‘Had we lived, I should have had a tale to tell of the hardihood, endurance, and courage of my companions which would have stirred the heart of every Englishman. These rough notes and our dead bodies must tell the tale.’
These words were among the very last written by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, as he and his team lay weak and trapped in a howling gale on 29 March 1912 on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica. All five members of the team who marched all the way to the South Pole on the so-called Terra Nova expedition (only to discover the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them by a few mere weeks) would run out of fuel and food, and, ultimately, one-by-one, perish in the cold.
These are also, however, some of the most moving lines from the 1948 film Scott of the Antarctic, which sought to tell the story of Scott’s final, ultimately tragic, expedition. For nearly 70 years, it has won praise for it’s dramatic and unforgiving depiction of the bleak conditions the team faced on their long, cold march across Antarctica, bringing home to audiences quite how extreme the environment Scott was bravely facing all those years ago.
On Monday 19 December, join legendary explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the author of books including Cold and Colder, for a special screening of Scott of the Antarctic Ealing Studio’s classic and ambitious film, at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Brought to you by the BFI and STUDIOCANAL, it will be followed by a special Q&A session with Sir Ranulph himself.
The film received a brand new Blu-Ray and DVD release earlier this year, after being restored from its original Technicolor three strip negative, as part of the BFI’s Unlocking Film Heritage programme. With Sir John Mills cast in the role of Scott, alongside a strong supporting cast including Harold Warrender, Derek Bond, Reginald Beckwith, James Robertson Justice, Kenneth More, John Gregson, Diana Churchill and Sir Christopher Lee, it reveals the genuine daring and adventure which drove these great explorers to undertake this iconic endeavour.