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Longitude [DVD]

Michael Gambon , Jeremy Irons , Charles Sturridge    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
Price: 6.53 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Michael Gambon, Jeremy Irons, Ian Hart, Peter Vaughan, Samuel West
  • Directors: Charles Sturridge
  • Producers: Selwyn Roberts
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Jan 2007
  • Run Time: 198 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000L42N96
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,686 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Gracefully adapted from Dava Sobel's extraordinary bestseller, the four-part TV production of Longitude combines drama, history and science into a stimulating, painstakingly authentic account of personal triumph and joyous discovery. Equally impressive is the way writer-director Charles Sturridge has crafted parallel stories that complement each other with enriching perspective. The first story involves the successful 40-year effort of 18th-century clockmaker John Harrison (Michael Gambon) to solve the elusive problem of measuring longitude at sea. In 1714 the British Parliament had offered a generous reward to anyone who solved the problem, and Harrison devoted his life to that solution. The second story, some 200 years later, involves the effort of shell-shocked British Navy veteran Rupert Gould (Jeremy Irons) to restore the glorious clocks that Harrison had built. Like Harrison, Gould is the most admirable type of obsessive, but, also like Harrison, he risks his marriage to accomplish his difficult task. Thousands of sailors perished at sea before Harrison's triumph changed history, but Longitude demonstrates that Harrison's glory was slow to arrive--and his prize money even slower. A fascinating study of 18th-century British politics and clashing egos in the arena of science, the film is both epic and intimate in consequence , and Sturridge's magnificent script inspires Gambon and Irons to do some of the best work of their outstanding careers . The ever-reliable Ian Hart appears in Part 3 as Harrison's now-adult son and apprentice, and Longitude approaches its dramatic climax with the exhilarating tension of a first-rate thriller. Rallying after sickness to prove the integrity of their marvellous seafaring chronometers, the Harrisons still had to fight for official recognition, and Gould's restoration of the Harrison clockworks provides a fitting coda to this exceptional story about the thrill of discovery and the tenacity of remarkable men. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Product Description

In 1714 Parliament offer a £20,000 prize for anyone who can provide an accurate means of measuring longitude at sea. John Harrison (Michael Gambon) flies in the face of popular opinion by saying that the stars do not provide the answer, and provides his own solution with the invention of a mechanical clock. However, it takes Harrison forty years to prove his theory, and he is eventually forgotten in the mists of time. Centuries later, Robert Gould (Jeremy Irons) attempts to restore Harrison's reputation by tracking down and repairing the four clocks he originally constructed.


Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Work From All Concerned 30 Nov 2002
Format:DVD
This film is described as an adaptation of Dava Sobel's book of the same name. It is far more than an adaptation, however. Charles Sturridge took a somewhat threadbare tale and turned it into a stirring, dramatic account of the life, tribulations, and ultimate achievement of the 18th century English horologist, John Harrison. It's not that Sobel's book is poorly written. It is in fact entertaining and engrossing as far as it goes. The trouble is that she doesn't go into enough detail and leaves a lot of questions unanswered for the reader. Sturridge takes up her story and fleshes it out, providing the sort of background and character development that the book lacks. Providing the audience with a parallel storyline involving the WWI veteran, Rupert Gould (briefly noted in Sobel's book) also is a stroke of genius on the writer/director's part. The parallels between the lives of the earlier inventor and the shell-shocked vet are striking and poignant.
It does nothing to hurt Sturridge's cause to have assembled such a sterling British cast. Irons and Gambon have great roles to their credit, but they surpass themselves in this production. Sturridge has demonstrated that he can squeeze good acting out of a virtual lemon such as Ted Danson in Sturridge's adaptation of "Gulliver's Travel." He has far more to work with here, and the results are remarkable. Gambon, perhaps best known to American audiences for his lead role in "The Singing Detective," and the recent "Gosford Park," again delivers the goods in this masterful performance. He captures perfectly his character's idiosyncrasies, vicissitudes and ultimate triumph.
Much Of the series of course focuses on the "chase" for a solution to the longitude problem that plagued seamen for time immemorial.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Viewing 17 Jan 2003
By Steve TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
From the writer and director of the excellent 'Shackleton', this tells the story of the development of a clock which will work at sea-so important a development it saved thousands of lives. This is no dull story but a gripping epic which, thanks to a fine script, sharp editing and excellent main performances from Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon becomes impossible to leave, the equivalent of the unputdownable novel. Highly recommended.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fourth Dimension. 13 Jan 2004
Format:DVD
In the 18th century much had already been achieved in the exploration of the world: In addition to the achievements of Columbus, Cabot , Vespucci, Cartier, da Gama and others in the discovery of the Americas, Portuguese sailors commissioned by Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) had sailed along the western African coast; Bartolomeu Dias (1457-1500) had circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope; Vasco da Gama had been the first explorer to reach India by sea (1498); 1518-19 had seen Francisco Magellan's almost-complete global circumnavigation; in the mid-16th century Portuguese merchants and Jesuit missionaries had made contact with Japan; and about 50 years later the Dutch had established their first trading posts in South-East Asia. On their voyages, these early explorers had overcome storms, hunger, scurvy and uncertainty about their exact course and the feasibility of their aim; and they had suffered from a severe navigational handicap: For while it is comparatively easy to determine latitude, the exact determination of longitude requires consideration of the world's fourth dimension - time. Only the knowledge how long the rotation of the earth vis-a-vis the sun takes from one point to another enables a seaman to determine where precisely he is at any given moment; wherefore he needs to know both the time at his departure port and the time aboard ship. The inability to make that determination invariably adds the danger of getting lost at sea to the perils of every naval voyage (and in fact, even da Gama's Indian expedition was almost derailed by the navigator's miscalculation of his position off the African coast). Read more ›
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fourth Dimension. 28 Dec 2006
Format:DVD
In the 18th century much had already been achieved in the exploration of the world: In addition to the achievements of Columbus, Cabot , Vespucci, Cartier, da Gama and others in the discovery of the Americas, Portuguese sailors commissioned by Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) had sailed along the western African coast; Bartolomeu Dias (1457-1500) had circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope; Vasco da Gama had been the first explorer to reach India by sea (1498); 1518-19 had seen Francisco Magellan's almost-complete global circumnavigation; in the mid-16th century Portuguese merchants and Jesuit missionaries had made contact with Japan; and about 50 years later the Dutch had established their first trading posts in South-East Asia. On their voyages, these early explorers had overcome storms, hunger, scurvy and uncertainty about their exact course and the feasibility of their aim; and they had suffered from a severe navigational handicap: For while it is comparatively easy to determine latitude, the exact determination of longitude requires consideration of the world's fourth dimension -- time. Only the knowledge how long the rotation of the earth vis-a-vis the sun takes from one point to another enables a seaman to determine where precisely he is at any given moment; wherefore he needs to know both the time at his departure port and the time aboard ship. The inability to make that determination invariably adds the danger of getting lost at sea to the perils of every naval voyage (and in fact, even da Gama's Indian expedition was almost derailed by the navigator's miscalculation of his position off the African coast). Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a BRILLIANT Film
Thanks for this. I've lost count of how many of these I've given away. It's an absolutely great film. Watch it!
Published 6 days ago by Mr. R. J. Warmington
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an easy challenge
Well presented and truthful. Our history revealed.Along road to follow and as today the road blocks are there. Thoroughly recommended.
Published 6 days ago by Mike the bike
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good
I bought this and really enjoyed it, it was well worth every penny. I would highly recommend this dvd to all.
Published 17 days ago by MERLIN
5.0 out of 5 stars Religous Bigotry
A little known bit of history where one mans efforts saved countless lives of men that venture to sea which was almost lost due to religious bigotry
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Ann Taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD with a lie from Dava Sobel
I do not doubt the Harrison's importance in the history of marine chronometer, the whole of XIX century the Navy and the other armadas have been finding the longitude with Joseph... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Manuel Capdevila Maresma
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by the book "Longitude" by Dava Sobel
This production fills in a few gaps in the book; well researched gaps.

It is 1714 and due to a need to practically calculate longitude at sea a prize of 20,000 pounds... Read more
Published 3 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars A good adventure based on fact.
I saw the DVD playing at the National Maritime Museum London and it looked pretty authentic.

I was not disappointed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Longitude - A great story
I really enjoyed the film, it was recommended to me by my father who is passionate about history. I vaguely remember watching it on TV many years ago. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tim Morgan
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
I saw this first on television and enjoyed it so much. It was a pleasure to find that it had been released on DVD and I was able to relive one man's struggle against bureaucracy,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Pete Shakles
5.0 out of 5 stars Watchmakers/watchfreaks: must see this one!!!
A must have seen film for people who are interested in clocks and watches.
The first clocks which are able to use when not standing still and still work accurate. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joris Hoen
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