This film is part of Free
Southward on the "Quest"
Potent record of the 1921 Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic expedition, marked by the death of Sir Ernest Shackleton.
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s fourth and final voyage to Antarctica marked the end of the “Heroic Age” of Antarctic exploration. Restless after the War, the great explorer originally intended to go north to the Arctic, but instead planned a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent to map around 2000 miles of uncharted coastline and take soundings to investigate the possibility of an underwater continental connection between Africa and America. Although most of this film was shot after Shackleton’s death, the first shot shows the great man bathing and “Query”, the expedition’s dog, on board the Quest. Some views of Grytviken, South Georgia, were taken before Shackleton’s sudden death there, of a coronary thrombosis.
The ship, under Frank Wild, sailed to Montevideo, from where they intended to send the body back to England, but Lady Shackleton requested that they bury him on South Georgia. On the ship’s return members of the expedition and crew were filmed visiting Shackleton’s grave and erecting a memorial cairn. We know very little about the film: JC Bee-Mason, having filmmaking and expedition experience, was appointed as cinematographer, but succumbed to seasickness and was forced to quit the ship at Madeira. Hubert Wilkins, who had been his cabin mate in the ship’s darkroom, undertook the rest of the filming.
1920 13 mins Silent
Wildlife in the remote South Atlantic, captured during the ill-fated Shackleton-Rowett Expedition
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Travelogue 1959 8 mins Silent
Scenes from a documentary or educational programme filmed in South America on the subject of how to prepare for an expedition.
1926 40 mins
Compelling travel feature edited from footage of the 1925-26 Worsley Algarsson Arctic expedition.
Travelogue 1926 1 mins
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Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
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Inside Film 2024 16 mins
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Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
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Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.