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The Last Place on Earth [VHS]

4.5 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Shaw, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Stephen Moore, Ståle Bjørnhaug, Tom Georgeson
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 7
  • Studio: Bfs Entertainment
  • VHS Release Date: November 11, 1998
  • Run Time: 396 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6303215556
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,965 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Based on the book, Scott and Amundsen by Roland Huntford. It is a detailed study, centered around the 1910-1912 Great Race for the South Pole by two brave explorers; the Norwegian Capt. Amundsen and the British Capt. Scott. The legend of Capt. Scott had long been considered sacred.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
This dramatization is based on the book, Scott and Amundsen by Roland Huntford. It is a detailed study, centered around the 1910-1912 Great Race for the South Pole by two brave explorers; the Norwegian Capt. Amundsen and the British Capt. Scott. The legend of Capt. Scott had long been considered sacred. Afterall, Capt. Scott and his five-man party died on the return journey from the Pole after having reached it a month after Capt. Amundsen. Roald Amundsen, conversely, has largely been overlooked and even slandered for his achievement of safely reaching the Pole first. Mr. Huntford's research had uncovered so much information about Capt. Scott and Capt. Amundsen that it created a public scandal - a public outcry that even came to condemn the author. After all, a long-cherished British legend was being questioned to its very sanctity. So great was this outcry, that when the book was reissued in 1985 as The Last Place on Earth, it inspired this excellent PBS dramatization. True to Huntford's book, this dramatization plumbs every subtlety of the author's historical revelation. Depicted is the Great Race for the South Pole that pitted the British explorer, Capt. Robert F. Scott against the Norwegian, Capt. Roald Amundsen. Amundsen claimed the Pole in 1911. Captain Scott and his five-man party died of starvation and exposure on their return. This fine production captures the European nationalistic mood of the 1910's and beautifully enshrines the respectful eloquence of an era long past. Every aspect of this dramatization has been meticulously represented, from the period clothing to the detailed manifestation of each expedition's supply stores on the southward journey. Roland Huntford never set out to exploit the incompetence of a British legend.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
The first time I saw this mini series I couldn't have been more than ten. At the time it seemed like the most absurdly long movie I'd ever heard of, spanning six VHS tapes. I was dubious, to put it mildy, and the first episode concerning the set up for the expedition didn't do much to impress me.
...Then the second episode started up, and I was hooked.
As the title would suggest, it's really quite hard to think of how to describe this series. It features so many powerful moments, so many exemplary performances, that any summary I could give would feel lacking. I have never seen a more faithful or more compelling look at the race to be the first to reach the South Pole than this one. The direction and cinematography is very simple, letting the endless white landscape do most of the work in telling the story. Ample long shots which must have been amazingly difficult to film reveal a landscape unmarred by footprints or any other signs of humanity save for the small column of explorers forging their way through the snow. Meticulous attention to detail brings the reality of the desolate yet beautiful Antarctic landscape home in a way that feels almost brutally honest. There is no attempt to glorify or villify anyone. No enemy but nature. And it needs none.
Anyone who is even barely interested in the history surrounding these expeditions owes it to themselves to give this a watch. And everyone else should watch it anyway just to experience this breathtaking piece of cinema. Films this good simply don't come along all that often anymore.
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Format: DVD
I decided to write this review after seeing the television

dramatization of Ernest Shackleton's "Endurance" expedition.

Although I have seen "Last Place" many times, seeing "Shackleton", which is not bad, made me appreciate how

good "Last Place" really is. Ultimately, "Last Place" gives

a very good presentation of the different approaches to polar

exploration that Amundsen and Scott had. Unfortunately, "Shackleton" did not do this as well. Scott, a typical product of the hidebound Royal Navy and the class-ridden society

that made up late Victorian Britain believes that technology combined with immense will-power and "natural superiority of the Englishman" will overcome all obstacles.

Amundsen, a citizen of newly independent Norway, was much more open-minded and willing to make due with less. Unlike the British who believed they were a superior civilization and had nothing to learn from "inferior natives" like the Eskimos had clothing and food that was less well adapted to life in the very harsh polar climate. This flexibility that Amundsen had led him to adopt the clothing of the Eskimos and also led him to be more concerned about the problem of scurvey which plagued previous expeditions to the polar regions. This meant that Amundsen's men were much healthier (they actually gained weight on the journey!) than Scott's. By using dogs, there was less physical strain on the Norweigians than on the British who pulled their sled by themselves for much of the trip.

Amundsen was a meticulous planner whereas Scott had a tendency to rely on the British habit of "muddling through" and hoping that things will work out.
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