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on 23 December 2006
If you're after a copy of Scott of the Antarctic starring John Mills, with the superb filmscore by Vaughan Williams, this Optimum Classic is the transfer to get. Given the age of the film (released 1948), the colour photography is vibrant, and the sound crisp and clear in this transfer. Don't make the mistake I made of ordering 905 Entertainment's cheaper but very inferior transfer available from (this looks as if it was trasferred from a video copy, with colours washed out - looking rather like coloured-in black and white - and a soundtrack that sounds both muffled and harsh).
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on 29 December 2006
This is a classic film, not least for the superb score by Vaughan Williams. But don't be tempted by the low price to buy this transfer (from 905 Entertainment): the picture quality - fuzzy with the colours washed out - looks as if it's taken from a VHS copy, and the sound is both muffled and harsh (with the first chord of Vaughan Williams' score clipped). You'd be far better off getting the Optimum classic Region 2 transfer, which has vibrant colours and a very acceptable soundtrack.
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on 31 March 2008
The company selling this product should be expelled from Amazon. I have never watched a worse quality dvd in my life, and of a film I have seen many times of television and enjoyed. Avoid all business with these cowboys.
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This is a first-class film but, as has been said of Vaughan Williams' Pastoral Symphony, it is one in which not very much happens. Vaughan Williams wrote the film score and subsequently turned it into an edition for concert performance as his Symphony No.7. The film is about the ill-fated journey made by Robert Falcon Scott (John Mills) and his companions to the Antarctic in 1910-12. There were over a dozen of them when they first landed on the Antarctic ice so that they had enough men to make partial journeys towards the Pole and create signposts and food stores. The party also included many fine scientists, as this expedition was a scientific one and not merely a challenging adventure. The complete journey involved a trek of nearly 1000 miles over ice-fields, glaciers and crevasses. The scenery is spectacular in a forbidding sort of way and the courage and determination of the men is well portrayed. Those who accompanied Scott on the last leg of the journey reaching the South Pole were Lawrence Oates (Derek Bond), P.O. `Taff' Evans (James Robertson Justice), Lt. Bowers (Reginald Beckwith) and Dr E.A. Wilson (Harold Warrender). Unfortunately, a rival team led by Norwegian Amundsen had arrived at the Pole a month earlier. Scott and his men all died on the return journey. An epic atmospheric film, well acted.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 March 2012
Whilst more recent documentaries might be more accurate and better told, technically, this just-after-the-war Technicolor British 'Pride' docu-drama is both stirring and patriotic.

With one of the best cinematographers that ever lived behind the camera, the great, late Jack Cardiff, the snowy wastes (actually filmed in Norway) are a far cry from the cheeky, monochromatic East End comedies of other Ealing's.

The much-loved John Mills plays and narrates as Captain Scott, whilst there's rousing support from the familiar faces of Kenneth Moore, John Gregson and James Robertson Justice. The stiff upper lip is never far away as bravely, first Scott rallies for funds to pay for the trip and then undertaking it.

There's humour, comradeship, sadness and glorious spectacle in this and I'm sure the at-times dastardly and enthusiastic playing was more for cinematic appeal than the original trek must have been. When it was originally shown, the film must have seemed like a breath of fresh air, being so different to what was normally in the cinema. Location shooting being expensive, abroad more so and in such a hostile environment, a real achievement.

We all know the outcome but it's the journey getting there and this film, very well made and entertaining to watch, does the memory of Scott and his endeavours, proud.
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The Brits love nothing so much as their heroic failures, and Scott of the Antarctic is pretty much the poster boy for Imperial underachievers, thanks in part to the publishing success his very heavily edited diary (none of those crabby bits blaming everyone else for his own mistakes that you'll find in the more recently published unexpurgated version made the initial cut) and a neat bit of mythmaking from J.M. Barrie, who crafted a more noble heroic death for him. Surprisingly, although it doesn't dare to criticize and does play down Scott's awkwardness and snobbery, Ealing's beautifully lensed color epic holds back from deifying him despite acknowledging his undoubted courage, offering a more sober portrait than you might expect. Amundsen is purely an offscreen presence here, despite proffering the sneaking suspicion that he's a bit of a bounder and a cad for getting there first by being competent (not the British way of exploring at all!), and legendary Norwegian Arctic pioneer Nansen only gets a brief look in, but then this is more a film about stoic endurance in the face of `bad luck' (rather than bad leadership, bad decisions and bad planning) than the race for the South Pole. John Mills is surprisingly good casting for Scott, his slight awkwardness with others suggesting he'd done his homework (his gutted reaction to reaching the Pole second is convincingly bitter), and the supporting cast is full of welcome mainstays of the British film industry - Kenneth More, James Robertson Justice (without a beard for once!), Reginald Beckwith et al. Although the integration with the studio work isn't always entirely convincing, the location photography is genuinely staggering and Vaughn Williams score is impressively forlorn.

The extras-free UK DVD is only an okay transfer that could be improved by a remaster but it's significantly better than the US verson
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on 12 January 2014
This was the first film that I was allowed to see on the big screen. I use the word "allowed" carefully because those were the days in which a parent controlled what a child did, played or watched. I believe it is called parental responsibilty for those who are new to the concept. Robert Falcon Scott was a man who had many fixed ideas, some of which were immovable. He and his team achieved much, He made mistakes, which we can see with limited knowledge of the precise circumstances and the huge advantage of hindsight. He might not have been first to the South Pole, but the scientific knowledge brought back was at that stage priceless. I am fortunate enough to live in a suburb which has a Captain Scott Road and branching off it Roads bearing the names of Wilson, Bowers, Oates and Evans. There is even a Terra Nova Road. Poignant reminders of what took place over a hundred years ago now. If you can drag youself away from the flickering screen, you could do much worse than reading "The Worst Journey in the World" by Aspley Cherry-Gerrard and "Scott of the Antarctic" by Elspeth Huxley. Vaughan Williams' evocative score does more than capture the Antarctic atmosphere.
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on 27 April 2001
Wonderful cinematography, and Vaughan Williams deeply moving "soundtrack" (later incorporated in his Symphony Antarctica) combine to make this sweeping documentary-style epic a memorable movie.
Some of the early sets, before arriving in Antarctica, are a little wobbly, but this just highlights the wondful Antarctic scenery.
I couldn't work out whether the acting was wooden, or whether the director wanted Scott to come over as wooden. Either way, some of the acting seems somewhat dodgy. But the film is over half a century old.
Scotts original diary appears a few times. Scotts famous last diary entry is as poignant in the film as when reading it in Antarctic histories. A spectular movie. For lovers of antartic history, or the natural history of the continent, this film is a must.
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on 13 May 2014
In a nutshell, one of British cinema's greats. The story of Scott's ill-starred Antarctic expedition is well known so there's no need for further comment.
The film views beautifully and, having seen so many wretched VHS transfers, that's a real plus. The sound is good and the music marvellous. This is the edition to own.
Of course, in 90 minutes, there's only so much ground you can cover, so to speak, and the film glosses and glorifies the expedition. Nevertheless, it is an important film and belongs in any film lover's library.
Also, try spotting the names that would go on to bigger things.
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on 3 March 2013
Arrived on time,excwellent picture quality,good value for money.I found no dislikes with product,this product met my expectations,very good packaging and clearly advertised.
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