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90 Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic


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Product Details

  • Directors: Alan Ravenscroft
  • Producers: David South, John Gau
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 1999
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305669422
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,815 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "90 Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Produced, Photographed & Narrated by Herbert G. Ponting, With Captain Robert Falcon Scott & the Members of His Expedition

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The story of an immortal adventure with Captain Robert Scott. Restored by the British Film Institute's National Film Archive, cinematographer Herbert G. Ponting's 90 Degrees South is a spellbinding chronicle of Scott's heroic and ultimately tragic race for the South Pole--not only did Amundsen reach the goal first but Scott and his entire team died on the return trip. Ponting's hauntingly beautiful images of ice caves and Antarctic wildlife are punctuated by diary entries telling of the heart-breaking last days of the doomed expedition. A deeply moving tribute. 70 minutes.

Amazon.com

In 1910, Captain Robert Scott led a band of explorers to the South Pole, traversing hundreds of miles of the most brutal Antarctic topography only to discover that Norwegian Roald Amundsen had reached the Pole before them. Cinematographer Herbert Ponting made the journey with Scott, shooting still photographs and movie footage along the way. The story was first released to the public in installments in 1911 and 1912, then reedited with Ponting's narration in 1933. From beginning to end, 90 Degrees South is a remarkable work. Strictly from a technical standpoint, the film is amazing when one considers that movie tape would easily turn brittle and shatter inside a camera during such extreme cold. Ponting's shots of the Antarctic landscape, simultaneously beautiful and forbidding, have a stark elegance to them that is timeless. The mood is lightened considerably by his droll commentary on the antics of the continent's wildlife. The real story, though, is the hellish conditions braved by Scott and his men as they trudged endlessly like draft animals to the Pole, dragging the heavy sledge full of supplies behind them. Ponting's camera brought home the day-to-day routines of the party as they slogged on, giving a human perspective to the story. Unimaginable cold and hardship dogged them every step of the way, only to become worse on the return trip. Scott's final journal entries show the team behind schedule and short on supplies, facing a certain death with stiff-upper-lip British reserve, a heroic, tragic end to an impossibly difficult endeavor. Preserved and restored by the National Film Archive (U.K.), this is a landmark documentary that is moving and powerful to this day. --Jerry Renshaw

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 6, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary was filmed by Ponting on the ill-fated expedition in which Scott and his comrades died returning from the South Pole. The images are quite vivid in describing the conditions under which the expedition suffered and the narration is a heartfelt tribute to the expedition's leader. As a piece of visual history, the film is quite good. Many of Ponting's images are beautifully framed and present the Antarctic as a land of unsurpassed beauty. At other times, Ponting will concentrate on images from the daily life of the group and bring the viewer closer to the difficulties endured by the expedition team. Having read Apsley Cherry-Garrard's "The Worst Journey in the World" previous to viewing the film, I was not sure what to expect, but it met my expectations for an interesting personal recollection of the trip and a fitting tribute to Robert Falcon Scott.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Weegee on November 6, 2003
Format: DVD
Keep in mind this film was shot at the turn of the century, so don't expect to see IMAX or Matrix type camera work.
That being said, it is a beautiful piece of history. After reading "The Worst Journey in the World" I was curious to get a visual of what these men went through. There is wonderful footage of life on the Terra Nova and at camp. The fact that this film has survived is a true testament to the fact "that they don't make them like they used to." One of my favorite parts is footage of a footbal (soccer match) where the VO casually mentions "...here we are playing football in minus 50 degree weather..."
Great wildlife footage and some Ansel Adams style landscape shots. Simply breath taking.
Again, it is important to note the film was made in 1912 and VO was supplied later in 1933 I believe. So you may find it a little corny. It brought back memories of elementary school social studies and watching topical videos.
In any case, as a historical diary, as a visual first, as a test of time, it is a great film. You may want to supplement with the Imax Antartica DVD. Visually it is unbelievable and gives you a color and under water look of the land. But 90 Degrees South has that "true story" substance which makes it eerie to watch.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 9, 2003
Format: DVD
A surprisingly moving documentary including not just incredible cinematography but a harrowing tale of heroism. Captain Scott's doomed expedition was an attempt that would be called preposterous even by today's standards. The route taken was unbelievably difficult. Approximately 15 minutes of the film is wasted on wildlife scenes that are average. However, the exploration details exposed in this film are amazing and the bravery of these men rivals any similiar story in history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ranger on May 20, 2010
Format: DVD
90 south is the powerful heritage Herbert Ponting left us regarding RF Scott South Pole expedition.

Watching those admirables explorers performs or interact together such as Edward Wilson, Silas Wright, Birdie Bowers, Tom Crean, Titus Oates, Cecil Meares or PO Evans sure was a big thrill for me. Especially interesting was the setting up of the tent and the meal taken inside by 4 persons.

Even the introduction by Teddy Evans is of interest, when one knows how he was treated by Scott.

The footage is so poignant that from time to time, I sit in front of the VCR and let myself by engulfed by Ponting's work.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "unhelpful" on June 24, 2000
Format: DVD
Poor Scott. Roald Amundsen, with much less publicity and a fraction the cost, made it to the South Pole before Scott's expedition for any number of reasons, one of which was surely Scott's foolhardiness. But for decades after the failed expedition, Amundsen was considered the villain for having involved poor Scott in the race for the pole in the first place! That Scott and his team were largely unprepared and ill-equipped (the mule-teams they used were a disastrous waste of equine - and eventually human - life), this film doesn't make clear. However, as a record of a man's ambition and the ability to endure the most extreme hardship (even if Scott and his men perished to a man on the bitter trek home) make this film record a quite unique and harrowing experience.
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