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The Secret Land (1948)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 101 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

This documentary, filmed entirely by military photographers, recounts the U.S. Navy's 1946-47 expedition to Antarctica, known as Operation High Jump. The expedition was under the overall ... See full summary »

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Title: The Secret Land (1948)

The Secret Land (1948) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice) (as Comdr. Robert Montgomery U.S.N.R.)
...
Narrator (voice) (as Lt. Robert Taylor U.S.N.R.)
...
Narrator (voice) (as Lt. Van Heflin A.A.F. Ret.)
James Forrestal ...
Himself (as James V. Forrestal)
Chester W. Nimitz ...
Himself
Richard E. Byrd ...
Himself (as Admiral Byrd)
Richard Cruzen ...
Himself (as Admiral Cruzen)
Robert S. Quackenbush ...
Himself (as Captain Quackenbush)
George J. Dufek ...
Himself (as Captain George Dufek)
Paul A. Siple ...
Himself (as Dr. Siple)
Charles W. Thomas ...
Himself (as Captain Thomas)
Vernon D. Boyd ...
Himself (as Captain Boyd)
Charles A. Bond ...
Himself (as Captain Bond)
David E. Bunger ...
Himself (as Commander David E. Bunger)
John E. Clark ...
Himself (as Captain Clark)
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Storyline

This documentary, filmed entirely by military photographers, recounts the U.S. Navy's 1946-47 expedition to Antarctica, known as Operation High Jump. The expedition was under the overall command of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, no stranger to the Antarctic. This was a large undertaking involving 13 ships and over 4000 thousand men. The fleet departed from Norfolk, Virginia traveling through the Panama canal and then southward to their final destination. The trip through the ice pack was fraught with danger and forced the submarine that was part of the fleet to withdraw. The trip was a success meeting all of its scientific goals. The film is narrated by three Hollywood stars, all of whom served in the US Navy: Robert Taylor, Robert Montgomery and Van Heflin (I)'. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret Land  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

The three narrators identify the other credited actors. See more »

Connections

Featured in Movies Are Adventure (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy To the World
(uncredited)
Traditional
Performed by chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pretty amazing film...
1 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Robert Montgomery, Robert Taylor and Van Heflin all narrate this documentary from MGM. It chronicles the US Navy's Antarctic expedition commanded by Admiral Byrd from 1946 to 1947. This was an enormous undertaking--involving 4000 men and many ships (including an aircraft carrier)! Unfortunately, the print I found of this film on archive.org is in terrible shape--which is really a shame since this film would be spectacular otherwise.

As I sat and watched this film, I couldn't help but admire the men and marvel at the insane conditions in which they worked. For example, the Navy flew very large C-47 (DC-3) from a carrier deck--using jet packs to force the lumbering planes into the air. There also is a portion where you learn about a plane crash and the crew was forced to spend two weeks waiting for help! I was also amazed to see that there is some relatively warm water in a snow-less region of Antarctic--all due to volcanic activity in the area. Overall, this is a very captivating and exciting film. You wonder at the naval cinematographers who recorded all this footage under horrific conditions!

If you do see this film, I also recommend you watch Werner Herzog's recent documentary "Encounters at the End of the World"--where he visits many of the same places you see in "The Secret Land". Two amazing films.


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