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Longitude [Import]

Jonathan Coy , Christopher Hodsol , Charles Sturridge    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 26.51 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Longitude [Import] + To the Ends of the Earth [Import] + The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant [Import]
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Product Description

Product Description

Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons stars in this sweeping adaption of Dava Sobel's best-selling book of high seas adventure and political intrigue. Determined to stop shipping losses on the oceans of the 18th century, Britain's Parliament offers a fabulous cash award to anyone who can devise a way to determine longitute at sea. Convinced he can solve the problem that has defeated England's best minds, rural clock maker John Harrison (Michael Gambon) begins an obsessive, 40-year struggle to claim the Longitude prize with his ingenious marine clock. 200 years later, naval officer Rupert Gould (Jeremy Irons) stumbles across Harrison's forgotten chronometers and devotes himself to restoring these long-neglected mechanical masterpieces.

Amazon.ca

Gracefully adapted from Dava Sobel's extraordinary bestseller, the four-part TV production of Longitude combines drama, history, and science into a stimulating, painstakingly authentic account of personal triumph and joyous discovery. Equally impressive is the way writer-director Charles Sturridge has crafted parallel stories that complement each other with enriching perspective. The first story involves the successful 40-year effort of 18th-century clockmaker John Harrison (Michael Gambon) to solve the elusive problem of measuring longitude at sea. In 1714 the British Parliament had offered a generous reward to anyone who solved the problem, and Harrison devoted his life to that solution. The second story, some 200 years later, involves the effort of shell-shocked British Navy veteran Rupert Gould (Jeremy Irons) to restore the glorious clocks that Harrison had built. Like Harrison, Gould is the most admirable type of obsessive, but, also like Harrison, he risks his marriage to accomplish his difficult task.

Thousands of sailors perished at sea before Harrison's triumph changed history, but Longitude demonstrates that Harrison's glory was slow to arrive--and his prize money even slower. A fascinating study of 18th-century British politics and clashing egos in the arena of science, the film is both epic and intimate in consequence, and Sturridge's magnificent script inspires Gambon and Irons to do some of the best work of their outstanding careers. The ever-reliable Ian Hart appears in Part 3 as Harrison's now-adult son and apprentice, and Longitude approaches its dramatic climax with the exhilarating tension of a first-rate thriller. Rallying after sickness to prove the integrity of their marvelous seafaring chronometers, the Harrisons still had to fight for official recognition, and Gould's restoration of the Harrison clockworks provides a fitting coda to this exceptional story about the thrill of discovery and the tenacity of remarkable men. --Jeff Shannon



Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Story of a Lone Genius who Captured Time June 22 2004
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
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Note: This review has been written from a city with the following position on Earth:
LATITUDE: (43 degrees 2 minutes North)
LONGITUDE: (81 degrees 9 minutes West)
This 3 hour 20 minute movie (based on the 1995 book by Dava Sobel) that was first on television in 1999 (and transferred to two 100 minute DVDs in 2000) is "a sweeping epic that takes place in two worlds." The two worlds are the eighteenth century of John Harrison (1693 to 1776) and the twentieth century of Lieutenant Commander Rupert Gould (1890 to 1948). This movie chronicles the life of Harrison who builds sea clocks and alternates his story with Gould's who restores Harrison's clocks and at the same time restores his own health. (Note that most of Sobel's book {that has the same title as this movie} is concerned with Harrison's story while only four pages in the last chapter of her book are devoted to Gould's story.)
The beginning of this movie is narrated and lasts less than three minutes. However, this narration is probably the most important part of this movie because it tells the viewer about latitude and longitude, indirectly how to calculate longitude, how time is related to longitude, and why longitude was so difficult to measure "during most of human history." (How to determine latitude was discovered centuries before this.)
I felt this narration was adequate but it did not mention one simple and important fact:
In 24 hours, the Earth spins 360 degrees on its axis from east to west. (Thus, as the narrator states, four minutes of time equals one degree of longitude east or west.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best! Feb. 25 2004
Format:DVD
This has it all! History, science, a great adventure story, great acting. Michael Gambon and Jeremy Irons are superb! Though I haven't read the book I got the book for my Dad a number of years ago. He's a scrooge about books and loved it!
This has a fast-paced story; lots of action shots, verve and movement. The story never dulls and moves easily and effectively. I've watched it nearly a dozen times. If you are interested in how academy, science, and politics collide; are interested in how difficult the scientific and historical processes were almost 300 years ago, this is a DVD for you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful tale of vital historical importance July 12 2004
Format:DVD
The beginning of this film makes clear the importance of knowing one's position at sea. Disasters--some of epic proportions--were distressingly regular when doubts about one's position relative to land or dangerous reefs were the order of the day. This film tells two stories in parallel. The first is of John Harrison's efforts to make accurate nautical clocks--called chronometers--that could be used at sea and provide a simple means of acertaining longitude (by comparing the time at the home port of known longitude to that of the ship determined by the sun or the stars). Harrison had to struggle against many technical odds to make his machines--and against many bureaucratic barriers to getting them accepted.
The second story is that of Rupert Gould, the Royal Navy officer, who, suffering from his experiences in the first world war, begins the process of restoring the old Harrison clocks to working order. This story is of less historical significance than the first, of course, but it is why we are able to go to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich and see the clocks running today. The poor fellow turned the clocks into an obsession as his life changed dramatically around him.
Well done, and well worth the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Fourth Dimension. Jan. 13 2004
Format:DVD
In the 18th century much had already been achieved in the exploration of the world: In addition to the achievements of Columbus, Cabot , Vespucci, Cartier, da Gama and others in the discovery of the Americas, Portuguese sailors commissioned by Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460) had sailed along the western African coast; Bartolomeu Dias (1457-1500) had circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope; Vasco da Gama had been the first explorer to reach India by sea (1498); 1518-19 had seen Francisco Magellan's almost-complete global circumnavigation; in the mid-16th century Portuguese merchants and Jesuit missionaries had made contact with Japan; and about 50 years later the Dutch had established their first trading posts in South-East Asia. On their voyages, these early explorers had overcome storms, hunger, scurvy and uncertainty about their exact course and the feasibility of their aim; and they had suffered from a severe navigational handicap: For while it is comparatively easy to determine latitude, the exact determination of longitude requires consideration of the world's fourth dimension - time. Only the knowledge how long the rotation of the earth vis-a-vis the sun takes from one point to another enables a seaman to determine where precisely he is at any given moment; wherefore he needs to know both the time at his departure port and the time aboard ship. The inability to make that determination invariably adds the danger of getting lost at sea to the perils of every naval voyage (and in fact, even da Gama's Indian expedition was almost derailed when the navigator miscalculated his position off the African coast). Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired by the book "Longitude" by Dava Sobel
This production fills in a few gaps in the book; well researched gaps.

It is 1714 and due to a need to practically calculate longitude at sea a prize of 20,000 pounds... Read more
Published 10 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars true story
This is a fascinating true story encompassing two hundred years and based on a best-selling book. During the 18th century, the British parliament offered an unprecedented cash... Read more
Published 14 months ago by George Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done
I've read the book and the movie runs close to the historic account. I first watched the movie on History Channel a number of years ago and wanted a copy of it for my library
Published 15 months ago by Arthur Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Longitude DVD
Longitude is a brilliant story. Not only does it highlight the problem with obtaining true longitude without an accurate timepiece but it also highlights the social standards when... Read more
Published 19 months ago by RR Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Longitude
How things were invented years ago and were so large they were almost impossible to transport anywhere. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mrs Myrna R Sentes
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical and entertaining
This is two movies in one, two passionate individuals, two centuries apart and both focused on a time piece that revolutionized sea travel. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2012 by Ernest Boudreault
3.0 out of 5 stars Good adaptation of the Sobel book
Dava Sobel's book "Longitude" began the recent slew of books examining some important, but obscure aspect of history. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 2003 by Gary M. Greenbaum
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful fictionalized story of the Harrison saga
I initially purchased this work for use with a 5th grade class doing an exploration of the problems surrounding the need for calculating longitude in early exploration and... Read more
Published on Dec 3 2002 by Courtney L. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Than the Book
This film is described as an adaptation of Dava Sobel's book of the same name. It is far more than an adaptation, however. Read more
Published on June 30 2002 by Bruce Kendall
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