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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving adventure tale, that is not to be missed
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.
Published on 4 Jan 2002

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25 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I read the book Endurance just before seeing the film Shackleton, and I have to say I was very disappointed with the film. More than a third of the film takes place in England, dealing with the fundraising for the expedition, an extra-marital affair, and a rather inconsequential problem of Shackleton's brother commiting fraud and spending time in prison. I was...
Published on 16 Oct 2003


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very moving adventure tale, that is not to be missed, 4 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
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 (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
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 "omniphiliac" (West Country) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
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. The greatest part of the whole story - three of these four parts - is dealt with in a hurried forty minutes and it's not enough.
4) If I were being really pedantic, I would criticise the appearance of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley as they arrive in Grytviken. They should have looked filthy, bedraggled, at the point of collapse, blistered and wasted. Sure, they look tired but Branagh has neat hair, a fluffy but neat beard and no appearance of the unspeakable devastation of their condition.

But, the good points are as follows:
1) Thank you, Mr Sturridge, for attempting a film that needed to be made.
2) The characters of Shackleton, Crean, Worsley, McIlroy, Orde-Lees, Hurley, Marston and McNeish are brilliantly caught, especially Orde-Lees.
3) The scenery, albeit in Greenland, is breathtaking.
4) The historical authenticity of the ship, the clothing, the props and the spirit of the era are all excellent.
5) Shackleton's charisma is well portrayed by Branagh - he had a remarkable personal charm and a hugely endearing rogueish appeal to women - and Branagh gets this over well but couldn't he have at least tried to emulate Shackleton's Kildare brogue?
6) The leadership of Shackleton was essential to the whole expedition. He inspired terrific loyalty in (almost) all his mean and they did what he said (almost) without question which is a mighty achievement in such desperate circumstances. That skill comes across well.

Lastly, can someone please try to make a modern film about Scott and Amundsen? By 2012, there will be a golden opportunity to capitalise on the centenary of their remarakable exploits.

Overall, a great film that makes you grateful for a warm dry bed and good fresh food but I wish it didn't feel as though they were running out of time and money 2/3 of the way through.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of a true story, 19 Mar 2009
By 
D. Andrews - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
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
This review is from: Shackleton [VHS] [2002] (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Shackleton - Stirring tale of one man's indomitable spirit beating all the odds, 22 Dec 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
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 South: The story of Shackleton's last expedition 1914 - 1917: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-17 which is Shacleton's own account of the journey, in this edition you can see many of Hurley's pictures, and South [1919] [DVD], the BFI release of the film that Hurley shot), and have to congratulate the producers on accuracy. Many of the actors bear an uncanny resemblance to their real life counterparts. Many scenes are shot to correspond with Hurley's photos and movies. The story is told as accurately as possible from diaries and logs of the team, and where dialogue has been made up it is totally fitting.

It was a heroic struggle, and Shackleton managed to get each and every man home alive. It was his spirit, his leadership that did it. This film portrays this feat with a sense of drama and battling against the odds that is not contrived. It's an excellent portrayal of one of the last great adventures. If the film has a flaw it is that it makes no discussion of the fate of the Ross party - who were due to land supplies on Antarctica in a series of depots for Shackleton to be able to make his trans continental crossing. They had just as interesting series of adventures, and Shackleton himself was involved right at the end. But this is a minor niggle as the rest of the film is a magnificent, dramatic, heroic, real life boys own adventure of the highest quality. 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting drama, 12 July 2011
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
Armchair travel at its most exciting! Not that I would want to be with Shackleton on this voyage for one moment, but it certainly makes for gripping viewing. Perfectly paced, beautifully shot and brilliantly acted. Funny, moving, harrowing and educational. Really a fine piece of drama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic story beautifully handled. Full marks., 8 July 2011
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
Shackleton's story is so unbelievable it had to be true. A 90 minute movie would not have been able to give you a true sense of the privations they had to endure and the mountains (at times literal) they had to climb to stay alive, so this mini-series approach is spot-on. It allows sufficient time for character development so you care about what they experience later on.

Surprisingly little detail is lost when compared to the book, although perhaps not quite enough is mentioned of their increasingly meagre and putrid rations, their rotting deerskins made for dry cold conditions not the stormy seas.

Excellent cinematography combines with location filming that does real justice to their environment.

Despite all their privations, this is not a depressing account at all. It restores your faith in some of the better human qualities such as loyalty, determination and...endurance. An excellent and moving portrayal. I just wish Hollywood opened its lazy eyes and started producing stuff like this for the masses.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supreme Edwardian adventure., 24 May 2011
By 
A. S. Edwards (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] (DVD)
This is the thoroughly inspirational story of a man of his times. Ernest Shackleton achieved furthest South before the Scott Vs Amundsen race to the pole. This DVD covers Shackletons second and most famous adventure the attempt of the Antarctic crossing.

The DVD is a two part series devised between Channel 4 and ABC - it is an excellent dramatisation and at no point in the 205 minutes does it become boring. Brannagh is simply brilliant as are the vivid effects and the rest of the crew and those who waited back home. Frank Hurley, Frank Wild, Tom Cream and all the other legendary figures are there. It has a delightful period feel to it, in fact one of the most dramatic parts is not related to the adventure but to the entry of Britain into the first world war. This film truly captures an age of Edwardian exploration and of Britain on the eve of change.

The story is an epic and anyone not versed in the polar exploration legends will find it fascinating, anyone with an understanding of the subject will feel gnawed by a restlessness throughout.

The DVD is a two part dramatisation with a break in the middle so can be watched over two nights if desired.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent adaptation, 27 April 2002
This review is from: Shackleton [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This is a faithful and compelling dramatisation of Shackleton's 1914 southern expedition. Branagh is convincing in the title role, and the characterisations of Crean, Orde-Lees and McNeish are especially insightful and finely portrayed. The pace of the story is a little hurried towards the end, and the details of the rescue of the crew of the Endurance from Elephant Island after Shackleton's crossing of South Georgia have essentially been omitted, but this does not detract from an otherwise splendid adaptation of an inspirational tale of triumph in the face of adversity.
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Shackleton [DVD] [2002] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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