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The true story of the British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his ill-fated expedition to try to be the first man to discover the South Pole - only to find that the murderously cold weather and a rival team of Norwegian explorers conspire against him.Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Scott jokes that he will bring a penguin back from Antarctica for his son Peter. Peter Scott (1909-1989) became an eminent ornithologist and conservationist, who founded the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. See more »
Scott and Oates meet in a doorway. The lighting on Scott's face changes from shot to shot. See more »
"This film could not have been made without the generous co-operation of the survivors and the relatives of late members of Scott's Last Expedition. To them and to those many other persons and organisations too numerous to mention individually who gave such able assistance and encouragement, the producers express their deepest gratitude." See more »
There is a general feeling, already noted here, that this film whitewashes Scott and turns him into a heroic figure. This is not surprising when you consider that when it was being made survivors of the expedition and relatives of those who died (particularly Kathleen Scott) were still alive.
Nevertheless, the film does raise some questions about Scott's leadership and judgement: his desperation to be first at the Pole with inadequate planning and resources; his last-minute decision to take a fifth man to the Pole when supplies had been calculated for a four-man team; the fact that none of these questionable decisions are challenged by subordinates bound by Royal Navy discipline.
The scenes at the Pole are particularly telling. When the British reach the Norwegian camp it is Wilson who enters their tent, while Scott tells Bowers to "check the position". Wilson's look of disgust emphasises Scott's refusal to face hard reality at a critical moment.
So, yes, this is the story of a "national hero", but watch it with care and it is far from uncritical.
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