Parallel stories: 18th century Harrison builds the marine chronometer for safe navigation at sea; 20th century Gould is obsessed with restoring it.

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Cast

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John Nettleton ...
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Liam Jennings ...
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Geoffrey Hutchings ...
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Storyline

In the 18th century, the only way to navigate accurately at sea was to follow a coastline all the way, which would not get you from Europe to the West Indies or the Americas. Observing the sun or stars would give you the latitude, but not the longitude unless done in conjunction with a clock that would keep time accurately at sea, and no such clock existed. After one too many maritime disasters due to navigational errors, the British Parliament set up a substantial prize for a way to find the longitude at sea. The film's main story is that of craftsman John Harrison: he built a clock that would do the job, what we would now call a marine chronometer. But the Board of Longitude was biased against this approach and claiming the prize was no simple matter. Told in parallel is the 20th century story of Rupert Gould, for whom the restoration of Harrison's clocks to working order became first a hobby, then an obsession that threatened to wreck his life. Written by Anonymous

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Drama | History

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Release Date:

2 January 2000 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A hosszúsági fok  »

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(2 parts)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When on his sea voyage, John Harrison gives an elegant and clear explanation of longitude to the crew of the ship, and later he makes short and clear remarks to the Board of Longitude. In reality, Harrison was very well known for his inability to express himself clearly and this was one of the reasons for his problems with the Longitude Committee. See more »

Quotes

John Harrison: You know, the strange thing is, I want to build another one. Taking it apart and putting it together again, I can see improvements.
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Connections

Referenced in 500 Days of Summer (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely first rate!
10 July 2000 | by (Montgomery Village, Maryland) – See all my reviews

Despite its feared four-hour length (including commercials as shown on A&E), "Longitude" gets my top rating. Totally engrossing, with absolutely no false or phony notes. Acting, photography superlative.

(Available on home video without commercials and with additional footage.)


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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