemy crew, Jack, who has been slightly wounded, searches for the French captain. On the lower deck he finds a physician hovering over the dead captain, and the doctor presents the captain’s sword in surrender. Despite the victory, Jack suffers the loss of many crewmen, including Ship’s Master Mr. Allen and young Peter. At services for the dead, Jack posthumously promotes Peter to lieutenant so that his family may receive a pension. Jack then promotes Lt. Thomas Pullings to captain and awards him command of the Acheron , which sets sail for Jamaica. Before heading for England, Jack sets course for the Galápagos, having promised Stephen that he might return to his exploration. When Stephen comments on the lack of medical care on the Acheron , Jack reveals their physician surrendered the ship to him. Stephen relates that members of the French crew informed him that their doctor had died weeks earlier. Realizing he has been tricked once again, Jack orders a “beat-to-quarters” and the Surprise comes about to pursue the Acheron. +

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AFI Life Achievement Award
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