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Robert Z. Leonard
Rod La Rocque,
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This film, in English, and S.O.S. Eisberg (1933), in German, were filmed simultaneously by Universal. The rise of the Nazi party in Germany brought an end to U.S. and German co-productions such as these films. See more »
Amazing adventure film made in Greenland as a co-production of the USA and Germany. The film has a documentary feel to it and although filmed in both English and German versions, much of the film is silent.
Rod La Rocque stars as an explorer who gathers an expedition team to find the files and whereabouts of an explorer who died in the Arctic. Once there, they realize they are too late because the ice is melting and the explorer is likely on the other side on a vast fjord. So La Rocque sets out by himself and becomes lost as well.
The rest of the team then sets out after La Rocque. German actor Sepp Rist becomes the new leader of the team, which include famed silent actor, Gibson Gowland who starred in GREED.
After the team loses a sled carrying their food and most of the sled dogs (they fall in an ice cave) the men now face starvation as well as exposure to the elements. n an attempts to cross the fjord they end up on a giant iceberg that breaks away from the mainland. They a adrift.
They make radio contact just before their batteries die, and La Rocque's wife (Leni Riefenstahl--infamous German filmmaker and actress) sets out to rescue them. But as she approacher the ice berg, her plane crashes and she is stranded with them.
The story is quite good, but it's the real footage of Greenland that is amazing. The shots of the frozen north, the icebergs, and the freezing Atlantic serve as a spectacular backdrop for the story. The aerial shots of rescue planes are also stunning.
The filming of the iceberg as it breaks apart and rolls in the ocean as it seeks a new balancing point is a one-of-a-kind scene.
Despite the star status of La Rocque and Riefenstahl, Rist and Gowland steal the film, which is beautifully directed by Tay Garnett with lots of closeups. This is a must-see film!
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