Captain Scott famously perished in 1912 during his attempt to reach the South Pole but movie footage taken by Herbert Ponting survived. Ponting later cut his material together into a documentary that showcased the polar team, life at base camp and the wildlife of Antarctica. Okay, penguins, lots of penguins.
This documentary is one of my favorites of the whole silent era, thanks to the quality of Ponting’s material, as well as his warm title card narration that balances humor and soberness in all the appropriate proportions.
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.Scott and his team perished just a few miles from the supply depot.
Read my full-length review here. I kind of went a little crazy with the research, so it is quite long and detailed.
If it were a dessert it would be: Snow Cream. Pure winter, even if much of this was shot in the summer.
Availability: Released on DVD/Bluray by the BFI. This is a region 2/B release and you may need a region-free player to make it work. I also highly recommend Race for the South Pole, which contains the unredacted diaries of Scott, Roald Amundsen and Olav Bjaaland, all annotated by Roland Huntford. The audiobook is particularly excellent. Scott’s diaries were only available in a sanitized, approved version for years.
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Question for you. Is The Great White Silence a better film than The Epic of Everest?
Well, I really detest Everest expeditions of the past and present, so I am definitely biased.
History is a spoiler?
I’ve wanted to see this film for a while as it’s on the “1001 Movies to See Before You Die” list. Pity there’s no American DVD.
I got yelled at for “spoiling” that a guy who died in, like, 1820 died at the end. People are nuts.
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