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Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

The story of British explorer Robert Falcon Scott's 1912 expedition and his quest to be the first to reach the South Pole in Antarctica.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Harold Warrender ...
Anne Firth ...
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Reginald Beckwith ...
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P.O. (Taff) Evans, R.N.
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Norman Williams ...
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James McKechnie ...
Surgeon Lt. E.L.Atkinson R.N. (as James Mc Kechnie)
...
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Larry Burns ...
Edward Lisak ...
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Storyline

The true story of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to try to be the first man to discover the South Pole - only to find that the murderously cold weather and a rival team of Norwegian explorers conspire against him. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The noblest adventure man ever dared!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Scotts letzte Fahrt  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place from September 9, 1904 to November 12, 1912. See more »

Goofs

No one's breath is ever visible in the Antarctic. See more »

Quotes

Capt. L.E.G. Oates: I'm just going outside; I may be away some time.
[as he leaves tent for certain death]
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Crazy Credits

Ralph Vaughan Williams, then revered as Britain's greatest living composer, has an official credit consisting only of his surname, 'Vaughan Williams'. See more »


Soundtracks

Will Ye No Come Back Again?
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish tune, and lyrics by Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne
Heard as the ship leaves New Zealand
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User Reviews

A Moving but Distorted Account of Scott's Disaster
11 September 1999 | by (Brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

The first thing to remember is that Scott fouled up mightily in his attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole in 1912. He was stubborn, rather arrogant, yet malleable to the wishes of his wife. When his diaries were found on his frozen remains they were in fact later edited and altered by his wife (and the publisher) to depict Scott as a Great Heroic Figure. That was a lie; the depiction of him in the movie is a lie. And in recent years the unedited diaries were released proving the old myth was not the reality. It should be added the U.S. polar explorer Richard C. Byrd was an even bigger fraud - as his recently released personal notes also demonstrated.

This film is generally well done, and the Antarctic (actually Greenland, I believe) scenery is spectacular. The very slow deterioration of Scott's team is fascinating to see; their heartbreak upon viewing Raoul Amundsen's Norwegian flag flying over the Pole in the distance

  • meaning they had lost the race to the greatest of all explorers - is
palpable. From then on it becomes a matter of survival and getting back home. Bit by bit the elements wear them down - untill they can finally go on no longer. When one says "I don't want to wake up tomorrow" with the wind howling just outside their little tent as they try to eat a morsel of cold food. . . you know it's over for them. Heartbreaking.

BUT THE CAUSE OF THE DISASTER IS NOT DELINEATED!! WHY did it happen? Bad luck? Scott's decision not to rely only on sled dogs? Yes. But his planning and leadership was also flawed badly - and that was not shown, as mentioned above.

I had no particular problem with the acting. It could possibly have been more emphatic and emotive, but then I assume the English were indeed as stoic as depicted in the film. Mills' understated Scott is to be expected as part of the MYTHICAL version of Scott
  • the REAL Scott I have no doubt was more emotional and weaker, as seen in
the uneditied diary.

All in all, a moving film worth seeing - so long as you know this is not the reality of the Scott expedition but the cleansed version to make Scott and company as heroic as possible. If you want a better Arctic film try "The Red Tent", and check the reviews on the IMDb for background on it.


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