[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/master-and-commander_5987.jpg]]

-->''For England! For home! And for the prize!''

Nautical piece (2003) based on the ''Literature/AubreyMaturin'' series of [[HistoricalFiction historical novels]] by Patrick O'Brian set during the NapoleonicWars. Starring Creator/RussellCrowe as [[TheCaptain Captain "Lucky Jack" Aubrey]], and Creator/PaulBettany as ship's surgeon, [[TheProfessor naturalist]], and Jack's [[{{Bromance}} dear friend]] Stephen Maturin.

Known for being one of the more accurate depictions of WoodenShipsAndIronMen on film, true to its source.

The plot of the film ([[LongTitle full title]]: ''Master and Commander: The Far Side of The World'') [[AdaptationDistillation references]] several books in the series, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin including]] ''Master And Commander'' (1969) and ''The Far Side Of The World'' (1984). It was intended to become the first installment in a [[StillbornFranchise series of films]].

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AdaptationDistillation: Snippets from dozens of books 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.
* AdventurousIrishViolins: Throughout the optimistic and adventurous sequences, as befitting a work set in the Age of Sail.
* ArtifactTitle: "Master and 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 [[RankUp 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.
* 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.
* 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 [[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: Midshipman Hollom has a funeral, a service read in his honor, and several lower deck sailors and officers after the climactic battle.
* ButtMonkey: Hollom. Not played for laughs.
* CoolBoat: The ''Acheron'' is newer, faster, stronger, and better-armed than the ''Surprise'', by some accounts an "aged man of war".
--> '''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.
* ChromosomeCasting: Justified. Neither the French nor Royal Navies 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.
* DeadpanSnarker: Killick, Aubrey's steward.
-->'''Aubrey:''' "Killick! Killick, there."
-->'''Killick [standing 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.
* [[EasyLogistics Easy Intelligence]]: "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: 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 [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop 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 says we'll get our wind tomorrow.
-->'''Hollom:''' I'm sure of it.
* 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 Jack:''' (later) A nautical phasmid, Doctor... 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:''' No, Jack. ''You're'' the Predator.
* FamedInStory:
** MemeticBadass and LivingLegend Lord Nelson;
** Captain Lucky Jack ''himself''. Who was also famed for knowing Lord Nelson in person. His immortal words to a young then-lieutenant Jack? [-[[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.
* 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 [[BadassAdorable 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.
* 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 very likely to be on the shore, on half pay, with no prospects for bettering his situation through taking prizes. Peace, for naval officers not amazingly well-connected, 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 '''''[[DoomMagnet shooting at an]] [[ContractualGenreBlindness albatross]].'''''
* InSeriesNickname: Captain John Aubrey's nickname is "Lucky Jack"; his friend Stephen called him that, and also 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 [[TheWoobie Mr. Hollum]] 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!"
** "After all, surprise is on our side." Their ship's name? ''Surprise''!
* LargeHam: Captain Aubrey.
* 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 asking for help as he, having lost an arm, can't do the job on his own]].
* NauticalFolklore: No luck with a Jonah aboard... or shooting at certain seabirds. The good doctor is rather shocked to find out that his friend the Captain believes it a bit, too.
* NotSoDifferent: When Aubrey finds sheet music and a French horn in the [[spoiler:''Acheron'''s captain's quarters]]. 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: The faces of ''Acheron'''s crew are priceless when ''Surprise'' rises it's true colors.
** Aubrey gets one at the end when Maturin is privately lamenting to him that Higgins (who is not a competent doctor) is the only one even somewhat qualified to care for the wounded on the ''Acheron''. 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 Galápagos Islands. While perhaps jarring to many in the audience, this sort of thing happened 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. Did Aubrey kill his family or something?
* PatrioticFervor: The ''whole film''.
-->'''Aubrey [boarding the ''Acheron'']:''' "FOR ENGLAND, FOR HOME AND FOR THE PRIZE!"

-->'''Aubrey [leading gunnery practice]:''' "You wanna see a guillotine in Piccadilly!?" ''"NO!"'' "You wanna 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:
** During the climactic battle, Lord Blakeney (around twelve year 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, 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. Paul Bettany is by no means ugly, and quite a bit taller than Russell Crowe. 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, it 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: "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.
** "Spanish Ladies" -- Traditional English naval song.
* RedAlert: "We shall beat to quarters!"
* 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 gives his crew a rather effective one.
* RuleOfThrees: Lampshaded when Audrey says the French captain has caught him by surprise twice, but there won't be a third time.
* SailorsPonytail: Most sailors sports this hair style.
* 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: 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 Captain Audrey 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.
* 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. ''[[BoomHeadshot 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 lack of leadership causes ill discipline.
* 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 ''awesome'' and hilarity.
* SuddenlyShouting
-->'''Aubrey:''' WE DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR YOUR DAMNED HOBBIES, SIR!
* 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.
* 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.
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