Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Master and Commander
The Acheron's surgeon. Once the prize is taken, Aubrey sends it into Valparaiso with his First Lieutenant, Tom Pullings, in command. Later, Maturin tells Aubrey that there was no surgeon on the Acheron as he had died of fever months earlier, and the wounded would have to put up with Maturin's assistant, Higgins. Aubrey realises the "surgeon" he had met must have been the Captain in disguise. The film ends with the Surprise changing course to intercept the Acheron, hoping to catch her in time. Let's hope the stage was being set for a sequel!
To announce the time. Though an officer may have had a pocket watch, by far the majority aboard would have no means of telling the time, apart from the ringing of the ship's bell. The bell was struck every half-hour, the number of strikes increasing by one each half-hour up to a maximum of eight. "Eight bells" marked the end of a watch and the beginning of the next watch. The strikes were grouped in twos, giving the classic "ding-ding, ding-ding, ding-ding, ding" pattern at seven bells, for example. All watches were four hours long except for the two two-hour Dog Watches between 1600 and 1800 (First Dog), and 1800 - 2000 (Last Dog).
Stick insect. Stick insects are also known as "walking sticks", "stick bugs" and "ghost insects". They have bodies adapted to resemble twigs or leaves so that they merge into these backgrounds and become all but invisible. Aubrey has to use a magnifying glass to see the specimen Maturin shows him. The name "phasmid" comes from the Greek for "phantom", and "The Phantom" is what the crew of the Surprise calls the Acheron.
Padeen, his servant. Padeen Colman is Stephen Maturin's servant, an Irishman who speaks little English (which I suppose is why his is a non-speaking role). He is also a "loblolly boy" i.e. one who assists the ship's surgeon in his work. He was played by John "Big John" DeSantis, a Canadian actor hailing from Nanaimo, British Columbia, and standing at 6'9" (2.06m).
Acheron. Aubrey sees her name on the stern through his telescope, as she circles for the kill, before Surprise escapes into the fog. She is a French frigate, larger than the Surprise and carrying guns which fire heavier cannonballs. That's why she causes so much damage to the Surprise and why, later in the film, Aubrey has to get close enough to board her. The other three ships fought at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Violin (Aubrey), cello (Maturin). Both actors learned to play their instruments to give a realistic performance on screen. Paul Bettany is on record as having said "the cello makes an awful sound, like trying to climb inside a squirrel".
Stephen Maturin. Esteban Maturin y Domanova, to give him his full name, is the illegitimate son of an Irish officer and a Catalan lady. He marries Diana, cousin to Jack's wife Sophie.
Lucky Jack.. Captain "Lucky" Jack Aubrey was so-called because of his ability to find ships to capture. These were called "prizes", and the money the Admiralty paid to buy it into the Navy (if a warship) or from the sale of the cargo (if a merchantman) was shared between the Admiral in command (if any), the Captain, officers and crew. Prize money could enable a seaman to retire and set up in a shore-based business. "Black Jack" was the nickname of US Army General John J. Pershing, "yellow jack" is a viral disease properly called yellow fever, and "Jack in the Green" is a character appearing in May Day parades and celebrations.
HMS Surprise. HMS Surprise (her name is shown on screen right at the beginning of the film, together with the numbers of her guns and crew) was a real-life ship. Originally L'Unite of the French Navy she was captured and brought into service with the Royal Navy - a common event for both navies at the time. The other three ships mentioned are also historical, the line-of-battle ships Victory and Bellerophon ("Billy Ruffian") being at the Battle of Trafalgar and the frigate Indefatigable being the ship upon which Horatio Hornblower supposedly served.
Britain and France. This period, from the late 1793 to Napoleon's defeat in 1815, has proved to be very popular with writers of naval fiction. The most well known is perhaps C.S. Forester, who created the character Horatio Hornblower, brought to the screen by Gregory Peck and latterly to the small screen by Ioan Gruffydd. But Patrick O'Brian, who wrote the books "Master and Commander" and "The Far Side of the World" among 18 others, has surpassed them all. Not only does he describe ship actions between the British and French Navies but also between other nations who were taking advantage of the turbulent times.
|"Master and Commander" was nominated for ten Academy Awards. Which of following categories was not included in this list?||Master and Commander
Best Actress in a Leading Role. Don't you hate it when movie quizzes include questions not related to the plot? However, this question is. The only women in this movie were indigenous people without speaking roles in canoes coming out to meet the ship somewhere in South America. Therefore, one could conclude there were no leading ladies in the cast eligible to be nominated.
"Master and Commander" was released the same year as "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King", which won all eleven awards for which it was nominated. "Master and Commander" won two awards, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Cinematography. Lucky for them "Return of the King" wasn't nominated for those awards, too.
The French Captain. The French captain deceived Jack into thinking he was a doctor and that the captain was dead. He then gave Jack the captain's sword, to symbolize the surrender of the ship, stating he was acting on orders given to him by the dying captain. Jack learned later that the French doctor had died before the battle, and the man surrendering the sword must have been the captain.
To Stephen's consternation, the HMS Surprise was once again diverted away from the Galapagos Islands and in pursuit of the Acheron. Though it wasn't explained in the movie, the presence of the French captain on the Acheron could have presented a threat to the unsuspecting British prize crew.
|Immediately following the rescue of the Albatros whalers, Jack ordered the ship to make sail in order to pursue the French Privateer. When Stephen reminded the captain of his promise to remain at the Galapagos Islands for a few more days, what was the captain's response?||Master and Commander
"We do not have time for your ... hobbies, sir!". Resigned to the fact he was not going to catch the French ship, the captain promised the doctor they would be staying there long enough for him to explore the islands. As soon as they rescued the English whalers and were presented with fresh information, the plans changed. The doctor felt the captain didn't appreciate the significance of the opportunity to explore the islands. He felt the captain broke a promise. To the captain, of course, the military mission should come first.
"England expects that every man will do his duty" was the message sent by Nelson to the fleet prior to the Battle of Trafalgar.
Stephen's reason for wanting to stay didn't involve him meeting a local girl, though that has been the undoing of many a sailor both in fiction and real life.
"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" is a memorable line from my favorite movie, "Casablanca".
Captain Howard. Captain Howard, who commanded the detachment of Marines on the HMS Surprise, was attempting to shoot a bird flying close to the ship. He accidentally shot the doctor, who was trying to get a closer look at the bird.
It was a common practice for marksmen (usually marines) to be stationed in the higher parts of the ship during battle so when two enemy ships closed on one another, the marksmen could fire down onto the decks of the enemy ship. This was how Admiral Nelson was killed at Trafalgar.
|Another midshipman in this movie, Blakeney, lost something important as a result of the first clash between his ship and the French privateer. Oddly enough, Lord Nelson lost the same thing in an earlier engagement. What did Blakeney lose?||Master and Commander
His arm. Blakeney's arm had to be amputated due to wounds received in battle. There are many who are under the impression that 19th century surgeons tended to be too quick to amputate rather than try to save an injured limb. However, the theory that germs caused disease didn't take hold until the latter half of that century, and the development of antibiotics was still almost a century away from that. Without a doubt, most amputees would have died from sepsis had the affected limb not been quickly removed.
In a moving scene from the movie, the Captain came to check on the welfare of the midshipman, who was the son of an old friend. The Captain presented Blakeney with a book, a biography of Lord Nelson. The boy opened the book to see a portrait of England's greatest sailor with his empty sleeve pinned to the breast of his coat.
The midshipman in question was played by actor Max Pirkis, whom you might also remember as young Ocatvian from the first season of "Rome", a joint production of HBO and BBC. I could hardly believe he had grown so much in such a short period.
As for losing ones marbles, that's another quiz for another movie.
HMS Surprise. We were told the name of the ship at the beginning of the movie. It was mentioned again at the conclusion of the Captain's pep talk prior to luring the Acheron into their trap. Lucky Jack reminded his crew with a play on words that "Surprise is on our side."
Nelson was the name of the highly revered Admiral who commanded the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar was the HMS Victory.
The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was a U.S. Navy frigate.
Both the HMS Victory and the USS Constitution are still in service and can be toured in London and Boston, respectively. The Constitution was used by the special effects crew of this movie, as a model for the French Privateer ship, the Acheron.
|During the course of the journey, many of the crew began comparing one of the midshipmen, Mr. Hollom, to a famous biblical character. To whom did they compare him?||Master and Commander
Jonah, because he brought bad luck to the ship. We would be hard pressed to find a group of people more superstitious than sailors in the age of sail. Poor Mr. Hollom didn't seem to have what it took to be an officer, having failed to pass the test several times. His attempts to get the crew to like him only backfired, resulting in a lack of respect for his authority. It seemed to the crew that any time anything bad happened on the ship, Mr. Hollom was on watch. Eventually, even Hollom believed the superstition, and took his own life in order to save the ship.
|The British captain played by Russell Crowe was nicknamed "Lucky Jack" by the crew. What was the Captain's real name?||Master and Commander
Jack Aubrey. Jack Aubrey was Captain of the British frigate in the movie. The nickname "Lucky Jack" was a result of Captain Aubrey's propensity to be in the right place at the right time, to win battles and, if necessary, narrowly escape disaster. It wasn't all luck, as he was an excellent seaman and an inspirational commander.
Captain Jack Sparrow was another fictional sea captain you might know from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
Acheron was the name of the French privateer Lucky Jack was sent to stop.
Jackson Scholz, the New York Thunderbolt, was an American Olympic sprinter in the early 1900s. You might remember him racing Harold Abrahams in the movie "Chariots of Fire".
|The beginning of this movie was set in 1805. According to the introduction, who was "Master of Europe" at the time?||Master and Commander
Napolean Bonaparte. You've probably heard of Napolean Bonaparte. You might already know he was born on the island of Corsica. You might not know that he changed his name from Napoleone di Buonaparte. At the time of his birth, Corsica belonged to the Republic of Genoa (in Italy). A year later, France gained possession of the island. Napoleone di Buonaparte later changed his name to Napolean Bonaparte, a more French sounding name. He rose to the rank of general in the French Army prior to the Revolution, served the Republic as First Counsel, and in 1804, crowned himself Emperor.
Although Britain had a powerful navy in 1805, France and her allies controlled the majority of continental Europe.
King George III became king of Great Britain in 1760. He died in 1820. He was plagued with mental illness the latter part of his life and, beginning in 1811, the Prince of Wales acted as Regent for the remainder of his father's life. We in the U.S.A. might remember George III best as the man from whom we won our independence.
Admiral Horatio Nelson was Britain's most honored naval officer of the time. He was referenced several times during the movie. Lord Nelson died in October, 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, generally referred to as Santa Anna, was a Mexican political and military leader. Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor of France. Santa Anna proclaimed himself "The Napoleon of the West".
|'We do not have time for your hobbies, Sir!' Who is Jack speaking to when he says this?||Master and Commander
Maturin. Throughout the film and in the course of Patrick O'Brian's remarkable series of books, Dr Maturin's passion for natural philosophy causes tension between him and his friend and commanding officer, Aubrey. The demands of naval service rarely leave enough time for Maturin's pursuit of scientific knowledge and he comes to loathe the standard naval injunction to 'lose not a moment'.
|Aubrey gets his inspiration for disguising the Surprise as a whaler from Maturin's study of insects which resemble other objects to confuse predators. What is this order of insect?||Master and Commander
Phasmida. The name Phasmatodea or Phasmida comes from the Classical Greek word for a phantom. Dr Maturin shows live examples of stick insects (a type of phasmid) to Midshipman Blakeney, as well as lending him a book on the subject. Blakeney develops an interest in natural history during the course of the film and becomes quite adept at drawing insects despite the loss of his right arm early in the action. Captain Aubrey is inspired by the phasmids to use a disguise to lure the Acheron close to Surprise. The Acheron's captain is led to believe the frigate is a whaler and therefore a valuable prize.
Hymenoptera include wasps, bees and ants. Diptera include 'true' flies, mosquitos and midges. Lepidoptera are moths and butterflies.
|Dr Maturin has a personal servant, a sturdy, Gaelic-speaking Irishman. What is his name? ||Master and Commander
Padeen Colman. Padeen is deeply loyal to the doctor, who is the only person on board with whom he can communicate effectively (the doctor also speaks Gaelic). Plaice is the seaman into whose skull Maturin drills (trepanning) to reduce pressure after a head injury, to the general entertainment of Surprise's crew. Preserved Killick is Jack's ill-tempered steward, Barret Bonden his coxswain.
|Dr Maturin is unlucky enough to be seriously wounded during the voyage. When does this happen?||Master and Commander
When Captain Howard of the Royal Marines fires at an albatross and misses. Captain Howard is the marine officer on board Surprise. While firing at an albatross, an act many sailors would have considered likely to bring bad luck on the ship, he hits Dr Maturin instead.
The Royal Marines were formed in 1664 as sea-going infantry. In addition to their role in battle, the marines served a disciplinary purpose. As they lived slightly apart from the seamen (despite the cramped quarters) and under the command of their own officer, they could generally be relied on to assist in preventing or suppressing mutiny.
|While camped ashore in the Galapagos Islands the Surprise's crew take the opportunity to brew alcohol from local plants. They also find time for which sport?||Master and Commander
Cricket. The Surprise puts in at the Galapagos Islands so that Higgins, Dr Maturin's assistant, can operate on the doctor, who has been injured, on dry land. (The doctor ultimately performs the operation himself.) While the crew brew alcohol and play cricket, Dr Maturin, his servant Padeen, and Midshipman Blakeney investigate the islands' flora and fauna.
|Once the Surprise has rounded Cape Horn and reached the Pacific, Aubrey reveals to his officers that the Galapagos Islands are now their destination. How does he do this?||Master and Commander
He has a pudding made in the shape of a map of the islands.. Aubrey serves slices of the islands to his officers, while helping himself to a small model of the Acheron. Boiled or steamed puddings such as 'spotted dick', a suet pudding, were often served onboard ship to both officers and crew. They were a practical way of preparing the rations of flour and suet (animal fat).
Recipes for British puddings, including Spotted Dick (or its variant, Spotted Dog) can be found online.
|Jack Aubrey served under Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. Was his First Lieutenant, Thomas Pullings, also at the Nile?||Master and Commander
Yes. Aubrey tells his midshipmen that Mr Pullings was a 'sniveling midshipman' himself at the Battle of the Nile. Aubrey had been a young lieutenant.
|Where does Surprise put in, to repair damage sustained in the first engagement with the Acheron?||Master and Commander
Brazil. Despite his officers' expectation that the ship will return to England to refit, Aubrey decides to put in to the coast of Brazil and carry out the necessary repairs. This choice allows the Surprise to save time and ultimately to catch up with the Acheron. Dr Maturin's knowledge of languages enables him to communicate with local Portuguese speakers. (In Patrick O'Brian's books, on which the film is based, Dr Maturin leads a double life as a naval surgeon and multi-lingual British spy.)
|A member of the crew, William Warley, had seen the Acheron being built in Boston and is able to give Captain Aubrey valuable information about the ship's construction. What relation to Warley was his contact in the American dockyard?||Master and Commander
His wife's second cousin. Based on Warley's knowledge, his friend, Nagle (carpenter's mate), makes a scale model of the Acheron for Captain Aubrey. When they present the model to the Captain, Nagle explains that Warley was married in Boston and saw the ship under construction due to his wife's second cousin working in the dockyard.
The two men are rewarded for their initiative with an extra grog ration. Examining Nagle's model, Aubrey discovers that the Acheron has innovative planking and thick timbers which make it hard for the smaller Surprise to inflict significant damage on her hull.
None - she's a privateer. A privateer was, in effect, a private warship. The Acheron is operating under a letter of marque (a licence) from the French Government. She is at liberty to attack naval or commercial vessels belonging to France's enemies.
|Captain Aubrey visits the injured midshipman, Lord Blakeney, in the sick berth after the boy's arm has been amputated. What does Aubrey give Blakeney?||Master and Commander
A book. The book is titled 'The Victories of the Right Honourable Horatio Lord Viscount Nelson, Gallant British Hero'. Nelson himself had lost an arm in combat and no doubt Aubrey feels this example will encourage Blakeney.
|HMS Surprise's task is to prevent the frigate Acheron from causing trouble for British shipping and interests in the Pacific Ocean. Who gives the order to beat to quarters in Surprise's first encounter with the Acheron?||Master and Commander
Midshipman Calamy. Mr Hollom is officer of the watch, but he hesitates. The matter is taken out of his hands by the more decisive Calamy. In smaller ships like the Surprise, with few lieutenants, midshipmen would routinely take their turn as officer of the watch to ensure the ship could be adequately managed around the clock.