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SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC

Charles Frend | 1948 | 111 MINS
UK
John Mills stars in this docu-drama which captures the ill-fated final expedition to the South Pole in 1912 of British explorer Robert Scott.

In Detail

Produced by Ealing Studios, ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ is a stiff upper- lipped depiction of Captain Scott's infamous, ill-fated expedition to the South Pole. Facing freezing storms, starvation, lack of fuel, and having just digested the sobering revelation that Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen had beaten them too it, Scott and his remaining team of four settled and died just eleven miles from camp, where food, warmth and undoubtedly survival awaited them.

Trading very much on the legend of Captain Scott, the film charms thanks to its post-WWII optimism and gorgeous colour cinematography. Mills and the supporting cast (James Robertson Justice, Kenneth More, Harold Warrender et al) are excellent throughout, starting out as eager and boisterous, and later, as the last survivors wait to die in the tent that would become their tomb, withdrawn and contemplative.

This journey is accompanied by the superb music of Vaughn Williams. The music later became ‘Sinfonia Antarctica’ but to hear it in the context of the film is to wonder again at the creative spirit of Vaughan Williams.

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