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The Great White Silence (1924)

| Documentary | 1924 (UK)
1:54 | Trailer
In 1910 the British Antarctic Expedition, led by Capt. Robert F. Scott, embarks from Lyttleton, NZ on a quest to become the first to reach the South Pole.


Herbert G. Ponting





Credited cast:
Robert Falcon Scott Robert Falcon Scott ... Self
Herbert G. Ponting Herbert G. Ponting ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry R. Bowers Henry R. Bowers ... Self
Edgar Evans Edgar Evans ... Self
Lawrence E.G. Oates Lawrence E.G. Oates ... Self
Edward Adrian Wilson Edward Adrian Wilson ... Self


This early full-length documentary from filmmaker Herbert G. Ponting follows Captain Robert F. Scott and his famed expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole. The expedition left New Zealand in 1910 and arrived at the Antarctic shelf some three months later. Ponting not only shows many sites along the way - sea life, their ship cutting through the ice pack - but also manages to explain some of his techniques by showing how he obtained a particular shot. The climate is harsh and the trek to the Pole is arduous. Disappointment lies in store for Scott and his men when they arrive at the Pole and the arduous return proves deadly. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Herbert G. Ponting: Pemmican hoosh is a rich soup made of the finest dried beef, 60% fat.
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Crazy Credits

Just before the end credits, a verse from Punch is reproduced: "So on their record, writ for all to know / The task achieved, the homeward way half-won / Though cold they lie beneath their pall of snow, / Shines the eternal sun." See more »


Abide With Me
Words by Henry F. Lyte (as Henry Francis Lyte)
Music by William H. Monk (as William Henry Monk)
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User Reviews

It's very cold outside...
6 July 2011 | by dipsy-lee54See all my reviews

This film is a true inspiration. The level of patience and care that has gone into capturing these stunning images in the frozen wastes of the Antarctic, way back in the early days of cinematography - 1912, is amazing.

It's beautifully shot and edited, (recently cleaned up for the BFI), with a suitable score which gives the film a playful tone- especially as Ponting spends time following the penguins, which was comical.

Towards the end the film becomes much more emotional and by this point you truly realise the scale of the expedition, the sacrifices made and how brave Captain Scott, the explorers and Ponting with his camera were to undertake such a daring journey.

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None | English

Release Date:

1924 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great White Silence See more »


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Technical Specs


(restored) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Black and White (tinted)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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