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Scott of the Antarctic

4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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(Jun 29, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Prepare for the ultimate battle of man versus the elements in this gripping true tale of Commander Scott, leader of the infamous and ill-fated expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole. In 1911, Scott and his team battled not only the violent cold weather, but also a rival team of Norwegians who were racing to beat them in their quest.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Mills, Derek Bond, Harold Warrender
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Smooth Motion Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003V19CYU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #335,212 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Director Charles Frend showed he could turn real life stories into stirring drama with war films like The Foreman Went to France, and here turned his hand to a different sort of heroism. Whilst the war films showed small victories in what we hoped would prove to be a big victory, Scott Of The Antarctic shows a peculiar sort of victory, that of the human spirit in the midst of failure.
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.
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Format: DVD
This is a film I remember fondly, but was very disappointed with this transfer (from 905 Entertainment); the colours are faded and the soundtrack very coarsened and almost unlistenable - indeed, the very opening of Vaughan Williams' superlative score has been clipped in this version. There's now a far superior transfer available from Optimum Classic as part of their Easling Studios Collection - on sale from amazon.co.uk: vibrant colours and a much better soundtrack, so the extra dollars for that version are worth it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'll have to agree with the previous reviewers both in appraisal of the story-- it's great, and denigration of the technical quality of this particular DVD version. Just be forwarned to prepare yourself for only fair to poor video quality (grainy & high contrast) and continous distortion in the audio.

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.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The producers obviously went to great lengths to re-create the final, tragic Scott expedition. Robert F. Scott, Edward (Bill) Wilson, 'Birdie' Bowers, and others are faithfully portrayed by actors who seem to have been selected for their physical resemblance to them. The interior sets obviously were designed from Ponting's photographs, and indeed, many of the scenes in the movie are hauntingly realistic recreations of Ponting's photographs. This film is especially recommended to anyone who has read Scott's diaries, or any of the popular accounts of the expedition. The only caveat is that this version is reproduced in EP mode, with the slight loss of audio and video quality of that process. This is more than compensated for by the low price. A good value, a great movie.
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Format: DVD
This 905 edition of Scott of the Antarctic should be withdrawn from sale by Amazon immediately. The picture looks like it has been taken from a VHS tape, by an operator holding a shaky hand held camera. The sound is tinny to the extreme. There is no need to tolerate a film issued in this poor quality. The Optimum Classic version shows how well the film has survived, with beautiful vibrant colour and excellent sound to do justice to the Vaughan Williams score.
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Format: DVD
Specialists in niche market material such as vintage programmers, public domain films and TV shows, Pennsylvania-based ALPHA VIDEO is owned by Jerry Greene, founder of Collectable Records. Quality of their unrestored movie transfers varies from fair to good, based on condition of source material stock (often old 16mm broadcast prints). The only extras provided are a catalog insert and DVD-accessible title list.

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.

SYNOPSIS--
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
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