19 user 7 critic

Hell Below Zero (1954)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 15 January 1954 (Japan)
The captain of an Antarctic whaling ship falls overboard in mysterious circumstances and his daughter, aided by a sympathetic American, decides to investigate the accident.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Duncan Craig
Joan Tetzel ...
Judie Nordhal
Basil Sydney ...
Erik Bland
Joseph Tomelty ...
Capt. McPhee
Niall MacGinnis ...
Dr. Howe
Jill Bennett ...
Gerda Petersen
Peter Dyneley ...
Susan Rayne ...
Philo Hauser ...
Ivan Craig ...
Paddy Ryan ...
Cyril Chamberlain ...
Paul Homer ...
Kista Dan Radio Operator


Duncan Craig signs on a whaling ship, partly because his own business deal has fallen through, partly to help Judie Nordhall find her father. Rumor has it that her father may have been murdered by Erik Bland, son of her father's partner and her one-time lover. Duncan and Erik find themselves on rival whaleboats and, ultimately, on an ice floe. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Actually filmed with the whaling fleet in the raging Antarctic! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

15 January 1954 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The White South  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)


(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: Any resemblance of character in this story to any persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »


During scenes set in the Antarctic, at supposedly below zero (Celsius) temperatures, we never see breath vapor. See more »


Referenced in Cubby Broccoli: The Man Behind Bond (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

interesting view of 2 intend things whaling and south Africa
28 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

6 you say after reading all the other,very negative comments. Yes 6,I watched this this afternoon on UK channel 4,I watched it because I have never heard of it before and I like some of the work of the director Mark Robson. It is not an undiscovered classic but it was quite enjoyable and interesting for what it says about society at the time it was made. The film features some beautiful old aeroplanes,Constellations I think. There is a flight to South Africa,it looks beautiful,very rich.you don't see many black people in the background,the characters don't see to meet any Afrikaners,that is dutch speaking south Africans either. The scenes at the docks main feature British working class types. The action then moves to the whaling fleet,studio shots are mixed with film of real whaling operations. Few people in those days cared much about the whales and parts of the film are like a promo film for the whaling industry. Everybody looks macho except the women who just look nice,Jill Bennett plays a cute little Norwegian whaling skipper and everybody has a great time killing whales. I like Alan Ladd in this film,I like Alan Ladd in every film,he plays more or less the same part in each film,ordinary guy pushed into extraordinary situations. I won't give away the plot but the film looks great,I know that the look of the film looks tacky now but I like the bright colours and the fight scenes,its Tuesday afternoon and I am waiting for the gas man,I do not expect too much. Slagging off this film with 2005 eyes is stupid,it is just a piece of fun,sit back and marvel at the radios the size of fridges and the whaling ships which no longer exist. I am from Edinburgh Scotland and we used to send whalers to that part of the world,hope some of the old fellows who used to go south were watching this and recognised the old boats. How many films did Alan Ladd make where he was an ex soldier/sailor/airman down on his luck?

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