Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: Stephan Vaughn
EW Staff
August 21, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” is one of the 10 fall movies we can’t wait to see

WHY WE CAN’T WAIT Even if you’re not a member of the cult of readers who worship the late Patrick O’Brian’s naval novels, you’ll want to see Russell Crowe unleash hell on the high seas, accompanied by his ”Beautiful Mind” mate Paul Bettany, and directed by expert helmsman Peter Weir (”The Truman Show”).

SOURCE MATERIAL The first and seventh of O’Brian’s 20 novels featuring 19th-century British sailors Capt. Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin

PLOT POINTS Aubrey (Crowe) and Maturin (Bettany) fight in the Napoleonic wars against the French. (In the books, the bad guys are the Americans, but right now it’s pile-on-the-French time.)

BURNING QUESTION Will audiences be able to decipher nautical jargon like ”hands to the jears” and ”tops’l clewlines”?

COME FOR Crowe the swashbuckler

STAY FOR Crowe the fiddler? (”Learning to play that violin was the hardest f—ing thing I’ve done in my life,” he says.)

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