South: Sir Ernest Shackelton And The Endurance Expedition

  • 1919
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

In August of 1914, three years after Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen completed the first successful excursion to the South Pole, a 28-man expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and experienced arctic explorer Frank Wild set sail from England. Shackleton's plan: to top Amundsen's achievement (and eclipse the posthumous fame of his rival Robert Falcon...read more

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In August of 1914, three years after Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen completed the first successful excursion to the South Pole, a 28-man expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and experienced arctic explorer Frank Wild set sail from England.

Shackleton's plan: to top Amundsen's achievement (and eclipse the posthumous fame of his rival Robert Falcon Scott, who died in 1911 on a polar mission gone awry) by crossing the frozen continent on foot. Almost two years later, Shackleton and his men returned, having survived a cruel test of

nature's caprice and cruelty. Their ship, the Endurance, became ice-bound before they reached land, forcing the men to make camp on a treacherous ice floe. After the shifting ice crushed the Endurance and sent her to the bottom of the frigid ocean, the crew trekked across 346 miles of ice to solid

land, the remote Elephant Island. Shackleton and six men set out in a 20-foot lifeboat to look for help, which they found at a whaling camp on South Georgia Island, some 800 miles away. After three abortive attempts, Shackleton successfully rescued the men left behind: Not a single one

died. Among the crew was photographer Frank Hurley, who shot both still images and film of the ordeal: He assembled this documentary, released three years after the team's return, from that footage, whose survival was as remarkable as the men's. Lovingly restored by the British Film Institute,

Hurley's film includes both remarkable scenes of the Endurance's ill-fated journey to the bottom of the world and charming footage of penguins, sea elephants and other arctic wildlife. This restoration includes contemporary tinting and a new piano score by Neil Brand, who's noted for his silent

film accompaniments.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In August of 1914, three years after Norwegian adventurer Roald Amundsen completed the first successful excursion to the South Pole, a 28-man expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton and experienced arctic explorer Frank Wild set sail from England. Shackle… (more)

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