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Mr Forbush And The Penguins [DVD]

John Hurt , Hayley Mills , Alfred Viola    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Hayley Mills, Dudley Sutton, Tony Britton, Thorley Walters
  • Directors: Alfred Viola
  • Writers: Anthony Shaffer, Graham Billing
  • Producers: Gordon Scott, Henry Trettin
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Momentum
  • DVD Release Date: 24 Sep 2001
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OR5E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 133,655 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Al Viola's adaptation of Graham Billing's novel about how a man's outlook on life is changed by his harsh surroundings. Richard Forbush (John Hurt), a shallow man and philanderer, wants to win back the affections of his girlfriend Tara (Haley Mills) and decides that moving to the Antarctic to study the life-cycle of penguins is just the way to impress her. Whilst there he embarks on a solitary struggle of survival and having begun to deeply admire the penguins uses this knowledge to keep himself alive.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece 22 Aug 2009
Format:DVD
This is a classic beauty of a film. A little tearful for those who are sensitive about animal films. I first saw this as a child and being a very sensitive child regarding animal films and documentary, was very moved by it. I have since watched it twice on DVD and it still remains a moving and wonderful adventure. It is such a nostalgic trip back to a London of the the 70's - a time when I grew up. The film stars the fantastic John Hurt who shines as ever. A lovely film which should be better known - it is up there with The Railway Children, The Amazing Mr Blunden, Swallows and Amazons, Black Beauty etc - Classics of the 70's, when films were quality with great actors and great music scores. Unfortunately they do not make films much like these anymore - it seems that gentleness and sentimentality are not cool these days! A great film with a great message. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 5 Oct 2011
Format:DVD
Young John Hurt is the lazy, playboy undergraduate who is set to fail his biology Bsc unless he can somehow pull a blinder of a thesis out of the bag at the eleventh hour. With this goal in mind his tutor arranges for him to study penguins in Antarctica which he reluctantly agrees to do. At first he hates being deprived of his comfy life and bright lights, but gradually he develops a profound respect for his bleak surroundings and the creatures who live there. Films about struggle and ultimate redemption are usually good to watch, and although there are few surprises here, this remains a captivating story of a young man's spiritual awakening from shallow indifference to movingly sincere commitment. Although perhaps a trifle kitsch in places by today's standards, this inexplicably overlooked film is well worth watching.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality DVD 23 Oct 2010
By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Richard Forbush (John Hurt) is a part-time biology student and full-time playboy in swinging London. He has no trouble attracting the ladies until he meets the lovely Tara (Hayley Mills) who is immune to his charms. Determined to impress her, he takes a job studying penguins for six months in Antarctica - alone.

First of all, the picture and sound quality on this DVD are terrible. While the movie is filmed in color, the part set in Antarctica is just gray, with no blue skies or water even on sunny days. The script is predictable and cliché, too. It is quite interesting to see John Hurt as a young swinger if you've only seen him as old Mr. Ollivander, but he's hardly convincing as a lady-killer. Thankfully he does mature as he endures the rigors of Antarctica and falls in love with the penguins.

The second half of the movie is semi-documentary with Forbush's dry, sarcastic commentary adding some humor, but the focus is on him, not nature. We never spend time with or really engage with the penguins because the photography is jerky and rushed. This movie doesn't hold a candle to more beautiful and emotionally-compelling movies like "March of the Penguins;" it's just a low-budget story of a self-centered man who grows up while living among the penguins.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the odder films 27 Mar 2002
By Christina Brooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This film is the only English language film made by a Norwegian(?) director and easily qualifies as being one of the strangest most patchy films I have ever seen.
The story is simple enough. John Hurt playes Forbrush, a spoilt rich post graduate student who is supposed to be studying biology at the University of London. He is very good in his chosen field, but is largely wasting his time drinking and chasing women. He decides that he wants to impress Hayley Mills, and semi- accidentally gets signed up for a 6 month tour studying penguins on his own in Antarctica. Once there, his loneliness drives him half mad, and he becomes paternally attached to the penguins he is supposed to be studying. In the course of the six months he grows up and becomes an adult as opposed to the fop that he was
The first half hour of the film is almost excrutiating. John Hurt wades through an appalling script (by none other than Anthony Shaffer) and does his best to be drunk and fey and enamoured by Hayley Mills. This part of the the film resembles an Ealing Comedy forged by a drunk Estonian. Once the story arrives in Antarctica, things pick up. Hurt's acting improves markedly, and the penguins start trying to steal the show. There is a heavy duty snowstorm, heaps of literally astonishing scenery, and Hurt starts chewing the scenery as he goes mad.
The main thing wrong with this film is the script. The dialogue is frequently stilted and shows a poor understanding of motivation and character. (Particularly in the earlier scenes). To make matters worse, the direction is thoroughly uninspired. The odd thing though, is that the spirit of the film shines through these mechanics. This was a film made in hardship, and made with love. You CARE for Hurt as he grows up, you can see why he becomes attached to the penguins, why he hates the Skuas, and how his time alone and his hardship makes him grow into a far improved version of his earlier self.
While it is far from being the best made film that you will ever see, I think that this film's spirit will live with you for a long time. Anyone who has ever needed adventure in their life, will understand and probably love the journey that this film delivers.
The DVD master is appalling. There are almost random changes in aspect ratio, from 1.85.1 (occasionally) through to the standard 4.3 fullscreen. There are frequent major distrubances in the image, partly caused by bad storage of the original film, and partly by what looks like a semi-broken telecine machine.
That said, I am glad I own this one. It makes me feel happy to watch it and it makes me think. While it is a curiosity its' whole adds up to far more than the sum of its parts.
...And it is definitely one of the oddest films ever made.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CRY OF THE PENGUINS (DVD) 13 Nov 2007
By Theodoros Probatas - Published on Amazon.com
Ggood film about the life of the penguins, their continuous struggle for survival. Has many aspects on the need for environmental awareness.
The acting is good enough, the direction is fine and the scenery superb.
I purchased this dvd because of the promising theme and of course because of the participation of Hayley Mills who is one of my favorite actresses.
I was not disappointed.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming love-story 25 Sep 2000
By N D Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
I loved the film but should point out that I'm the only reviewer I have ever come across that seems so to do. I watched this a long time ago and have been searching for a copy of the film ever since. The Antarctic scenes are beautiful and John Hurt plays his character with sympathetic flair. If you're an animal lover and relish the thought of a film filmed mainly on location in arctic conditions, then you'll love this.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely movie! 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
This is a very quiet movie, but beautifully and lovingly made. I never in my life thought I'd become engrossed by a movie about penguins -- well, surprise, surprise. By the end of the movie I was wishing it would never end.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This film could change your life 9 Dec 2005
By Mr. P. Ward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
An ambitious claim for a film? - let me explain...

When I was 13 or 14, sometime many years ago, I was off school laying on the sofa with some real or imagined illness. In the afternoon, this film came on the tv. I thought - Wow that looks great I'd like to go to Antarctica!

So when I grew up I did - as a marine biologist. If I hadn't then my life would have taken a different path - so "This film could change your life" - it did mine.

3 stars, because it's not really that great as films go, but I am glad I saw it that afternoon in the 70's.
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