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Shackleton [DVD]

Kenneth Branagh , Lorcan Cranitch , Charles Sturridge    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: 8.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Shackleton [DVD] + South [1919] [DVD] + Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic
Price For All Three: 24.83

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Product details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Lorcan Cranitch, Kevin McNally, Nicholas Rowe, Chris Larkin
  • Directors: Charles Sturridge
  • Producers: Selwyn Roberts
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Channel 4
  • DVD Release Date: 19 May 2008
  • Run Time: 206 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00158FK1K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,000 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Shackleton is not a biopic of the great Anglo-Irish explorer but a dramatisation of the failed trans-Antarctic expedition of 1914-16. As written and directed by Charles (Longtitude) Sturridge the production, filmed on real ice floes in Greenland, stays remarkably close to the facts, capturing the look of the surviving expedition photos of Frank Hurley (collected in the book South With Endurance) with great fidelity. Kenneth Branagh makes no attempt at an authentic accent but otherwise gives a powerful impression of a most commanding personality. When the expedition ship Endurance became locked in the Antarctic ice Shackleton vowed to bring every man home alive, and against virtually impossible odds, including a 700-mile journey in an open boat through some of the worst seas in the world, he did just that. This superlative mini-series realises the story with production values and cinematography which would not disgrace a big-budget feature (Hurley's own 1919 documentary film can be seen on video in South). Intense physical drama, strong performances and Adrian Johnston's fine score combine here to deeply moving effect, marred only a little by a rushed conclusion. With Roland Huntford, author of the definitive Shackleton biography, as production advisor, this easily stands as the benchmark for all future comparable films. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

Writer-director Charles Sturridge ('Longitude') presents his version of Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic South Pole adventure. Setting out in 1914, Shackleton (Kenneth Branagh) and his crew set sail for Antarctica, but get into trouble when their ship, the Endurance, becomes stuck in pack ice. Abandoning the doomed vessel, Shackleton then takes the only course of action available, and sets out on foot, determined to lead his ailing crew to safety.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Some people probably think that a film of ice and snow is boring but Shackleton is definately not. Great acting makes it a very moving film,the action keeps you on the edge of your seat and the script brings you close to tears. This adventure film is definately a film to watch, if you want to experience a whole new (frozen) land.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greats 19 May 2009
By Jim-Jim
Ernest Shackleton is one of the greatest explorers of all time, and this stands as a testament to the man. Branagh subtlety conveys the man who was addicted to exploring the unknown and the two-part series does not shy away from his extra-marital affair. Excellent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost brilliant, but... 8 Aug 2008
By R. Kay
I SO wanted to give this five stars. If I would ever claim to have a hero, Shackleton is the man I would name and this could have been the defining biopic of his tremendous adventure in the Antarctic in 1914-1916. It has the directorial heft of Charles Sturridge (Brideshead Revisited. Need I say more?), who also wrote the screen play but it has it faults:

1) What a shame it was filmed in Greenland rather than the correct hemisphere. I know this was due to the problem of finding manageable conditions in which to work but it's a bit like finding that a film about Lawrence of Arabia was shot in Nevada.
2) In the course of the 3hr20min film, far too much concentration is placed on the fundraising and organisational preamble. Important to a degree, this nonetheless feels like too long an overture for a great action story.
3) The story is essentially composed of four parts: the escape from the ice on the floes, the journey of the James Caird, the plight of those on Elephant Island and the epic crossing of South Georgia. The first of these is well done, though too compressed to show how arduous it really was. The second part is a pretty poor cop out, with only one shot of the Caird at sea as it approaches the mighty wave (we get no sense of how vital Worsley's navigation was or the relief of sighting land that saved the six men from heading,lost,into the Atlantic). The existence of those men left on Elephant Island is underplayed (we get no sense of their feeling of helplessness after months without relief, nor any sense of their awful life huddled under two boats living on penguin offal and seaweed). The extraordinary crossing of South Georgia is almost treated as a Sunday walk and the actors' depiction of their utter exhaustion is rather hammed up.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of a true story 19 Mar 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having just returned from Antarctica myself I was inspired to buy this video. It's factually correct details and the story of the heroics involved made the film gripping from start to finish. Despite the fact it appears the whole venture could have been avoided when Shackleton was warned of heavy ice that particular year, it makes one wonder if it was all necessary. And in actual fact knowing he made the conscious decision to set out nearly cost the lives of him and his men. Nevertheless, it is an amazing story of survival and heroics and definitely worth watching if you have the slightest interest in Antarctica or Shackleton.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping,well portrayed,a must see video 11 Jan 2002
Format:VHS Tape
this must be one of the best productions i have ever had the pleasure of watching, never having written a review like this before, i am moved to do so on this occasion, and just beg you to see it, it is well cast,well written, produced,directed etc, etc, a very worthy offering of how it must have been for those 28 men, dogs and the cat, a truly great tribute to these fine men has been captured for us all to re-live on celluloid, it truly is a classic of our time, it underlines a favourite expression of mine "the magic of celluloid" = you are transported back to pre first world war, the threat of which looms over the world, sir ernest, is earnestly (pardon the frivolity) seeking funding for another shot at exploring antartica, the flavour and emotions of the times are vividly recorded, and you are entranced by the whole thing, hardly wanting to pause for breath, in case you miss a syllable, or a fleeting action.highly commended, please dont deprive yourself of a truly compelling 4 hours viewing, like a good book, you wont put it down, finally i must thank all concerned in this production, the memories will linger for many a year, believe me. a.g.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Sir Ernest Shackleton. A man with many flaws, but when it came to the crunch he was definitely the man for the hour. This magnificent TV epic tells the story of his ill fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, probably his most famous adventure. As any schoolboy knows, his ship the Endurance was frozen into Antarctic ice and eventually sank, leaving the 28 men to make an epic journey by foot and open boat back to civilisation. It's one of the greatest stories of survival ever told, and makes Bear Grylls' exploits look a bit tame.

The production takes the time to show Shackleton's character, showing the events in the years preceding the expedition, the germination of the idea, the fund-raising and the crew selection. This segment shows the flaws in Shackleton, his sometimes flighty and selfish nature. While some of the scenes of crew selection might seem far fetched and odd, these are in fact pretty close to the truth. When the expedition starts Shackleton the leader comes to the fore, and the film is relentless in its depiction of the year of suffering and survival in the most extreme conditions on earth that these men endured. Shackleton is brilliantly played by Kenneth Branagh, who brings all the essential traits of the man to screen.

This is largely Branagh's show and other characters do not get so much development (despite an almost 3.5 hour runtime), but they are played by a host of talented British character actors who do well with the limited material given to them, and almost all manage to bring their characters to life and make a memorable impression.

I am familiar with the expedition (I recommend
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read x
Published 22 days ago by Christine McDermott
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
brilliant very well put together on this true story I read the book a long time ago
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant tv series
Outstanding. A fantastic story, brilliantly told. The acting and dialogue are superb, the story is moving, It is gruelling, of course, but almost flawless.
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Gavron
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites
This is a classic in our family to be watched again and again. Made me research the outspoken carpenter who was bypassed for the Polar Medal despite being one of the most... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Steve F
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Well, it couldn't be anything else with Branagh, could it? Having recently been to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands and seen where Shackleton came ashore ithe... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nina
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellent
One of the best dramas I have ever seen. Kenneth Branagh is superb as Shackleton. I would highly recommend this.
Published 8 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational True Story
Branagh is excellent as Shackleton who he portrays as a brilliant and inspirational leader despite other character flaws that affected his personal life ca great film about a true... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mike Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring stuff
I first watched this as a drama for TV. After wasting a few hours of my life watching American films with poor story lines matched only be mediocre acting I decided to spend a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Gary Quinnell
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The film is not historically accurate and there were lots of anachronisms and several unexplained sequences. Also total run time is excessive: over 2 hours. Read more
Published 17 months ago by E Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
of My best Expedition, Falkland- Southgeorgia - Antarctic -Peninsula, and à great Lecture on Board, Alexandra Shakelton, i live in Sweden ( born in Austria )
Published 18 months ago by Josef Hinterlechner
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