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The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

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Overview

This film concerns the harrowing exploits of Ernest Shackleton, a man who attempted to cross Antarctica but instead stranded his crew in ice. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the documentary arrives on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. English and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary recorded by director George Butler, a featurette providing even more...
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Overview

This film concerns the harrowing exploits of Ernest Shackleton, a man who attempted to cross Antarctica but instead stranded his crew in ice. Narrated by Liam Neeson, the documentary arrives on DVD with a widescreen anamorphic transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Surround. English and French subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary recorded by director George Butler, a featurette providing even more historical background on the subject of the film, and trailers. This is a strong release from Columbia/TriStar.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; "Beyond the Endurance" featurette; Director's commentary; Isolated score; Digitally mastered audio and anamorphic video; Widescreen presentation; Audio: English (Dolby Surround); Subtitles: English and French; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Animated selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Todd Kristel
Despite a few sluggish passages, The Endurance is a generally well-crafted and compelling account of a true-life story. Director George Butler and his crew deftly intersperse the different source materials -- archival footage and still photos, contemporary footage of the ship's route, radio interviews with survivors, talking-heads interviews with a polar historian and descendants of survivors, and diary excerpts read by actors -- to create a straightforward, linear account of the voyage. This is a fairly conventional approach for a documentary, but it works fine in this particular instance, and there are several reasons to watch this movie. One reason is to see Frank Hurley's striking photographs and 35 mm footage from the expedition (which can also been seen in the 1919 silent film South); these images give The Endurance a sense of immediacy that raises it above the standard historical documentary. Another reason to watch this film is to learn more about Shackleton himself. The Endurance's hagiography seems a bit excessive when it emphasizes Shackleton's courage and tenacity while downplaying his crew's accomplishments; but it is refreshing to see a film about a strong-willed explorer whose obsession with personal glory didn't prevent him from understanding the value of people's lives. Above all else, this film is a portrait of a leader; the viewer learns how Shackleton arranged haircutting competitions and gramophone concerts to preserve morale, persuaded disgruntled crew members to follow his orders, and drove his crew to remarkable physical feats that enabled them to survive. While the movie doesn't provide a lot of background information on Shackleton or his crew, it does place their experiences in a broader historical context and describes (albeit briefly) how the values of the age of exploration were changed by WWI. Unfortunately, the latter part of the film is somewhat of a letdown because it covers the part of the voyage when Hurley had to stop photographing; the visuals aren't as compelling because of the relative lack of archival material. Nonetheless, the story line itself is engrossing enough to hold viewers' interest until the end.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/2/2003
  • UPC: 043396006874
  • Original Release: 2000
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:37:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Liam Neeson Voice Only
Technical Credits
George Butler Director, Producer
Caroline Alexander Executive Producer, Screenwriter
Paula S. Apsell Executive Producer
Joseph Dorman Screenwriter
Terrence Malick Executive Producer
Peter Miller Sound/Sound Designer
Edward R. Pressman Executive Producer
Phyllis Ryan Executive Producer
Mike Ryan Executive Producer
Sandi Sissel Cinematographer
Michael Small Score Composer
Andy Wiskes Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start
2. A Daring Scheme
3. The Endurance
4. South Georgia
5. Frank Hurley
6. The Enemy: Pack Ice
7. An Exhausting Bid for Freedom
8. Trapped Until Spring
9. Ominous Forces at Work
10. Abandon Ship
11. The Endurance Sinks
12. Dwelling on a Colossal Ice Raft
13. The Second March
14. Patience Camp
15. The Ice Disintegrates Around Them
16. Departure to Deception Island
17. Disaster Strikes
18. Helpless on the Black Sea
19. Elephant Island
20. Moment of Departure
21. Worsley's Challenge
22. Journey's End [2:04]
23. A Terrible Setback
24. The Crossing of South Georgia
25. Survival on Elephant Island
26. A Ship!
27. The Modern World
28. 1921: The Final Expedition
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary By Director George Butler: On
      Commentary By Director George Butler: Off
      Isolated Score: On
      Isolated Score: Off
      Beyond the Endurance
         Play All
         The Tale of the Endurance
         In the Wake of Shackleton
         Iconic Images
         Past and Present
      Trailers
         The Endurance
         Anne Frank Remembered
         Vertical Limit
   Subtitles
      English
      French/Fran├žais
      Subtitles: Off
   Trailers
      The Endurance
      Anne Frank Remembered
      Vertical Limit
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Gripping and inspiring

    I have given this dvd as a gift to more than one person I love, when I have known that his or her own spirit of courage, tenacity or adventure will resonate with this amazing account of Ernest Shackleton and The Endurance.

    How few opportunities there are to SEE with our own eyes the recorded grainy bits of black and white footage in life of true adventurers of times long past, and men tested by adversity and obstacles unimaginable to us.

    There is a point in the narrative at which I always cry, moved by the heart of the leader intent on rescuing all his men alive. And always I come to the end of the account and my life feels so very small, but I am awed at the spirit of man, the courage, the ability to endure, endure, endure... and the banding together of souls in all its beauty and ugliness, when men are battling together to conquer something... be it enemy, elements, fear, or death.

    An incredibly moving tribute to real-life adventurers and survivors, and the leadership of a particular man, and a piece of history often forgotten. I cannot recommend it highly enough for those who love to learn of such things.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Shackleton's legendary Antarctic Expedition

    This story based on the photographs of Hurley and the diaries of several of the members of the expedition, including Worsley , Hurley, Shackleton and OrdeLees retells in their own words perhaps the greatest ocean adventure of all times. In Shackleton's own words, `We had reached the naked soul of man.' The shipwreck on the Weddell Sea ice, the open boat trip to Elephant Island, the epic voyage of the James Caird with its six crew to South Georgia, the crossing of South Georgia by Shackleton, Creen and Worsley, and the wintering of the 22 left behind on Elephant Island makes a story of epic proportions. Included in the photography using the original Hurley plates are recollections from descendants and up to date footage offilm of the ocean and the ice. A DVD that should be shown in every High School. It epitomizes, courage, endurance, compassion and humanity. This is one of the most outstanding DVD's I have ever purchased.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

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    Posted January 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews