5.9/10
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22 user 10 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.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Alec Coppel (screenplay), Max Trell (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Ladd ... Duncan Craig
Joan Tetzel ... Judie Nordhal
Basil Sydney ... Bland
Stanley Baker ... Erik Bland
Joseph Tomelty ... Capt. McPhee
Niall MacGinnis ... Dr. Howe
Jill Bennett ... Gerda Petersen
Peter Dyneley ... Miller
Susan Rayne Susan Rayne ... Kathleen
Philo Hauser Philo Hauser ... Sandeborg
Ivan Craig Ivan Craig ... Larsen
Paddy Ryan Paddy Ryan ... Manders
Cyril Chamberlain Cyril Chamberlain ... Factory Ship Radio Operator
Paul Homer Paul Homer ... Kista Dan Radio Operator
Edward Hardwicke ... Ulvik
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Alan Ladd in a whale of an adventure! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1954 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The White South See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Incredible 50's whaling scenes
11 July 2007 | by hallcpSee all my reviews

This movie is better than the Maltin movie book rates it. Ladd does well with a poorly written role, Niall MacGinnis and Stanley Baker are fine too. The weak link is a plot that doesn't make sense and Joan Tetzel as a not very interesting love interest.

But a couple of other features push the movie up a notch. The beautiful color shots of whales being caught and slaughtered (in 1954! On a British ship!) are things you won't see elsewhere. I had no idea we were still killing whales on this scale at that time. Some scenes are right out of Moby Dick.

Another surprise is the role of a feisty whaling woman (played by Jill Bennett) captaining a whale catching vessel. You don't often see women in such action roles, even today.

And as others have noted, the mix of studio and arctic shots is pretty darn smooth. Much better than "Ice Station Zebra" for example. I was surprised and impressed.

So if you're an Alan Ladd fan, go ahead and catch this one. Or if you're curious about how they caught whales in the mid-twentieth century, this is better than any documentary.


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