8.3/10
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3 user

The Search for the Northwest Passage (2005)

A look at the search for the fabled Northwest passage, the legendary path through the ice across the Canadian Arctic, and the attempts made by wealthy British explorer Sir John Franklin and penniless Norwegian Roald Amundsen.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Maureen Bennett ...
Lady Jane Franklin
Richard Betts ...
Joe
Kåre Conradi ...
Roald Amundsen (as Corey Conradi)
George Dalton ...
Stanley
...
Anthony Gardner ...
John Geiger ...
Himself
...
Godfred Hansen
Bohdan Poraj ...
Russell Potter ...
Himself
...
Gustav Wiik (as Christian Pedersen)
...
Narrator
Lesley Tuckey ...
Tom
Crispin Wells ...
Peglar
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A look at the search for the fabled Northwest passage, the legendary path through the ice across the Canadian Arctic, and the attempts made by wealthy British explorer Sir John Franklin and penniless Norwegian Roald Amundsen.

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24 March 2005 (UK)  »

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Top-notch dramatic segments
9 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I should, in all fairness, disclose at the first that I appear in this broadcast as an on-camera historian, so I'm sure I'm probably a bit biased in its favor. My comment is limited to the dramatic segments, with which I had nothing to do, and only saw when the program was broadcast.

I really do feel that the dramatic segments are absolutely top-notch. As someone who spent many years imagining the Franklin expedition, I think that the casting was just splendid. Anthony Garner is the perfect personification of Sir John Franklin, and Maureen Bennett does a lovely turn as Lady Franklin. Bo Poraj is spot on as a slightly dour, slightly haunted Francis Crozier, and Thom Fell captures the exuberance, and later despair, of James Fitzjames wonderfully. They all inhabit their roles as though they were born to them, something the more remarkable given that there were only a few days of shooting.

The cinematography by Harald Paalgard is truly superb, and it was a real honor to be able to watch him at work, and see the results -- all the Arctic scenes were shot on 16mm rather than digital, and the beauty of those stark regions comes across most dramatically, particularly in the long shots and aerial views.


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