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->''"For England! For home! And for the prize!"''
-->-- '''Captain Jack Aubrey'''

''Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World'' is a 2003 Age of Sail naval warfare drama, based on the Literature/AubreyMaturin series of historical novels by Patrick O'Brian set during UsefulNotes/TheNapoleonicWars. It is directed by Creator/PeterWeir and stars Creator/RussellCrowe as Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey of His Majesty's Ship ''Surprise'', and Creator/PaulBettany as ship's surgeon, naturalist, and Jack's dear friend Stephen Maturin. It is known for being one of the more accurate depictions of WoodenShipsAndIronMen on film, true to its source.

The plot of the film references several books in the series, including ''Master and Commander'' (1969) and ''The Far Side of the World'' (1984). Captain Aubrey is sent to the coast of Brazil to engage a private man-of-war employed by Napoleonic France, only to find the enemy considerably more powerful than his beloved but nearly obsolete frigate, the ''Surprise.'' Worse, the enemy commander is Aubrey's equal or even superior as a tactician and seaman. Going beyond his orders, Aubrey pursues the enemy into the Pacific where she is raiding British whalers, and attempts a final stratagem that will either doom the ''Surprise'' or give her victory.

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!! This film provides examples of:
* AdaptationDistillation: Snippets from several of the books on which the movie is based are thrown in (the title alone comes from two of them.) There is only a [[ContinuityNod brief mention]] of Stephen being a spy, and the enemy ship is American-made (and thus advanced and well-built) but French-aligned.[[note]]The ship in the original book ''was'' an American ship, USS ''Norfolk'', but was of a similar size and armament to the ''Surprise''.[[/note]]
* AdventurousIrishViolins: Throughout the optimistic and adventurous sequences, as befitting a work set in the Age of Sail.
* AndTheAdventureContinues: [[spoiler:Jack realises he's been hoodwinked, and the ''Surprise'' must once again pursues the ''Acheron'', much to Stephen's disappointment.]]
* ArtifactTitle: "Master and commander" (later shortened to "commander") is an official naval rank between "lieutenant" and "post captain", and it is Jack's rank during the so-titled book. However, the film takes place later during his career, after he has already made post.
* BadassAdorable: Several midshipmen, but cute little Will Blakeney takes the cake. He's a blond teen-aged PrettyBoy who gets interested in science and natural world. And he's a great sailor and officer who can kick some serious ass (with [[HandicappedBadass one arm]], no less).
* BadassBookworm: Maturin can't ''just'' hold his own in battle; he can do it while nursing a fresh gunshot wound he treated himself without so much as alcohol to numb the pain. Digging a bullet out of your own gut? Pretty damn badass.
* BaitAndSwitchComment:
** The punchline of Jack's story about dining with Admiral Lord Nelson.
-->'''Jack:''' The first time that he spoke to me... I shall never forget his words. I remember it like it was yesterday. He leaned across the table, he looked me straight in the eye, and he said "Aubrey... [[spoiler:may I trouble you for the salt?" ''[everybody howls with laughter]'' I've always tried to say it exactly as he did ever since!]]
** And Jack's toast "to wives and sweethearts...may they never meet."
* BlackComedy: The morning after Hollom commits suicide, there's a service for him. Killick hands Jack a copy of the Bible... which is open to the book of [[Myth/NauticalFolklore Jonah]]. Jack gives him an extremely not-amused look and hands the book back before carrying on.
* BoardingParty: They manage to trick and successfully board ''Acheron'', but the battle is hard.
* BurialAtSea: After the exhilaration of victory, there is a deliberate MoodWhiplash as the regrettable price is shown: burial at sea for the men--and boys--who died taking the enemy.
* ButtMonkey: Midshipman Hollom, played for drama. Where most midshipmen have made lieutenant by the time they're out of their teens, Hollom is almost 30 and has been passed over for promotion twice. He fails to effectively command or obtain the respect of the men under him, and is eventually DrivenToSuicide over it.
* CoolBoat: The ''Acheron'' is newer, faster, stronger, and better-armed than the ''Surprise'', by some accounts an "aged man of war." Aubrey takes issue with that characterization.
-->'''Aubrey:''' The ''Surprise'' has a bluff bow, lovely lines. She's a fine seabird: weatherly, stiff and fast... very fast, if she's well handled. No, she's not old. She's in her prime.
* ChildSoldiers: Middies are both "Precociously Talented" and "Tragic" types. Blakeney for instance is the latter because he gets maimed, and the former because even after that fact he can still lead a war party of men twice his age and personally kick ass himself. TruthInTelevision: most Royal Navy officers started in their teens.
* ChromosomeCasting: Justified. Neither the French nor the Royal Navy allowed female sailors, and privately owned ships generally considered it bad luck to have women aboard ship. The solitary woman in the movie is a Brazilian lady who's on screen for all of five seconds doing nothing but twirling a ParasolOfPrettiness.
* CombatPragmatist: Members of the crew fight with whatever weapons they have - daggers, dirks, cutlasses, sabres, pistol butts, axes, even a large ''carpentry hammer''. They also used different ways of stopping cannon fire, from dousing the vent to [[DeliberateInjuryGambit blocking the striker with their bare hand]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Aubrey's steward, the irascible Preserved Killick.
-->'''Aubrey:''' ''[sozzled from too many glasses of claret and impatient for the pièce de résistance]'' Killick? Killick! ... There.\\
'''Killick:''' ''[who is standing right behind him]'' I'm already here, ain't I?
* DeathByAdaptation[=/=]SparedByTheAdaptation: The changing of the plot alters the fate of four of the tenth book's minor characters: one spared, three killed off.
* {{Determinator}}:
** Aubrey is implacably determined to capture the formidable ''Acheron''.
--->'''Aubrey:''' My orders were to pursue the ''Acheron'' as far as Brazil. I exceeded my orders some time ago.
** Unfortunately the French captain is equally determined to [[TheHunterBecomesTheHunted turn the tables on his pursuer]].
* DoomMagnet: Hollom is believed to be this by the crew, which results in him being DrivenToSuicide.
* DrivenToSuicide: The aging midshipman Hollom, who has no prospects of promotion, is completely lacking in leadership ability, and to top it off gets labeled as a curse on the ship's luck.
* TheDrunkenSailor: They drink huge amount of wine and rum, especially during dinners. True to life in the Navy.
* DuetBonding: Aubrey and Doctor Maturin deepen their friendship by playing duets on violin and cello, respectively (much to the frustration of Killick, who can't stand the music).
* EasyLogistics: "The French have their spies in England and elsewhere... as do we." ...What? You mean a French spy all the way back in Portsmouth when he saw ''Surprise'' put to sea, ran out across the ocean to warn the French Captain so he could lay an ambush ''at just the right time and place''? Possible though, as there could have been agents located in South America or other ports where the ''Acheron'' could have stopped by. These agents would not necessarily have seen the ''Surprise'' put out to sea, but they would have been aware of English man-of-war movements in the area. It is also possible that the French were warned that England had dispatched the ''Surprise'' to intercept ''Acheron'', allowing the ''Acheron'' to ambush ''Surprise'' rather than the other way around.
* EmpathicEnvironment: After weeks InTheDoldrums, as soon as Hollom is buried at sea, the wind picks up. Depending on how you look at it, either Hollom's spirit has forgiven the crew for their lack of fellowship, or driving him to suicide removed his curse on the ship and they can get on with their duties. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Or it was a complete coincidence.]] Though he said meaningful words right before jumping off the ship, implying he felt he might have actually have been cursed. Ambiguity about such things is a common plot device.
-->'''Blakeney:''' The Captain thinks we'll get our wind tomorrow.\\
'''Hollom:''' I'm sure of it.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The first scene sets up the difference between the timid and incompetent Hollom and the brave and competent Calamy. Hollom glimpses the Acheron, the only one on the ship to do so, but lacks the confidence to call an alert on his own authority even though he's responsible for the ship. Calamy doesn't see it but calls the alert in order to be safe rather than sorry when it's clear Hollom won't.
* EurekaMoment: "Let me guess. A stick?"
-->'''Blakeney:''' It's a rare phasmid, sir... It's an insect that disguises itself as a stick in order to confuse its predators.\\\
'''Captain Aubrey:''' ''[later]'' A nautical phasmid, Doctor, at least for a hungry eye, if one has an appetite for whalers. I intend to take a greater interest in the bounty of nature from now on. [...] I had no idea that a study of nature could advance the art of naval warfare! Now to pull this predator in close and spring our trap.\\
'''Stephen:''' Jack. ''You're'' the predator.
* TheFaceless: In the times we see the ''Surprise'' crew look at the captain of the ''Acheron'', his face is always covered up (usually by a spyglass, because he's looking right back). This is important so that later on [[spoiler:we don't recognize that he's impersonating the doctor]].
* FamedInStory:
** LivingLegend Lord UsefulNotes/HoratioNelson is an inspiration for every seaman of the Royal Navy.
** Captain Lucky Jack ''himself'', ho was also famed for knowing Lord Nelson in person. Aubrey will never forget the first time his idol spoke to him in person, nor what he said: [[spoiler:"Aubrey... may I trouble you for the salt?"]]
* FanDisservice: Maturin's {{Shirtless Scene}}s are all of him after he's been gut-shot, with all of the unpleasant physiological effects thereof.
* FreezeFrameBonus: The "Docteur" at the end that presents Jack with the dead captain's sword [[spoiler:[[SpotTheThread has no blood on his hands]]. Later, when we learn that it's the captain posing as the surgeon to escape notice, it suddenly makes sense.]]
* AFriendInNeed: Captain Aubrey has to choose between pursuing his quarry and saving Dr. Maturin's life. Stephen also has to choose to abandon his precious specimen collection, to inform Captain Aubrey the ''Acheron'' is nearby.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Done when Dr. Maturin amputates Midshipman Blakeney's arm, when a crewman is whipped for insubordination, and when Stephen [[SelfStitching operates on himself]]. Avoided at other points.
* GrandTheftPrototype: Aubrey's crew takes possession of the ''Acheron'' at the end of the movie. Should be noted also that the RealLife HMS ''Surprise'', the inspiration for the ship in the novel, was originally the ''Unité'', a French corvette in service of the French Navy, which was captured by the British Navy, renamed, and introduced into British service.
* GrizzledVeteran: The old sailing-master is a particular fan of sea-shanties and [[FamedInStory Lord Nelson]].
* HandicappedBadass: Will Blakeney, a one-armed 13-year-old Little Lord Badass PluckyMiddie. Naturally he looks up to Lord Nelson, who also lost an arm. A beautiful moment occurs when Aubrey visits the young Lord Blakeney in his hammock just after he has had his arm amputated. He recommends a book to the young Lord's attention; an account of the battle of the Nile, with several fine illustrations. After some very stiff-upper-lip dialogue, Aubrey departs, leaving Blakeney to leaf through the book, which opens at an illustration of Lord Nelson, minus an arm. Blakeney more than rises to the implied challenge, which later leads to...
* HeroicBSOD: Blakeney after the crew takes the ''Acheron''. He can barely keep himself together while stitching up Calamy in his hammock. During the funeral service, he doesn't openly weep like the other young middies, but rather has a blank and sad look on his face. Afterwards, he goes to the doctor, still with a blank look on his face, hoping to ease his grief through study.
* HistoricalInJoke:
** Dr. Maturin speculates about evolution decades before Darwin. Though evolution was already being speculated about years before the film is set, by Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin (Charles' grandfather) among others. Darwin's big idea was of natural selection, not evolution. TheMoreYouKnow...
** Jack says something along the lines of "heading home before peace breaks out with France, God forbid". He's ''not'' being facetious. Should peace break out, he would have been reduced to half pay, with no prospects for bettering his situation through taking prizes. Peace, for any naval officer without private wealth or political clout, tended to mean near-starvation.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: [[spoiler:"I just shot Maturin in the guts."]] You would think that the Captain of the Marines would know better. And he was ''shooting at an albatross;'' he clearly hasn't read up on his Myth/NauticalFolklore.
* InSeriesNickname: Captain John Aubrey's nickname is "Lucky Jack"; his friend Stephen calls him that, as well as his crew.
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: Invoked by Aubrey. He brings a copy of Lord Nelson's battles to Will, to inspire the new amputee to achieve great things like the great Lord Nelson, who also lost an arm to battle.
* KarmicDeath: Just about everyone who specifically goes out of their way to be mean to Mr. Hollom ends up dead.
* KarmicJackpot: Saving Dr. Maturin's life and letting him wander around the Galapagos like he originally promised leads Captain Aubrey straight to his prey's front door and a tactical idea made out of {{Mixed Metaphor}}s and NATURAL PHILOSOPHY!
* KnuckleTattoos: Old Joe Plaice has "HOLD FAST" tattooed on his knuckles. This is a tattoo that was common on sailing ships in the old days.
* LamePunReaction:
** "The lesser of two weevils." A groaner for Dr. Maturin and the audience, but hilarious for tipsy Captain Aubrey and the other characters present. Jack pestering Stephen to walk into the joke is funny in and of itself. As is Maturin's LampshadeHanging of the incident, "He who would pun would pick a pocket!"
** Jack gets a much better reaction to his second pun: "After all, surprise is on our side." This goes over well with the crew of the ''Surprise.''
* LargeHam: Captain Aubrey.
* MassOhCrap: The crew of the ''Acheron'' collectively crap themselves when it turns out that the unarmed whaling ship they've been chasing, a ship so unthreatening that most of them are calmly sitting on the rails, with no weapons to hand, is in fact [[spoiler: the HMS ''Surprise'', a twenty-eight gun Royal Navy corvette, whose starboard battery is now trained directly at them.]]
* MeaningfulEcho: Blakeney asking Calamy to not let them sew through his nose in case he dies. [[spoiler:Later Blakeney asks to personally take care of Calamy's body, and then must ask for help as he, having lost an arm, can't do the job on his own.]]
* NotSoDifferent: When Aubrey finds sheet music and a French horn in the [[spoiler:''Acheron'''s captain's quarters]]. Seconds later [[spoiler:he's almost killed by a French steward who surprises Aubrey much like Killick can]]. Also the enemy captain is seen to have similar problems of keeping personal hygiene (i.e. shaving and combing). Lampshaded at the beginning when Aubrey wonder what the enemy captain's deal is. Maturin speaks his opinion: "He fights like you, Jack."
* OhCrap:
** Two in the opening battle:
*** Jack is scanning the fog bank for a "shape" that Midshipman Hollom thought he saw. He pans back to the left just in time to see muzzle flashes and frantically bellows for everyone to take cover.
*** "The rudder's shot away! The steering won't answer, sir!"
** Midshipman Blakeney, in charge of everyone left on the ''Surprise'' during the climactic battle, notices the ''Acheron'' gunners turning their guns towards the ''Surprise'''s waterline, aiming to sink her. One carronade blast later, Blakeney gets his chance at boarding action as he and his fellow boarders charge in to douse the guns.
** Aubrey gets one at the end when Maturin is privately lamenting to him that Higgins (who is not a competent doctor) is [[ClosestThingWeGot the only one even somewhat qualified]] to care for the wounded on the ''Acheron''. Aubrey is surprised, because he spoke to the ''Acheron'''s doctor himself. When Stephen informs him that the ''Acheron'' lost their doctor to fever long before the battle, Aubrey realizes that he's been had.
* OutOfGenreExperience: Let's all pause this history and war to have a nature documentary about the Galápagos Islands. While perhaps jarring to many in the audience, this sort of thing happens in the books ''all the time''.
* PapaWolf: Discussed. Aubrey says that the French Captain fights so hard that you would think it's personal for him. Aubrey even worries that it might ''be'' personal--that in his prior career he might have killed the man's son or the like.
* PatrioticFervor: The ''whole film''.
-->'''Aubrey:''' ''[boarding the ''Acheron'']'' FOR ENGLAND, FOR HOME AND FOR ''THE PRIZE!''\\\
'''Aubrey:''' ''[leading gunnery practice]'' "You want to see a guillotine in Piccadilly?!" "NO!" "You want to call that raggedy-ass Napoleon your king!?" "NO!" "You want your children to sing ''La Marseillaise''!?" ''"NO!"'' "Mr. Mowett, Mr. Pullings, STARBOARD BATTERY!" ''[crew cheers]''
* PirateParrot: One of Aubrey's crewmen is seen with a green parrot on his shoulder.
* PluckyMiddie: The ''Surprise'''s officer corps is filled out with early-teenage nobles undergoing on-the-job training; SOP for the Royal Navy of the time.
** During the climactic battle, Lord Blakeney (around twelve years old) is actually ''in command of the ship'' at one point and leads a boarding party of adult sailors onto the ''Acheron''.
** Calamy is given the mission of freeing prisoners, gets a HeroicSacrifice moment, and is promoted to Lieutenant posthumously. He died an acting third lieutenant, and his status at death would have been recorded as such on the ship's muster.
** Boyle is seen bravely accompanying Blakeney's boarding party, hurling water over the French cannons to douse the fuses and prevent them firing.
** Subverted with Hollom, who is nearly thirty and still a midshipman, implying he's failed his officer's exam multiple times, and has no hope of further advancement due to his incompetence and lack of leadership qualities.
* PragmaticAdaptation:
** In book canon, Aubrey is taller than Maturin and Maturin is described as being fairly ugly and scrawny. Creator/PaulBettany is by no means ugly, and quite a bit taller than Creator/RussellCrowe. Aubrey is also supposed to be quite fat, but Crowe couldn't put on that kind of weight and still pull the character off, so he ends up being only a bit stout. From the various descriptions given in the book, it seems that Aubrey is more in the nature of being stout and powerfully built than obese as modern readers/viewers would recognize the term. Book!Jack is six feet tall (or slightly more) and around 225lbs, probably something like a powerfully built man with a bit of a gut.
** The enemy ship, in the book the American frigate USS ''Norfolk'', was replaced by a French privateer built by the Americans. The design in the movie was based on the USS ''Constitution'', christened in 1797, which is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat today,[[note]]The HMS ''Victory'' was launched in 1765 and commissioned in 1778, but is no longer seaworthy[[/note]] and the ''Norfolk'' of the book was based on the RealLife USS ''Essex'', which harassed British shipping in the Pacific Ocean during the War of 1812 and seized 15 prizes before she was captured by the British off of Valparaiso, Chile. WordOfGod is the movie's producers did ''not'' have the same concerns that C.S. Forester had when writing the ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' novels: that American audiences would not appreciate the Americans being the bad guys. Instead, they viewed it a sin to not show Napoleon as the true enemy, since only about three books have the US as the enemy. It does mean, however, that instead of planning to take on a 36-gun frigate in the 28-gun ''Surprise'' (disadvantageous but doable) [[spoiler:only to find it wrecked on an island]], Aubrey gets to face a very mean 44-gun heavy frigate with hull construction comparable to a line-of-battle ship, and is completely unable to penetrate her hull in the first engagement. Instead, he has to resort to cunning and audacity.
* PrecisionFStrike: The whaler who just lost his ship and two years' profit has a very curt opinion about the ''Acheron'': "Fuckin' pirates."
* {{Privateer}}: The ship the ''Surprise'' pursues is a French privateer.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack:
** Bach -- "Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major".
** Boccherini -- "Musica Notturna Delle Strade Di Madrid No. 6".
** Mozart -- "Violin Concerto No. 3", 3rd movement.
** Corelli -- "Christmas Concerto", Adagio Op. 6 No. 8.
** "Don't forget your old shipmates" -- Traditional Napoleonic era naval song.
** "Raging Sea/British Tars" -- Traditional Napoleonic era naval song.
** "Spanish Ladies" -- Traditional English naval song.
* RedAlert: "We shall beat to quarters!" This line heralds a Napoleonic Red Alert sequence with sailors being rousted out of their hammocks by drumbeats and scrambling to their battle stations. Hollom isn't sure he actually saw anything in the fog, but gives the order anyway and is praised for it by Aubrey. It proves to be a prudent decision, as the crew is immediately ready to fight back when fired upon.
* RoadsideSurgery:
** One sailor receives a serious head wound during the first battle against the Acheron. The ship's physician performs open cranial surgery on the man on the main deck in broad daylight because operating lamps haven't been invented yet. This includes using a silver coin to patch the hole in the man's skull.
** Junior officer Blakeley suffers severe damage to his right arm after the third skirmish against the Acheron, which necessitates amputation at the mid-humerus without anesthetic, just a shot of whiskey. Blakeley is awake and aware of the procedure, including the dreaded bone saw. Hospital escort ships hadn't been invented yet, and a sick bay was a rare luxury too good for the Surprise.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The fight for the ''Acheron'' truly turns in favor of the British when the whalers from the ''Albatross'' are freed and they take their anger out on their captors. Complete with roaring.
* RousingSpeech: Captain Aubrey gives his crew several rather effective ones.
* RuleOfThrees: Lampshaded when Aubrey says the French captain has caught him by surprise twice, but there won't be a third time.
* SailorsPonytail: Most sailors sport this hairstyle.
* ScarsAreForever: Lieutenant Pullings' facial scar is much more disfiguring in the books than it is in the film, but since Pullings' actor is MrFanservice, nobody objects too much.
* ServileSnarker: Killik, Aubrey's steward. Loyal, vicious in a fight, and the only man on the ship, other than Maturin, who will openly grumble in the captain's presence without fear of punishment.
* ShamingTheMob: Aubrey to his own crew, [[spoiler:and himself, after Hollom's suicide]].
* ShellShockSilence: Happens to Aubrey during the first enemy ship attack.
* ShownTheirWork: On top of the research put into the film, the ''Surprise'''s stern chasers in the opening are crewed by Marines, not sailors. Tradition holds that the sternmost guns on a warship be manned by the Marine compliment, which continues to this day.
%%* StiffUpperLip: Cranked all the way UpToEleven.
* SuddenlyShouting: During an argument between Aubrey and Maturin over whether to complete the promised stop at the Galápagos (during which Maturin was hoping to study the native fauna) or immediately pursue the nearby ''Acheron'', each man is defending his side with arguments about its utility to England and the war effort, until Aubrey finally loses patience and puts his Captain's foot down.
-->'''Aubrey:''' WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR DAMNED HOBBIES, SIR!
* SwordAndGun: Dr. Maturin, in the final battle.
* TakeAMomentToCatchYourDeath: "Looks like the deed is done, sir," sighs the [[GrizzledVeteran old sailing-master]] upon boarding the enemy ship, which is covered with bodies. ''Then, suddenly''...
* ATasteOfTheLash: One sailor gets flogged for disrespecting and bumping into Hollom, his senior officer. Hollom actually said nothing, and got reprimanded by Aubrey in private because ''not'' demanding the men's respect erodes the discipline the ship requires.
* TemptingFate:
** The old sailing-master, upon boarding the enemy ship, which is covered with bodies, thinks they are done. However... they are not. The battle is about to continue and he's among the first ones shot dead.
** Killik is packing up the Captain's silver. "For God's sake don't drop anything!" Next moment a cannonball blows out the bulkhead behind them, knocking them and the silver to the ground.
* TitleDrop: Included in the Captain's rousing speech.
-->'''Aubrey:''' ... England is under threat of invasion. And though we be on the far side of the world, this ship is our home. This ship, is England.
* TwistEnding: Played for ''awesomeness'' and hilarity.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: During the storm a couple of sailors puke.
* WasntThatFun: Captain Aubrey grins and says, "Now tell me that wasn't fun," after retrieving Midshipman Calamy from the sea after setting up a ruse.
* TheWatson: Dr. Maturin asks about the weather gage, and Lofty the child crewman asks about privateers.
* WeaponsUnderstudies:
** Of a sort. The French frigate is represented by a 3D model of the USS ''Constitution'', an American (nominal) 44-gun Heavy Frigate (essentially an Age of Sail [[UsefulNotes/TypesOfNavalShips Battlecruiser]]). [[note]]Though rated at 44 guns, the USS ''Constitution'' invariably mounted 56 guns, not counting chasers. Most of these cannon are long-barreled 24-pounders, while the rest are even larger, short-barreled carronades. The reason for the discrepancy is that a ship was rated by how many guns it was launched with, not the number it eventually mounted, especially in the case of carronades added after commissioning.[[/note]] In ''The Far Side of the World'', the book the film was based on, the enemy was the USS ''Norfolk'', a 32-gun American frigate during the UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 more comparable to the HMS ''Surprise'', based on the RealLife exploits of the USS ''Essex''.
** The ''Surprise'' herself, portrayed here by the replica of the HMS ''Rose'', a 20-gun post ship[[note]]A sixth-rate frigate with enough guns to warrant command by a post captain[[/note]] mounting nine-pound long guns. The ''Surprise'', classed as a 28-gun sixth rate, was rearmed with twenty-four 32-pound carronades along her main deck plus eight 32-pounders on her fore- and quarterdecks, plus chasers, upon entry into British service. As in the French Navy, this caused confusion over whether she should be rated as a fifth rate or a sixth rate (she was re-rated as a sixth rate in 1798 and maintained this for the remainder of her career). She also bore the main mast of a 36-gun frigate, equally as inordinate as her heavy armament.
* WeatherOfWar: A fog conceals the French privateer before the first attack, but also saves the ''Surprise'' when Aubrey orders his men to put out boats and tow the damaged ship into it, [[TryAndFollow knowing the French won't risk their advantage by following them]].
* WeHaveToGetTheBulletOut: When Dr. Maturin is shot, he performs (assisted) surgery on himself to remove the bullet. This is entirely {{Justified}} at the time, however: musket balls travel at a low velocity and can carry bits of clothing into the body with them; since clothing is often dirty, these bits of clothing were a common cause of infection. The doctor's assistant even explains that he's worried about the clothes more than the ball, and after extraction he matches up the recovered piece of clothing with Maturin's shirt, to ensure there are no other pieces left in his body.
* WoodenShipsAndIronMen: One of the more realistic depictions of the trope in modern cinema.
* WorthyOpponent: The captain of the ''Acheron'', who outwits Aubrey twice and nearly sinks him both times. [[spoiler:Later seen disguised as the ship's doctor, presumably in order to regain control of his ship at a later date.]] Mixed with NotSoDifferent, when Captain Aubrey enters the man's cabin and finds it littered with sheet music and a battered French horn.
* ZippingUpTheBodybag: Done [[BurialAtSea the old-fashioned way]], stitching up the dead bodies up in their hammocks before dropping them over the side. Blakeney is worried about the tradition of putting the last stitch through the nostrils (to ensure the man is actually dead), and asks Calamy to ensure that doesn't happen to him should his wounded arm prove fatal. [[spoiler:In the aftermath of the final battle, it's Calamy who's passed, and Blakeney makes sure to stitch him up himself.]]
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