Representations of Antarctica

Films and Television Programmes

Expeditioner with supply plane

The following is a list of feature film and television productions, in English, dubbed into English or with English subtitles, that depict a fictional storyline with significant Antarctic content, or dramatise an actual event in Antarctica, i.e. any production that is not strictly a non-fiction documentary. The list does not include standard, non-dramatised documentaries about Antarctica or Antarctic-related subjects, such as history or wildlife. It also does not include cartoons or animated short films.

[    A to E |    F to L |   M to Q |    R to Z ]

A to E

Alien Hunter. Dir. Ron Krauss. Perf. James Spader, Janine Eser, and John Lynch. Nu Image Films, 2003.
[Sci-fi film about the discovery of an alien radio signal emitting from within a block of ice in Antarctica.]

Antarctic Journal [Namgeuk Ilgi]. Dir. Im Pil-seong. Perf. Song Gang-ho, Yu Ji-tae, Kim Kyung-ik, Choe Doek-moon and Kang Jye-jung. Sidus Pictures, 2005.
[Mystery/thriller about a six-man team attempting to reach Antarctica's Point of Inaccessibility. When they discover a tattered journal left by a British expedition some 80 years earlier, things start to get a little creepy.]

Antarctica [Nankyoku Monogatari]. Dir. Koreyoshi Kurahara. Perf. Ken Takakura, Tsunehiko Watase, Eiji Okada and Masako Natsume. Twentieth Century Fox, 1983.
[Distributed in Japan by Nippon Herald. Scientists at Japanese research base are forced to abandon their dog team at theonset ofthe polar winter. Back home in Japan, ashamed and disillusioned, they worry about the fate of the dogs. This film wasremade by Walt Disney Pictures as Eight Below, and released in 2006.]

Brass Monkeys. Dir. Kevin Burston. Perf. Graeme Blundell, Paul Chubb, Kevin Golsby and Margie McRae. 13 episodes. Network 7 Australia, 1983–1984.
[The lives of expeditioners at anAustralian Antarctic station become more interesting when a female doctor and Russianexpeditioner join their community.]

The Chef of the South Pole [Nankyoku ryorinin]. Dir. Shuichi Okita. Perf. Masato Sakai, Kengo Kora, and Kosuke Toyohara. Tokyo Theatres Company, 2009. Film.
[Based on two autobiographical novels by Jun Nishimura, this film centres around a research expedition living in Dome Fuji Station near the South Pole]

Conquest of the South Pole. Dir. Gillies MacKinnon. Perf. Stevan Rimkus, Leonard O'Malley, Ewen Bremner and Alastair Galbraith. British Film Institute, 1989.
[TV film adapted from Manfred Karge's play of the same name. Four Scottish men recreate Amundsen's South Polar expedition.]

Deep Freeze. Dir. John Carl Buechler. Perf. Gotz Otto, David Millbern, Alexandra Kamp-Groeneveld and Karen Nieci. A.C.H. GmbH/Frozen Films Inc./Regent Entertainment/Regent Productions, 2003.
[In the US the DVD is titled Ice Crawlers. An Antarctic drilling station is under attack by a killer monster which, according toone reviewer, "resembles a big rubber beetle." Will anyone survive?]

Douglas Mawson: The Survivor. Prod. David Parer. Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1983.
[Dramatic reconstruction of Mawson's ill-fated sledging journey of 1912. See also David Parer and  Mawson: The Survivor (Morwell: Alella Books/Australian Broadcasting Commission, 1983).]

Eight Below. Dir. Frank Marshall. Perf. Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Jason Biggs. Walt Disney Pictures in association with Spyglass Entertainment and Mandeville Films, 2006.
[This is a remake of the 1983 film Antarctica [Nankyoku Monogatari], directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara. That film's producer, Masaru Kakutani, is also a producer of Eight Below.]

F to L

Forbidden Quest. Dir. Peter Delpeut. Perf. Joseph O'Conor and Roy Ward. Ariel Film, 1993.
[This Dutch documentary-style film, distributed in the USA by Zeitgeist Films, combines archival 'Heroic Era' footage with new scenes. The sole survivor of a (fictional) Heroic-Era Dutch Antarctic expedition tells a disturbing and enigmatic tale.]

Happy Feet. Dir. George Miller. Perf. Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving, Robin Williams. Warner Bros/Village Roadshow Pictures/Kennedy Miller Productions/Animal Logic Film, 2006.
[Animated feature film about Mumble, an emperor penguin who dances better than he can sing. His elders reject him, blaming his unorthodox ways for the food shortage threatening the colony. Mumble and his friends set out to discover the true causeof the famine. After many adventures and 'alienencounters',Mumble discovers that his talents could actually savehisfellow penguins.]

Happy Feet Two. Dir. George Miller, Gary Eck, and David Peers. Perf. Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, and Pink. Warner Bros., 2009..
[In this sequel to Happy Feet, Antarctica is still feeling the effects of climate change, and Mumbles the emperor penguin, and his son Erik, must save a colony of penguins from further peril.].]

Hell Below Zero. Dir. Mark Robson. Perf. Alan Ladd, Joan Tetzel, Basil Sydney and Stanley Baker. Warwick Film Productions, 1954.
[Based on Hammond Innes' 1949 novel The White South, this British-made film was released in the US by Columbia. Released on VHS by Goodtimes Home Video in 1990.]

Human Traces. Dir. Nic Gorman. Perf. Sophie Henderson, Mark Mitchinson, Vinnie Bennett, Sarah Wiseman, Peter Daube and Milo Cawthorne. Overactive Imagination/Random Films, 2017.

[A New Zealand psychological thriller set on a Sub-Antarctic research station.]

Ice Bound. Dir. Roger Spottiswoode. Perf. Susan Sarandon, Aidan Devine, Cynthia Mace and Paulino Nunes. Jaffe/Braunstein Films, Miramax Television and Muse Entertainment Enterprises, 2003.
[A US/Canadian film for television, based on the book Ice Bound: A Doctor's Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole by Dr Jerri Nielson and Maryanne Vollers.]

A Journey That Wasn't. Dir. Pierre Huyghe. Perf. Pierre Huyghe. Marian Goodman Gallery, 2006.
[Film that encapsulates Pierre Huyghe's journey to Antarctica with six other artists, and a fictionalised multimedia performance of the journey, performed at New York's Central Park ice-skating rink six months later.]

The Last Place on Earth. Dir. Ferdinand Fairfax. Perf. Stephen Moore, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Martin Shaw, Max Von Sydow and Susan Wooldridge. 7 episodes. Central Television and WBGH, Boston, 1985.
[A dramatisation of the race between Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen to be first to the South Pole. Based on Roland Huntford's Scott and Amundsen (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1979). See also Trevor Griffiths's Judgement Over theDead: The Screenplay of 'The Last Place on Earth' (London: Verso, 1986).]

The Lost Zeppelin. Dir. Edward Sloman. Perf. Conway Tearle, Virginia Valli, Ricardo Cortez, Kathryn McGuire, Winter Hall and Duke Martin. Tiffany Pictures, 1929.

[An early talking picture from the United States about explorers attempting to reach the South Pole when their dirigible crashes.]

M to Q

Mr Forbush and the Penguins. Dir. Arne Sucksdorff and Albert T. Viola. Perf. Hayley Mills, John Hurt, Tony Britton and Dudley Sutton. British Lion, 1971.
[Based on G. Billing's novel Forbush and the Penguins (New York: Holt Rinehart and Winston; London: Hodder Fawcett, 1965). Distributed in the USA by Cinema Shares International as Cry of the Penguins.]

Monty Python (Chapman, G. et al). "Scott of the Sahara". Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words. Vol. 1. London: Methuen, 1989.
[Originally broadcast on BBC TV, 2 December 1970. Script also published in The Wide White Page: Writers Imagine Antarctica. Ed. Bill Manhire. Wellington: Victoria UP, 2004. 173–180.]

The Navy vs the Night Monsters. Dir. Michael A. Hoey. Perf. Mamie Van Doren, Anthony Eisley, Billy Gray, Bobby Van, Pamela Mason and Walter Sande. Standard Club of California Productions, 1966.
[Based on Murray Leinster's Monster From Earth's End (New York: Gold Medal, 1959).]

Nazis at the Centre of the Earth. Dir Joseph J. Lawson. Perf. Dominique Swan, and Jake Busey. The Asylum, 2012. DVD.
[Scientists in Antarctica are abducted by zombie-like Nazi survivors and are taken deep underground to a hidden continent at the centre of the earth, where they have been planning a revival of the Third Reich.]Quick, Before It Melts. Dir. Delbert Mann. Perf. George Maharis, Robert Morse, Anjanette Comer and James Gregory. MGM, 1964.
[Based on Philip Benjamin's novel of the same name. See "Adult Fiction 1950-" bibliography.]

R to Z

Retrograde. Dir. Christopher Kulidowski. Perf. Dolph Lundgren, Silvia De Santis and Joe Montana. Franchise Pictures, 2004.
[South Korean produced sci-fi about two time travellers sent back to an Antarctic research ship to prevent a global biological disaster.]

Scott of the Antarctic. Dir. Charles Frend. Perf. John Mills, Derek Bond, Kenneth More, John Gregson and James Robertson Justice. Ealing Studios and The Rank Organisation Film Productions, 1948.
[Dramatisation of Scott's last journey. An advisor to the film, David James, recounts the making of the film in Scott of the Antarctic: The Film and its Production. London, Convoy, 1948.]

"Seeds of Doom." BBC Dir. Douglas Camfield. Perf. Tom Baker, and Elisabeth Sladen. 1976.
[From the BBC television series Dr Who; originally broadcast 31 Jan–6 March 1976.]

Shackleton. Dir. Charles Sturridge. Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Lorcan Cranitch and Kevin McNally. 2 episodes. Firstsight Films and A&E, 2002.
[Dramatisation of the Endurance Expedition.]

Shackleton. Dir. Martyn Friend. Perf. David Schofield, Paul Hastings, Neil Stacy and David Rodigan. 4 episodes. BBC, 1982.
[Known in the USA as Icebound in the Antarctic.]

Sometimes They Come Back For More. Dir. Daniel Zelik Berk. Perf. Clayton Rohner, Faith Ford, and Max Perlich. Trimark Pictures, 1999. Video.
[Written by Stephen King, this sci-fi horror film is often incorrectly cited as being set in the Arctic]

South of Sanity. Dir. Mathew Edwards, and Kirk Watson. Perf. Mathew Edwards, Kirk Watson, and Jonny Yates. Plue Entertainment, 2012..
[The first fiction feature film shot entirely in the Antarctic. Filmed by a team of scientists and contractors working for the British Antarctic Survey.]

"The Tenth Planet." Dr Who. BBC. Dir. Derek Martinus. Perf. William Hartnell, Anneke Wills, and Michael Craze. 1966. Television.
[This episode is the second serial of the fourth season, which originally aired 8–29 Oct, 1966. Part of the episode has been lost.]

The Thing. Dir. John Carpenter. Perf. Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, T.K. Carter, David Clennon and Richard Dysart. MCA/Universal Pictures, 1982.
[This film is a remake of The Thing from Another World (1951) directed by Christian Nyby and starring Margaret Sheridan and Ken Tobey. The 1951 "Thing" ran amok at a military base in the Arctic; Carpenter brings theaction back to the Antarctic. Both films are based on John W. Campbell Jnr's story "Who Goes There?" which is set in the Antarctic.]

The Thing. Dir. Matthijs van Heijningen. Perf. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, and Ulrich Thomsen. Morgan Creek Productions, 2011..
[Science fiction horror film written as a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter.]

Virus [Fukkatsu no hi]. 1980. Dir. Kinji Fukasaku. Perf. Chuck Connors, Glen Ford, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy and Robert Vaughn. Haruki Kadokawa Films and Tokyo Broadcasting System, 1990.
[This film is also known in the USA as DayofResurrection and The End (video title). It is not to be mistaken with the 1999 film of the same title, starring Jamie Lee Curtis.]

Whiteout. Dir. Dominic Sena. Perf. Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, and Tom Skerritt. Warner Bros., 2009..
[Based on the 1988 comic book of the same name, this thriller follows the investigation of a series of murders in Antarctica.]

The Worst Journey in the World. Dir. Damon Thomas. Perf. Mark Gatiss, John Arthur and Lee Ingleby. Tiger Aspect for BBC Four, 2007.

The X-Files. Dir. Rob Bowman. Perf. Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Martin Landau. Twentieth Century Fox/Ten Thirteen Productions, 1998.
[Mulder and Scully's efforts to track down an alien virus (which, as usual, may devastate the world)eventually leads them to Antarctica. There they discover a secret installation, which turns out to be an alien space-craft.]