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Kon Tiki [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, Collector's Edition, Color, Original recording remastered, Restored, Special Edition, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Janson Video
  • VHS Release Date: February 1, 1997
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RECM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This is the classic Academy-Award winning documentary film of an astonishing adventure, a journey spanning 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, Norwegian biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by the mythical hero Kon-Tiki. Heyerdahl knew that the trade winds and ocean currents off the South-American coastline bear in the direction of Polynesia. Ridiculed by the scientific establishment, who had concluded that a voyage by aboriginal balsa raft from Peru to Polynesia was impossible, he decided to prove the possibility of his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage. The ensuing expedition was hailed as one of the most fantastic feats of daring and courage of its time.

On April 28, 1947, Heyerdahl and his five crew members embarked from Peru on their daring voyage to the Marquesas Islands, on a balsa wood raft which was built according to the traditions of South America's pre-Columbian Indians. After 101 suspenseful days on the open sea, alone amid raging storms, whales, and countless sharks, they landed on the Polynesian island of Raroia.

The expedition attracted worldwide interest. Heyerdahl's book Kon-Tiki was translated into 67 languages, and sold more than 20 million copies. Heyerdahl had been presented with a film camera before the journey began, and both the building of the raft and the voyage across the Pacific were filmed in detail. In 1952, his fascinating black and white film was awarded an Oscar for the most outstanding documentary. The film subsequently enthralled cinema-goers all over the world. The raft is now exhibited at the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, where it is seen by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.

Review

"No one can deny that Kon Tiki is a fascinating film record of a marvelous adventure." -- Library Journal

"Winner of the 1952 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Recommended." -- The Children's Bookwatch

Customer Reviews

Seeing the documentary first was kind of like reading the book before seeing the movie! :)
MtnMisty
Very interesting and well done documentary that proves ancient sailors could have traveled between South America and the Polynesian islands.
Amazon Customer
Video (B&W) quality is quite good given the conditions, and the clear narration is in English.
A Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Eric J. Anderson on September 16, 2008
Format: DVD
Kon-Tiki won an Academy Award for Best Documentary in the early 1950s. This one-hour feature documents Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl's voyage across the Pacific Ocean in a balsa-wood raft, to simulate how South American natives might possibly have voyaged west and settled in the islands of Polynesia.

Crude, black-and-white grainy 16mm film, simple English narration. The production is bare-bones. But I've seen this film two or three times. Instead of "reality TV" which is far from reality, this is reality. Five guys who set out in a boat they did not know would be able to survive the distance, finding out by hard experience what it might have been like for any ancient mariner who tried to do the same.

Many days were calm, and the crew could lash the steering paddle down, letting the wind and the current carry them toward their Polynesian goal. They could get in a basket below the water line and watch the ocean life, or float lazily away from the main raft in a rubber lifeboat.

Every morning they got up and picked up the flying fish that had landed on the raft and been stranded. Breakfast! At other times they speared and clubbed dolphin fish (not dolphins) for a change of meat. They caught many sharks, mainly to discourage them from following the raft. They worried about whales and other large fish, but were never troubled by them.

In about three month's time, they arrived in Polynesia and were driven toward the coast of a small island. They very nearly were wrecked on the reef. It was by no means certain that they would make it safely to shore, but finally the raft came to rest and they were able to unload the important equipment, set up on shore, and radio their successful landing and their position.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Brown on January 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I have just finished viewing the 1997 commemorative edition (Janson Associates, NJ) of this 1952 Academy Award for Best Documentary. It is 58 minutes of actual black and white footage taken by the crew of the Kon-Tiki. Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian biologist, had suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east. He knew that the trade winds and ocean currents off the South-American coastline bear in the direction of Polynesia. The film shows how his team harvested balsa from Quito, took these huge logs to Peru and built a raft according to the traditions of pre-Columbian S.A. Indians. There are no nails on this craft; everything is tied by rope. Heyerdahl's team embarked on a 101 day of ocean voyage, often surrounded by sharks, sometimes whales so close they could look down their blow holes. How and what they ate and how they charted their journey is fascinating. The trip almost ends in disaster because of the coral reefs surrounding the Polynesian islands when they finally encounter land. It is a gripping and informative documentary and worth the Academy award.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Cope on January 11, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was pleasently surprised by the quality of this DVD. Thor was a man who truly lived by the phrases, 'put your money where your mouth is' and 'Put up or shut up!' Most "experts" were sure he and his companions would never be seen again when they departed Peru on a raft to cross the Pacific Ocean! They made it with surprisingly little trouble considering what they were up against. If you read the book this DVD gives you a nice filling out and if you haven't read the book, do so. You will only wish you could have gone with him.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2004
Format: DVD
Thor Heyerdahl's "Kon-Tiki" was one of my favourite childhood
books. I read it many times (every time I had to stay in bed
because of sickness) and always was glad to come back, sit on
that bamboo deck and watch the Pacific waves. There was something
truly magical for me in an idea of that slow ocean-crossing to
Polynesia. Now - 25years after I last read the book I had a
chance to watch DVD. It speaks to me the same way book did.
It is very low-tech, grainy black and white far below any modern
standards for nature cinematography. But it has same spirit the
book had - optimism, perserverence and love and respect for
nature. I recommend that DVD to anybody that read the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 9, 2001
Format: DVD
In 1947 Norwegian biologist Thor Heyerdahl and five crew members embarked on a 4,300 mile expedition across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia by raft. Ridiculed by the scientific establishment, Heyerdahl wanted to duplicate the legendary voyage of an ancient race of settlers led by the mythical hero Kon-Tiki. The expedition attracted worldwide attention as one of the most daring feats of its day. Heyerdahl's story was told first in his book and then in this 1950 Oscar-winning Documentary Feature directed by Olle Nordemar. The story of "Kon-Tiki" is half Lindberg crossing the Atlantic and half Schleimann discovering Troy, since it has inspired not only other perilous voyages but archeological investigation. This might be black-and-white photography, but "Kon-Tinki" is still an exciting documentary record of an epic journey.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By popcorn on May 1, 2008
Format: DVD
I saw the second of his movies "Ra" and Ra2" in the theaters when I was just a small boy. then I got to go to Norway and visit the Kon tiki museum. So for me this was a treat to see. but my kids 7 & 10 where glued to this movie. afterwards we pull out the world map and looked up everything on the Net. You have to like Documentaries though!

I hope the other movies will be released soon.
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