H.M.S. Surprise has become famous as the 18th-century tall ship portrayed in the movie Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, starring Russell Crowe. The ship used in the Academy Award-winning film is actually a modern tall ship a magnificent replica of a 24-gun Royal Navy frigate. The Surprise was painstakingly re-created to look like a vessel from the Revolutionary War Era. The replica ship was christened H.M.S. Rose when launched in 1970 in Nova Scotia, and for more than 30 years it served as a sail-training vessel, primarily along the East Coast. In the movie, a fictional British frigate named the Surprise and a much larger French warship, the Acheron, stalk each other off of the coast of South America. The movie, directed by Peter Weir, was based on a book by author Patrick OBrian. After the movie, the ships name was officially changed from the Rose to the Surprise. Today, H.M.S. Surprise resides dockside at the San Diego Maritime Museum and is still seaworthy.
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