Date: 11 March 2002
Should have suspected something was amiss when I noticed in the opening credits that seven (or was it eight?) "executive producers" worked on this movie. Possibly one in charge of old footage,another who checked out stills, a third responsible for finding grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Antarctic explorers, and so on? My point? They probably needed a ninth, to put it all together to make a film worth the price of admission.
Instead of a movie, you get an hour and a half of a schools program documentary, a pastiche of old film, stills, and modern shots of pack-ice (very pretty, but fairly predictable and treacherous), plus interviews with a polar historian and descendants of some of Shackleton's men. The descendants and the historian seem rather like out-takes from a Monty Python show. The sled dogs, even more innocent victims of Shackleton's grandiosity than the men, are lovely; all get shot as food runs out, and the second lot get eaten too (the dogs, that is). Seems that tobacco was a higher planning priority than food.
The one interesting facet of the loony leader was his classs-prejudice, but the film, not notable for following up on anything that might have required a little thought (like how many matches did they take to be able to smoke all those pipes all the time?) neglects to examine this except superficially. (The carpenter who dared question Sir E. doesn't get recommended for a polar medal, but nor -- unexplained -- do two others).
Ask someone to edit the video for you to see the dog photos and footage, but DON'T SEE THIS MOVIE!
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