Ice Station Zebra (Sous-titres franais)
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Ice Station Zebra (DVD)
Out of step with the public mood when it was released in 1968, Ice Station Zebra has held up decently as a Guy's Movie. Based on an Alistair MacLean novel, the film is half submarine picture and half spy puzzler, short on action but long on military chatter and espionage gamesmanship. Rock Hudson, looking seasoned and just a little miffed, gives one of his better performances as the captain of a nuclear sub, ordered to the Arctic to check out a disturbance at a research station on the floating ice. He doesn't know the mission, but he's stuck with mysterious passengers: haughty British agent Patrick McGoohan, back-slapping Russian operative Ernest Borgnine, and hostile Marine captain Jim Brown. McGoohan gets the film's best lines and finest fur jacket, but Brown is pretty cool in a smaller role.
John Sturges directs, with customary deliberateness; at times the movie seems to be suffering from iron-poor blood. Much of the dialogue is pretty sharp, especially in the submarine half, enough to keep you engrossed if you're in the mood for this kind of thing. When the action shifts to the ice, the studio-bound sets inevitably take their toll. It's not hard to see how this large, old-fashioned project misfired in the era of Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate, but the more tantalizing question is: Why did this movie become an obsessive favorite of Howard Hughes? Maybe he liked how clean it all looks. --Robert Horton
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Top Customer Reviews
Some reviewers have complained about the obvious staged indoor sets that represent the artic. If you can get passed that and the fact the there is no vapour coming from there mouths as they speak in this frigid environment it a fairly good dramatic story. I think the artic sets were good enough for what they needed to be and the underwater shots of the sub navigation the ice fields were done well. This is well before the age of CGI. Anyone brought up watching movies heavy in CGI like the Lord of the Rings, etc. will probably sneer at these sets. Movies like Ice Station Zebra really show how CGI has replaced drama and mystery as the the main ingredient in many a modern movie.
This is not an action pictures as such it's more about the interaction of the characters aboard the submarine and the nature of the secret mission. Why are they putting the submarine at risk to reach Ice Station Zebra? Why is the sub's commander not given any of the details of the mission? Is there a saboteur on board? What happened to the station? Its a long movie, 149 minutes with an actual intermission, so you're getting your money's worth. Bottom line this movie is more about drama and mystery than about heavy action. As for the acting it's very good, especially Patrick McGoohan.Read more ›
It lacks spirit, like all movies with Rock Huson, in my opinion.
In the fist half, il feels like an educational film on life aboard a nuclear submarine.
The climatic arctic icecap scene was visibly shot in a studio.
The good parts all involve the excellent Patrick McGoohan, or the versatile Ernest Borgnine.
The moralistic ending about international peace might have rung right in the cold wa sixties, but is irrelevant today.
Most recent customer reviews
Old fashioned,so what.Thats the point.Its a great film that takes its time,yet never feels slow...looks fantastic as well.Published 6 months ago by Kevin
I really love this movie, lite on the special features but still worth itPublished 6 months ago by Tom Trudeau
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