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Shackleton (2002)

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Kenneth Branagh, Phoebe Nicholls, more...
Director: Charles Sturridge, Charles Sturridge
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Studio: A&E Home Video
Genre: Foreign, Television, British TV, Adventure, UK, Miniseries
Languages: English
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All but forgotten at the time of his death in 1922, controversial British explorer Ernest Shackleton would enjoy a rediscovery of sorts decades later, with dozens of books and filmed documentaries devoted to his "magnificent blunder" -- the failed Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1916. On the sheer weight of his dynamic personality, Shackleton was able to mount an exploratory journey to the Antarctic, accompanied by a crew of 27 men, among them celebrated Australian photographer Frank Day. Alas, Shackleton's ship was crushed by packing ice early in the expedition, forcing the crew to brave the merciless polar elements for a full ten months. Making matters worse, public concern over Shackleton's plight was shunted aside when Great Britain entered WWI. First telecast in England on January 2 and 3, 2002, the two-part TV biopic Shackleton stars Kenneth Branagh in the title role. The script does not shirk away from the subject's less savory character traits, including his disastrous financial dealings and his blatant unfaithfulness to wife Emily (Phoebe Nicholls). Nonetheless, one emerges from the film with a renewed respect and admiration for the visionary Shackleton and his bedraggled companions. Much of the imagery in Shackleton was based upon the still-surviving films made on the scene by Frank Day, adding extra authenticity to the drama even though the film was made in Greenland and Iceland rather than the Antarctic. The two-part film made its American TV debut courtesy of the A&E cable network on April 7 and 8, 2002; shortly afterward, Shackleton was released on DVD, with four additional hours of documentary footage. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

This is disc 1 of a 3 volume set. For the complete mini-series, please rent Shackleton (Disc 2 of 3). For bonus features, please rent Shackleton (Disc 3 of 3).

GreenCine Member Ratings

Shackleton (Disc 1 of 3) (2002)
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6.55 (11 votes)
Shackleton (Disc 2 of 3) (2002)
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7.00 (11 votes)
Shackleton (Disc 3 of 3) (2002)
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6.83 (6 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Except for a few small icebergs, a great movie by underdog August 30, 2002 - 4:49 PM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
A hard story to mess up -- Shackleton's legendary, ill-fated journey to cross Antarctica is brought to life in this well made drama. Branagh is perfectly cast as the hard-nosed commander. The biggest problem with this made-for-cable two parter is how the first part spends far too much time dwelling on Shackleton's home life and setting up the expedition. Some of that is certainly necessarily, and it's compelling to see him assemble his crew, and as well it's important to know something about his troubled marriage, etc. But after awhile, you just want them to cut to the chase. And when they do, it's good. Harrowing, at times, but always exciting. So if you can navigate your way through the first third, the rest is great. (Except when they choose near the end to cut back and forth between Antarctica and what's happening in England. Who cares?) Overall, this is well worth your time, though, the best fictionalized version of the story -- that is, until Wolfgang Peterson's Endurance film comes out.

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