History Buffs: Master and Commander

History Buffs is back! To thank you all for your patience while I've been away on holiday, I'm starting off with Master and Commander! SUPPORT HISTORY BUFFS ON PATREON /> ● Like us on Facebook: /> ● Follow us on Twitter: /> ________________________________________­­_________________________________ - Check out These Videos - Zulu Review - Gladiator Review - />We Were Soldiers - />Kingdom of Heaven – />The Last Samurai – />Why Game of Thrones reads like a History Book and not a Fantasy Epic - />The Patriot - />The Ghost and the Darkness - />300 - />1492 Conquest of Paradise - />Amadeus - />Braveheart - />Vikings Historical Accuracy and Season 4 Predictions - />Waterloo - />Alexander - />Lawrence of Arabia - />Goodfellas - />Agora - />Saving Private Ryan - /> Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 American epic historical drama film written, produced and directed by Peter Weir. The film stars Russell Crowe as Captain Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin. The film, which cost $150 million to make, was a co-production of 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, and Samuel Goldwyn Films, and released on November 14, 2003 to critical acclaim. The film's plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin series, which includes 20 completed novels of Jack Aubrey's naval career. At the 76th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. It won in two categories, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing and lost in all other categories to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Chrisjan Wust
How we have 9 spiderman movies, yet no Master and Commander sequel, is beyond me.
Foxhill Films
One of the things I respect the most about this film was the decision to leave out all cringy love-clichés that you find in almost every movie out there.
I think I speak for most of America when I say that we can easily watch a film where the Americans are not the protagonists (especially in regards to history). However, considering that no ship and captain actually took down the U.S.S. Constitution, using a fictional ship is completely fine imo. I do wish that we got a more nuanced film about Britain during this period though. I would love a film about the Revolutionary War that portayed the legitimate reasons that someone would remain loyal to Britain and give us a nuanced view of both sides of the conflict rather than just "good vs those evil lobsters". American audiences at large would not reject it the way I see it, however, Hollywood just won't take that chance.
Heinz Guderian
Man i am still bummed they opted out of another movie. Master&Commander might very well be one of my favorite movies out there.
as a side note.... you can thank the British for USS Constitution still being in the shape she is in. a common practice of the British was to make a full set of working plans (blueprints) of all captured ships. in January of 1815 the British captured the 44 gun frigate USS President . her construction was the same as that of USS Constitution.at the end of the 1990's the USS Constitution was in bad shape. rot had weakened her to the point where just towing her was a concern. it was decided that she would be "refit" and unlike other maintenance done on her, this work would be done in a manner to restore her to her original condition and form. the plans made from the captured USS President were found in British archives and used as the basis for rebuilding USS Constitution.
Early Crowd
So.. Letters from Iwo Jima next?
Bri J
I thought he was going to say "Russel Crowe's character was nicknamed lucky Jack while Cochran's nickname was Lucky Cock."
Wesley Jarboe
At the end of your video you raise three criticisms of the movie. In order, they are... 1. A failure to understand why a "French warship" would be built in the United States. Answer: The Acheron was NOT a French warship. In the movie, it is stated that she is a privateer. A privateer is a privately owned warship, frequently from a completely different country such as the United States, which operates under the flag of the nation that issued the letter of marque, in this case France. In short, the Acheron was a privately owned American ship whose captain had gotten a letter of marque from France allowing him to hunt British merchantmen under a French flag. That would have been an act of piracy without a letter of marque. It was an act of war with one. That leaves the question of why the crew spoke French. The best speculation I've got is based on the fact that there are, and were at that time, a lot of French speaking Americans. That was especially true in the area around New Orleans which had been purchased from France in 1803. So perhaps the captain and crew were from New Orleans, while the ship was built in New England. 2. Why did the British pursue the privateer around the cape in a storm? Answer: Pride. Pure and simple. The British believed themselves to be the masters of the sea, and frequently refused to be stopped by it. That is purely speculation. The speculation is historically feasible however. 3. Why did Hollywood make the ship an American privateer under a French flag instead of using a frigate of the U.S. Navy. Answer: Because Hollywood is a bunch of elitist assholes who think they're grownups and everyone else is a bunch of children. Once again, this is speculation. It is however the best speculation I can offer.
Phil Dunn
Think of history to understand why the antagonist was changed to the French: It started filming 17 June 2002. It was probably funded in late 2001. What happened in late 2001, which might make American audiences not too excited about being portrayed as the enemy? After 9-11 it would be box office poison. The US was traumatized and pissed enough to start two wars. Weir &co wanted the movie to be a success - Why add an anchor? While not quite the same, think "Letters from Iwo Jima" after Pearl Harbor.
Joe D'Antonio
“It wasn’t French, it was American” *guitar riff of American National Anthem, Eagle scream, George Washington punching George III in the throat*
Paul Thompson
Humbly speaking, this movie goes down in cinema history as one of the most under-rated and ubder-appreciated movies of all time. Indeed, the movie bordered on masterpiece. It also has an outstanding soundtrack, similar to Amadeus and The Mission. Sometimes I feel embarrassed that the culture in the States prefer DC-type super heros over quality history films as this. Your analysis and praise for it is worthy and well deserved.
Norwegian Blue
I agree that it is not giving American audiences enough credit for being able to handle a movie where they are the "bad guys", as long as it is somewhat historically accurate. It actually pissed me off when the film makers made the crew of "U-571" American, when it was a movie obviously based on the achievements of British sailors.
Colin Cleveland
When eating insects, I always choose the lesser of two weevils.
The British learned the value of well trained professional sailors the hard way. When Henry VIII decided to expand the navy and build a lot of warships, his flag ship, the Mary Rose, went down with all hands, as a direct result of the combination of untrained crew members and language problems created by hiring so many foreign sailors. By the time of Napoleon, that problem had been fixed, very well fixed. Gun crews on British ships practiced constantly and it proved to be well worth the powder burned in all of that training. They actually were good enough to have shot the mast off the French ship. i have forgotten just how many times I have watched this film. I know a couple of people that played sailors in this. Several were hired not only because of appearance but also because they were musicians. Russel Crowe is quite a musician himself, and I hear the many sessions when on location, were spectacular.
I've polished the brass on The Constitution twice, and I love that ship.
kar muts
I know this is late but I review on Das Boot would be nice? It's probably the best U-Boat film ever. Like ever.
Callum Ambrose
Is it possible that you can review passendale ?
Chris Djernaes
Fantastic! Please do another Incredible Story on the USS Constitution and Thomas Cochrane :) Truth is ALWAYS stranger and more exciting than fiction. Sadly Hollyweird abhors Truth.
Robert Trageser
The movie was one of the best films Ive seen. Yes the title is confusing. The books are even better. Ive read the whole series of books twice (24 books,about 8000 pages) Ive just started again. It will take me 2 or 3 years to get through them. Yes, they’re that good! If you read them take your time with a thesaurus or wikipedia handy.
Matt Murphy
LOL Braveheart and Master & Commander are about my 2 favorite movies. The portion contrasting them made me laugh.
'The best historical novels ever written'... I think that the reason that the film rings true to students of history comes from the author of the books upon which it is based- Patrick O'Brien. Re: "The best historical novels ever written.", That was said by the NYT book review, for one example of their excellence. They are generally tegarded as accurate not only historically and factually, but in their language and usage vis-a-vis the broader world that the author placed his character's in, and the historical basis for those characters (Aubrey as Lord Cochrane, and Maturin as a 19th century Irishman, as well as the minor characters- sailors, the cook, midshipmen, the master, the coxwain, and even the French captain and the whalers.) If one likes this movie, I would strongly recommend the books upon which it is based, 'Master and Commander', etc... Especially the books 'H.M.S Suprise', and 'The Ionian Mission' (two of my favs from this 20 book series!) Cheers!
Admiral Tiberius
I think its entirely possible that a French privateer could be built in the America's for use against the British. The French got a taste of what the American super frigates could do vs more traditionally built ships in the Quasi War. And while Josuha Humphreys ideas were at first mocked and laughed at, people soon realized his ship designs were cutting edge. His son Samuel Humphreys and friend Josiah Fox were important in helping to spread his ideas to other ships. Also during the American civil war, the British constructed warships for the CSA navy and even crewed them with British sailors. Whos to say in the movie something along similar lines didn't happen just far earlier.
Popeye Doyle
Can you do "Shaving Ryan's Privates"? Superb film.
Another great review on another fine movie!! While you show his name you do not really mention the genius behind the story: Patrick O'Brian. Wow, if you've not read the series of 'Aubrey-Maturin' on which this movie is based I think you'd love it...causes me to wonder if you would review the Richard Sharpe series? The books are also fabulous.
Jack the Gestapo
this movie is terribly underrated.
"It wasn't the Acheron" I was like your damn right, that sounds like ol' Ironsides
Nikolai Brexicaniard
Loved this video, keep it up! I just watched the movie 'Fury', could you make a video on that please?
You should review Horatio Hornblower mini series
Miquel Vico
Recentlly re-watched, love how Aubrey always refers to midshipman Blakeney as lord (him beina a duke) despite of his age, even when he is comforting him after the amputation.
If you don't do All Quiet on the Western Front we riot.
Team Kuuki Food & Games
Can you also watch and review the mini/series, Hornblower? :D or Sharpe's Rifles?
Jeff Betts
I'm currently working my way through Patrick O'Brian's 21 book series on which the movie was based. While the movie was excellent, the books are 1.5 times better again. Highly addictive and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in naval history of that era. Master and Commander can be found on Amazon.
Former Government Human #4937
Admiral Yi of Imperial korea and cockren have very similAr stories its pretty cool
Alejandra Moreno
One of my favourite films!
It's truly one of the best historical movies I've seen and really great because it portrays the harsh reality of the ship life back in the 1800's. The movie gets just about everything right, from visuals to music to a number of details and one amazing cast. You might have Crowe and Bettany as the main characters but it wasn't just about them, the whole crew starred and brought the movie to life. Everyone from the officers to the powder-monkeys were characters. If there's one complaint I've had about this, it's the fact that they never got to make another one despite wanting to.
God bless ol' Ironsides. Growing up in Massachusetts, I have a special love for that ship.
Damn cant stop watching these :0
Jason Talkington
Amen brother, I'm American and I totally agree with you!
On the note of changing the enemy from American to French I think you have to consider the time period that this film was released. This came out in 2003, at the start of the Iraq war and shortly after 9/11. As someone who was there, the American attitude about our military was unquestioning reverence to a point of near worship, and I do honestly think the film would've flopped if they stuck with the American enemy. By 2006 when Letters from Iwo Jima came out we had more or less realized that the sort of unquestioning blind rejection of any criticism of the military we had in 2003 was a pretty unhealthy attitude that had lead to a war that many then (and even more now) feel was a major mistake, which is why I think we were ready for a film with an American enemy. To be clear, I've never been the kind of person to think that anything that's in any way critical of the US Military is bad, I'm just saying a gigantic portion of Americans were that way in 2003, and I completely understand why the decision was made.
Jack Murphy
You should review The Last of the Mohicans next. or even Troy! I bet you'd have a field day with that one!
Jonathan Baldridge
Great vid! Can you please examine the Horatio Hornblower A&E series? I'd also like to see an examination of Deadwood, Young Guns, Hacksaw Ridge, Dunkirk and Braveheart.
SuperSix Delta
Outstanding film. Kept me glued to my seat.
So happy you have a review of this. This is my most favorite movie of all time.
Love this movie. Now if they would only make a historically accurate pirate movie lol...
My favorite line from the movie is "To wives and sweethearts. May the never meet.".
John Thomas
the bit where the boy drowned was really sad
Ddespair Ddespair
The false country flag switcheroo trick was also used in the Horatio Hornblower series, which I would consider way better than Master & Commander. You can find it on youtube! Also, a part of me feels like that entire film was made simply so the writer could use his "lesser of two weevils" joke.
Al D
I've read through the 21-book series endlessly, the way some people read the Bible. I'm always discovering some nuance, some detail, some bit of sly humor, that I missed before. What an incredible writer O'Brian was.
Dillon Crowe
War of 1812 mention reactions, Most Canadians: Beever Dams and the burning White House! Most Americans: New Orleans and our writing National Anthem! Most British: We fought who in when?
The US constitution was an important part of US naval history Me: *drops Command of the Ocean on the desk with a heavy thud* Me: "Thats cute"
Kalle Konttinen
As an Hornblower fan and Finnish Army reservists I'm sorry about one mistake that is not mentioned about Master and Commander. In a couple scenes Captains decisions are argued and debated as in modern UK film script team would argue their writings in London office while tasting a late. In 1800's Royal Navy you didn't debate Captains decisions because that was death sentence offence! Royal Navy wasn't modern democratic society where you can debate superiors decisions freely.. I'm not sure is this mistake in orginal book because I have read it over ten years a go, but I noticed this mistake while watching film.
Tyler Hocum
That flag trick was cool but the Americans did it first in the Barbary wars
Renaissongs Mann
Letters from Iwo Jima, box office: $68M Master & Commander, box office: $212M There's your reason. :)
Andrew Darrell
Now I've GOT TO watch this film.
Tyler Hocum
No John Paul Jones was better fight me
I dunno, when it comes to famous Royal Navy Captains, James Cook gets my vote for #1 Badass. Flawed in spots, the whole hostage thing was dark, but in the context of globe-trotting naval desperation, not surprising....Still doesn't diminish all that dude and his crew pulled off on the seas. He was hardly some Columbus-esque Conquistador asshole. And he was probably killed by one of my damn ancestors (I'm Hawaiian) a few miles from my Mom's hometown
Thiccalodean tv
You should do Letter from Iwo Jima my guy nick
Harry Ford
The Acheron in the film is anachronistic. In the novel "The Far side of the World" it is 1812 and Aubrey is chasing an *American* 44 gun frigate. This made perfect sense in the novel but it absolutely does not when dealing with a French letter of marque in 1805. That the writers kept this in is really annoying.
Kalo Arepo
Love the music of Bach and Boccherini as used in this film.
Christopher Stillman
I might be able to help you with your mild criticism of the French ship body being on view in Boston. I'm a geoscientists in boston. Back in college we were task to find the resting place of the French man o war the Le Magnifique. She was wrecked by an American pilot near lovells island in boston harbor. We may have found it, but the story of her loss is the tale. She was lost just when America was trying to enlist the French navy to help fight the British. The loss due to the mistake of an American pilot almost torpedoed the deal. John Paul Jones had been overseeing the lay down of his flagship the uss America in the Charlestown drydocks I believe. Memory is sketchy on that detail. But the story was that America the country gifted the America the high tech frigate to the French to save the alliance. As a side note this got Jones in such a snit that he resigned his commision and join the Czar's navy in Russia and was instrumental in building that navy up. Some of my memory may need to be refined with better facts but at least it's a start. Time period may be off but that might explain why a sailor would see a French ship in drydock in boston; because she wasn't French at the time. Let me know if I've helped at all, and correct me where I may be wrong, and thank you for your channel. You are right, master and commander is a real jewel.
The Right is Wrong
You give us too much credit. We made Trump POTUS 'nuff said.
John Steiner
Yes, you're right about American audiences- for the most part, being able to handle their team as "the enemy." There are more than enough Vietnam War era movies that paint such a picture without denigrating American military culture and without unduly lionizing the ideologies that the U.S. was fighting.
jesus christ the sea wolf dude captured 53 ships ,. that is insane
fadly A. Rahman
Captain Aubrey is formidable and Cunning while at sea. But on land, he was so naive that he got his prize money cheated out of him by a half-baked scam
I've just discovered your channel, and found your take on the historical elements of Master and Commander fascinating. I still have a bucket wish that Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany had been able to reprise their roles in a sequel, given the number of Aubrey-Maturin books published by Patrick O'Brian. Master and Commander is (still) a brilliant film.
Alice Kaspersen
My grandfather was among the last to go around The Horn in sailing ships. He said that the men at the wheel were tied down with hawsers. one seaman was washed overboard by a high crashing wave only to be returned to the deck, slammed down on it several minutes later. As far as they could tell, every bone in his body was broken, doubtless, drown before the shattering. Though Norwegian, he sailed on British ships as well as Norwegian ones and loved the shanties. One goes, "Were you ever 'round Cape Horn, bonnie laddie, highland laddie, With the Lion and the Unicorn, my bonnie highland laddie."
Sean Santos
Great movie and great review. Could you do a review of the mini-series "The First Churchills" (BBC, 1969)? I'm a huge fan.
Ramberto Torruella
So I first saw this movie during a port visit on a western pacific deployment. We’d just been on patrol for about two months and the wardroom was excited to watch. The movie was outstanding, very well done. More important, we felt a real kinship with characters. Sure, ships and tactics have changed, but the men and missions were very surprisingly similar. We could get every aspect of what was happening with crew, the ship, and the officers. Well done indeed.
Qui Quae Quod
Peter Weir is an awesome and underrated director, with several historical dramas under his belt. A great choice for this channel would be GALLIPOLI (1981). What I particularly love about Weir is his ability to make the setting of a film into a character, whether it's the staid prep school in DEAD POETS SOCIETY, or the clash of country and city in WITNESS, or here, where the confines of the ship frame the movie.
Virgil Grillone
Excellent summation. One of my all time favorites also. Keep up the great work!
James Longstreet
I keep hoping they make another Master Commander.Done in the same amazing way.⛵
Alan Seeling
Since childhood I have been captivated by the old sailing ships. They are, to me, one of the most beautiful creations of mankind, a product of practicality and necessity. Not previously being familiar with Patrick O'Brian, this movie stirred me to read his 20 books. Not once, but twice, and then to listen to all on Audible THREE times. The performances of the readers is really something to hear. Amazing. Then, crying out for more of the same, I struck upon Bernard Cornwell and his description of Wellington's historic campaigns and battles, from India to Waterloo, told from a infantry man's point of view. The BBC made some very trashy "episodes" but they are best not viewed. Someone needs to do a good job on these, The Sharpe series. He, by the way, is the author and semi producer of the History Channel series dealing with the history of England after the Roman withdrawal, The Last Kingdom. I have read every word of Cornwell's multiple series of books dealing with an historical England. To my way of thinking, Cornwell is far and above every current historical novelist.
Brick 0119
Iwo Jima was a good film, shows there are 2 sides to every story I guess.
von Ozbourne
Just a few minutes in and for some reason in my head I'm hearing Johnny Horton singing: We'll find that French privateer that's makin' such a fuss We gotta sink the Acheron 'cause the world depends on us Hit the decks a-runnin' boys and spin those guns around When we find the Acheron we gotta cut her down
Michael Kennedy
thomas cochrane vs john paul jones
could you do one about "Das Boot"?
Jan Gelbrich
I am a sailing ship buff ever since. And Master and Commander is THE movie for someone like me.
As for the Acheron being built in Boston, which is something I've also thought about, when I've watched this masterpiece of a movie. I always assumed that it'd been ordered/bought by the French or maybe even given, since the US and France were allies, and France aided the Americans in the revolutionary War, against the British. Or maybe the ship was captured by the French navy and repurposed, but that'd contradict the alliance. Then again, I'm not too sure about the relations between the US and France during this Era, the early 1800s. It is however, a fascinating Era, and this movie always makes me want to join the/a navy. The thought of officers and sailors living in these close quarters, working together and sharing the same fate or doom, regardless of rank. Finally, thank you so much for a great review! As usual.
Dunne N' dusted
Unfortunately, Hollywood is influenced in terms of producing war films by the Pentagon. Although this is greater impact for modern films, as rental of weaponry, vehicles, extras and resources is expensive. If the film portrays America positively, you get the full backing, anything else and they pull funding. Not a critique on the government or film industry, it's just their practice when it comes to the influential nature of film on public perception.
Yeah letters from iwo jima was well recieved. B/c even tho the us wasn't the protagonists they still won
As a history buff, I'm all for accuracy in historical movies, be they based on a real event or not and I strongly agree that a movie can be both entertaining and historically accurate. That being said, I will say that if a historically based film was 100% accurate one would be bored to tears.
Chester McDonald
I thought is was a fantastic film. I love the simplicity and genuineness of the film. The score is excellent
Mike D
Fantastic flick...modern classic
Do a review of the John Adams HBO miniseries😃😃
Tyrrhenus d'Etruria
Wonderful and sadly underrated film. To me on the same level of Saving Private Ryan if not better
I dont know if there is any other channel who his videos I m watching again and again and after I m going to watch them again
I had the great pleasure of working on board the HMS Rose under Captain Bailey. Great ship, great captain!
Mo Ana
The Kingdom of Hevean is mine ..!!! It belongs to God and his Queen 👸..!!! ME..!!!
Cody Ackermann
Acheron's being a privateer, rather than an actual French navy ship, makes her being built in Boston slightly more believable. Not much maybe, but slightly.
Willem Hoek
Can you make one about “admiral” the dutch film about Michiel de ruyter? Also a great film.
Bruno Teixeira
I like your channel but to compare ships and dates as you did was very partial. French ships were the best at the time and I don't agree with your analisys. Love your videos!
"His ship the HMS Surprise" - no PLEASE! NOT "the".
Z0dd TV
I see what u did there :D Empire total war Soundtrack
Joseph Demis
Excellent review Vic. And you're right when you ask "Why can't we have both?" Entertainment AND historical accuracy! This is one of my all-time favorite movies, along with Zulu, Cross of Iron, and The Unknown Soldier, a Finnish Continuation war movie from 2017. Keep up the good work!
Adventure Darin
So glad I ended up here some how. Master and Commander is one of my all time favorite movies. I prolly have seen it 30 times.
S. Yoshikawa
Oh man, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. Thanks for doing a video on it. Really wish they'd do a sequel.
israel padilla
Oh my god! You are going to be responsible for many groggy mornings at work. just found your channel and I am hooked. Can't believe You've been around for years. Keep up the great content.
Johnny Thunder
While I agree with Nick's comments on changing the enemies from being American to French I actually do like that change: because one of the things at stake in the movie is maintaining British naval superiority that prevents France from invading England. Had the surprise lost to American enemies that would have been bad for them, but it would not have endangered England. Having the enemies be Napoleonic France adds a layer of suspense.
14:30 triggered. Nah I like it, subbed.
I can't imagine the destruction that a 24 pound cannonball traveling at 1000+ feet per second would do to a wooden ship.