I bought this set of 8 DVD's and I just love them. The stories centre on a 17 year old new naval recruit named Horatio Hornblower, and the films explore his coming -of-age during the Napoleonic Wars. The acting, production and stories are excellent, and Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced Yo-wan Griffith) in the title role is outstanding: a great actor while being outstandingly beautiful :)
Throughout the 8 DVD's Horatio grows up, develops his leadership skills and gains the deep respect of his crew. His adventures are varied, but it is the relationships between the characters that are truly wonderful. These movies do differ from the Hornblower novels by C.S Forester, so don't get all hung up that the movies veer too far from the novels. Just enjoy them for being stand-alone pieces of great viewing.
The postage from fishpond.com.au on this item to me was very fast, and it was cheaper than buying the DVD box set from eBay (and the postage was free with Fishpond).
So if you want a richly detailed series of movies, great stories and character relationships, lots of swashbuckling and some gorgeous eye candy in the form of Ioan Gruffudd, then settle down on your couch and get ready to enjoy these movies.