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BMZ Review: Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
By Ross Anthony


Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: June 6, 2001


Category: Reviews

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure is an awesome adventure story told as a legend by Kevin Spacey. Spacey practically narrated the film "Iron Will" (about Alaskan dogsled racing);  combined with his recent celebrity, this seems to make him the obvious choice. However, this is not some of his best voice work.

The Story: in 1914, already a hero in England, adventurer Sir Ernest Shackleton sets out to be the first man to cross Antarctica on foot (or at least 2/3's of it as shown by the map graphics).

"Men wanted for dangerous journey: low wages, bitter cold... safe return doubtful."  With a flier bearing these enticing words, Shackleton recruited 27 enthusiastic seamen and explorers, built a ship and set sail to the bottom of the world.

Suffice to say, due to insurmountable obstacle after insurmountable obstacle, they never achieved their goal. But the true amazement of it all is that well over a year later, every single man returned. This Big Movie is the recreation of the storms, ice drifts, hunger and ultimately undying determination that lead to this myth-like accomplishment.

Much of the cinematography is very good, occasionally breathtaking, peppered with wonderful sepia still (and motion) images from Shackleton's onboard photographer Frank Hurley.

Interjected almost awkwardly is a short act in which two modern day climbers walk the same 30-mile crevice-laden stretch Shackleton had to traverse without state of the art equipment.

Still, it's an extremely compelling story. At my particular screening, an audience of large format filmmakers, cinematographers, producers, and exhibitors gave it a long applause.

IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.

Copyright (C) 2001. 
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  For more reviews visit:

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