Scott of the Antarctic
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(Jun 29, 2010)
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Top Customer Reviews
Whilst Scott is held up as a role model to every schoolboy, he was a flawed man, sometimes putting his own vanity and the desire to win above the safety of his crew. The film does not dwell on this, but the shoestring budget and hasty preparations are shown, as are some of Scott's own misgivings. The war had honed Ealing studios' skills in making films in the drama-documentary style and the realism of the sets is to be applauded. Photographs of the hut Scott built look almost identical to that shown on screen and the recreation of the Antarctic on Soundstage 1 in Ealing Studios is a marvel (though some scenes are shot on location in Norway).
The casting is very nice, with square jawed leading men Kenneth More and John Gregson in supporting roles here, James Robertson Justice in an unusually subtle role as Taff Evans and of course John Mills as Scott. The length of Mills's career, spanning from 1932 to date is surely tribute to his acting skills, as well as his amiablity. He isn't the John Gregson type you would necessarily associate with the heroic lead, but a smaller man, more human than super-human, and this probably works better in portraying a man like Scott.
A major contribution to the film's success is the rousing music by Vaughan Williams, which somehow adds a sense of realism and scale to the landscapes. Vaughan Williams cited this score as a particular favourite of his, and it makes a change from the usual Benjamin Frankel music that Ealing employed during this period.
Having said that I kind of doubt we'll see a better transfer anytime soon of this 1948-49 film. I'm willing to give the DVD's technical weaknesses a pass in order to have this important film in my library.
SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC was chosen the Royal Command Performance motion picture of 1948. Astounding Technicolor scenery abounds in this superb biopic of the 1911-12 Scott expedition tragedy, which is made all the more realistic by Capt. Scott's actual diary and many of the explorers' personal effects, loaned to the production by The British Museum. A magnificent film score was provided by Vaughan Williams.
The hut where the Scott expedition hunkered down during a bitter Antarctic winter still stands and is a tourist destination for any souls hearty enough to endure the harsh climate of Earth's southernmost continent.
Robert Falcon Scott and a small crew's attempt to be first at the South Pole is thwarted by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, and their return to base becomes impossible in blizzard conditions. All perish when supplies run out. A well-acted story with realistic weather conditions that leave a viewer chilled to the core. Highest possible recommendation!
Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating.
(6.8) Scott of the Antarctic (UK-1948) - John Mills/Diana Churchill/Derek Bond/Kenneth More/Christopher Lee
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a new film, but if you haven't seen it, it's worth the price. It's been re-released in DVD format. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bryce Babcock
The American Museum of Natural History put on a wonderful exhibit between May 30, 2009 and January 2, 2010 called "Race to the End of the Earth"; a link to the online version... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Robert C. ross
Good transaction. Movie quality was what I expected. No problems.Published 13 months ago by Colin K Kent
How many dogs and horses did Scott and his men kill on this trek? What does PETA think of him?Published 14 months ago by triton
Pretty fair portrait of Scott's tragic expedition to the antartic. Opinions on Scott are extreme, from heroic figure to bumbler. This film shows Scott as simply unlucky. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Robert >Gasperi
In 90 minutes it tells the story of Scott's ill-starred expedition to the South Pole - one that should be familiar to the most casual of history scholars. Read morePublished 23 months ago by David West
One of the best movies that I have ever experienced.Sir John Mills and the rest of the cast are some of the best actors of all time. Read morePublished on January 23, 2014 by M. George
Faithfully follows the British version of events. John Mills does an excellent job as Scott. "Last Place on Earth" is just as good, even better, as it more closely... Read morePublished on November 30, 2013 by Mr. Baggins