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The Great White Silence / 90 Degrees South (DVD + Blu-ray) [1924]

Captain Robert Falcon Scott , Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates , Herbert Ponting    Universal, suitable for all   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: £12.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Great White Silence / 90 Degrees South (DVD + Blu-ray) [1924] + South [1919] [DVD] + Scott Of The Antarctic [DVD]
Price For All Three: £30.15

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Product details

  • Actors: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Captain Lawrence Edward Grace Oates
  • Directors: Herbert Ponting
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: BFI Video
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Jun 2011
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004KLE38A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,270 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


A film by Herbert Ponting

Herbert Pont's official record of Captain Scott's legendary expedition to the South Pole, restored by the BFI and featuring a new musical score by Simon Fisher Turner, captures in breathtaking detail the alien beauty of the landscape, and ensured that the heroism involved would never be forgotten.

The BFI National Archive custodian of the expedition negatives created this award-winning restoration using the latest photochemical and digital techniques and reintroduced its sophisticated use of colour.

Special Features

  • Presented in both High Definition and Standard Definition
  • 90° South (1933, 72 mins): Pointing's final sound version of his legendary expedition footage
  • Great White Silence: How Did They Do It? (2011,20 mins): new documentary about the restoration
  • The Sound of Silence (2011, 13 mins): new documentary about Simon Fisher Turner's approach to the score
  • Location field recordings (2010, 4 mins): celebrated sound recordist Chris Watson's document of Scott's expedition hut
  • Archive newsreel items (1910-1925, 5 mins, DVD only): actuality coverage of the expedition's departure and return
  • Illustrated booklet with essays, film notes and credits

UK | 1924 | black & white, tinted and toned | silent with music | 108 minutes | original aspect ratio 1.33:1

Disc 1: BD50 | 1080p | 24fps | PCM stereo audio (48k/24-bit)
Disc 2: DVD9 | PAL | Dolby Digital stereo audio (320kbps)

Region 0 PAL DVD
Region free Blu-ray

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 4 Jun 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I have just seen this film at the cinema and it was wonderful. It was made in 1924 so the commentary is in written words on the screen, like the old silent movies. The first half is an account of the journey to Antarctica and then a light hearted wild life documentary about the gulls, seals and penguins. The journey starts with the whaler, Terra Nova, setting off from New Zealand and includes wonderful footage of members of the crew taking a turn at Irish and Russian dancing. When the boat is crashing through enormous waves, you almost feel the lurching sensation. The first glimpse of an enormous iceberg is breath taking. We see the bow of the boat breaking through the ice, and then we see how Ponting filmed it, lying precariously on a wooden frame hanging off the side of the boat.

We then see the expedition men setting up camp, using dogs and Siberian ponies to pull the sleighs. Current writing about Scott's journey to the South Pole tends to emphasise the flaws in the operation: the ponies were ill or unsuitable, the men didn't know how to ski etc. but this is a wonderfully cheerful and optimistic view of the start of the expedition where all seems to be going to plan.

About two thirds of the way through the film, (and just when you are beginning to tire a little of the penguins), there is a shift of tone and the story of the race to the Pole begins. Ponting uses maps and animated models aswell as still shots of the five men who went all the way to the South Pole. There is footage of the men hauling the sledges and then setting up camp for the night: cooking up the beef soup, drying out their layers of damp socks and wriggling into their fur sleeping bags. It feels quite incredible to see this on film.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A towering achievement of early film history 11 Nov 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
What the BFI has done here is nothing short of magnificent. This is the original footage of Scott's ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic, in his quest to be the first to reach the South Pole. While that quest may have ended in tragedy, his endeavor is of value as an example of old-school British chivalry and the spirit of scientific exploration. The (silent) film of the voyage was shot using a hand cranked camera, and then later presented by cinematographer Herbert Ponting with specific tinting. This has been lovingly recreated by the BFI and much of the footage looks shockingly good for its age. For the score they have used a specially commissioned new score which underlines the action beautifully. Extras include the shorter sound film version put together by Ponting, and featurettes on the restoration and scoring of the film.
This is a priceless piece of film from the past and deserves to be in every serious film buff's collection.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Priceless! 11 Aug 2011
Film restorations surely don't get much more important than this one. This wonderful slice of British history is surely the most important film in the National Film Archive and very worthy of this sumptuous DVD release with the extras it is so deserving of. The film which was originally released to cinemas in 1925, was made from the original film taken by Herbert Ponting the official photographer of the legendary Captain Scott's tragic expedition to the South Pole in 1910. The film is accompanied by Ponting's own amusing inter-titles, and has a very distinctive new soundtrack. The film gives a true flavour of a more innocent bygone age when men were truly willing to put their lives on the line for the honour of their country. Scott has been alternately hero worshipped and vilified, but recently the pendulum has swung back to the hero position and this film certainly goes far to convince the doubters. Whatever your opinions no one can doubt the courage of these men and the stoic way in which they met their end. Scott's final letter which must have been penned when he was in a terrible state are some of the most moving words ever written in the English language. Undoubtedly the words of a brave man. Scott's very words are used in the film, together with rare footage of the man himself and the men who died alongside him. It is like looking at the flickering ghosts of long dead men and being reminded of your own mortality. Some of the blu ray images of light on ice are a joy to behold, with some particularly interesting pictures of the sea ice forming in giant pancake like patterns. Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting 17 Jan 2012
By Ozhead
Simply amazing and totally atmospheric. This is a must have if you are remotely interested in Antarctic exploration and Scott
in particular. Haunting images and a subtle sympathetic soundtrack make this historic document indispensable. I will be watching it again on March 17th, the day 100 years ago this year ( 2012 ) that Captain Lawrence Oates walked out into a raging blizzard to his certain death saying to the rest of his companions the fateful words " I am just going outside and may be some time ". This film gives you an idea of the task they faced and the vastness of the Antarctic wilderness in which the British heroes perished.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 days ago by Lars Frode Larsen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mikhail Shevyakov
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Dr Wilson who died with Scott was my Grandmothers cousin.
Published 3 months ago by Judith Chamberlain
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT WHITE SILENCE
The Great White Silence.This item fully met my expectations and it is wonderful that these historic films are now available to the general public.
Published 5 months ago by Heather Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Ponting is a Master of photography.
This could also be in the photo journalism category. very well shot with very good commentary. It is well worth the price.
Published 9 months ago by Vivek K. Sarawgi
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good
I have had an interest in Scott since I was at school and often visited the Scott polar research museum when I lived in Cambridge. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr. M. J. Turner
5.0 out of 5 stars Only of interest

Heard the one about the man who wandered into the snow for fun and to show off,but ran into trouble and
perhaps wished he had never tried. Read more
Published 15 months ago by flibity
5.0 out of 5 stars The GREAT White Silence
This has to be a 5 star film, it is great. What an absolutely amazing piece of filming. Herbert Ponting's original 1924 black and white film has been expertly brought up to date... Read more
Published 19 months ago by A. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Buy it you must have this if you are a fan of explorers.well presented and nicely packed and a good price.
Published 22 months ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great White Silence
A very interesting documentary about Captain Scott's last expedition. The cine photography by Herbert Ponting is outstanding when you consider the weather conditions and the... Read more
Published on 15 Jun 2012 by Mr. Geoffrey Brown
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