With Byrd at the South Pole (1930)

Approved   |    |  Documentary, Adventure


With Byrd at the South Pole (1930) Poster

Account of Admiral Byrd's 1928 expedition to the South Pole. Academy award winning cinematography.


7/10
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Writer:

Julian Johnson (titles)

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19 October 2017 | bkoganbing
7
| The first Little America
In the days of the high living Roaring 20s one of the heroes of the age was Admiral Richard E. Byrd. His two polar flights like Lindbergh's across the Atlantic stirred the adventurous spirit in us all. Unlike Lindbergh he never got the adverse publicity of questionable politics, nor suffered an overwhelming tragedy like the kidnapping of a son.

Byrd, of the one of the oldest of American families, the Byrds of Virginia was in that order a naval officer and a scientist as well. The expedition to the South Pole and the establishment of the first Little America base was for science and exploration and not conquest. After a couple of centuries one of the more hopeful signs about mankind is that the occupation and exploration of Antarctica is being done cooperatively.

Every expedition to the Antarctic had Byrd establishing a base camp that he named Little America. The last he was on established a permanent one. The one you see them constructing was a temporary shelter for the expedition members and was taken down and abandoned after the expedition left as were the others until the fifth and last one.

This was the first documentary to win any kind of Oscar recognition and it was for cinematography. The shots of the men, the sled dogs and the penguins, whales, and seals and all interacting with each other were wonderful. But I suspect that the film got the recognition it did also for the sheer difficulty of filming in such a hostile environment. That usable footage came back at all was itself a miracle.

Admiral Byrd and the men who went with them were some of the best and brightest in America at the time and real heroes. Glad we have this Oscar recognized chronicle of what they did.

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Documentary | Adventure

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