Scott Of The Antarctic

  • 1948
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Adventure, Biography, Historical

Although Capt. Robert Scott failed to be the first to reach the South Pole (the Norwegians, under Roald Amundsen, won that prize), and although all five members of Scott's expedition died on the way back--as much due to faulty planning as to bad luck and bad weather--Scott has been revered as a hero of the British Empire. This film, a fairly accurate account...read more

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Although Capt. Robert Scott failed to be the first to reach the South Pole (the Norwegians, under Roald Amundsen, won that prize), and although all five members of Scott's expedition died on the way back--as much due to faulty planning as to bad luck and bad weather--Scott has been

revered as a hero of the British Empire. This film, a fairly accurate account of his doomed expedition of 1911-1912, was a major success and was the royal-commmand performance of 1948. The cast is good, in the stiff-upper-lip style of British heroics, and the actors were partly chosen on the basis

of their resemblance to the real participants in the events. Current counsel holds that Scott's party might have made the mere 11 miles back to its base camp but for the public-school pride that prevented its upper-caste members from eating their sled dogs (the method of preventing starvation and

subsequent frostbite employed by Amundsen's men), and the actors represent these hidebound attitudes well.

Scott's log, discovered nearly a year after his death, was loaned, along with many of the personal effects of the real-life explorers, to the film's producers by the British Museum, adding to the authenticity of this faithful near-documentary. Producer Michael Balcon also recruited the assistance

of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who was initially reluctant to do the film's score, by deluging the famed composer with photographs of expedition members and memorabilia, finally gaining Vaughan Williams's interest. Eventually, the composer transmuted his fine score into his seventh symphony,

the "Sinfonia Antarctica."

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Although Capt. Robert Scott failed to be the first to reach the South Pole (the Norwegians, under Roald Amundsen, won that prize), and although all five members of Scott's expedition died on the way back--as much due to faulty planning as to bad luck and b… (more)

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