|Hell Below Zero|
|Directed by||Mark Robson|
|Written by||Richard Maibaum|
|Screenplay by||Alec Coppel|
|Based on||The White South|
by Hammond Innes
|Produced by||Irving Allen|
Albert R. Broccoli
|Starring||Alan Ladd |
|Edited by||John D. Guthridge|
|Music by||Clifton Parker|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Budget||$1 million (approx)|
Hell Below Zero is a 1954 British-American adventure film directed by Mark Robson and starring Alan Ladd, Joan Tetzel, Basil Sydney and Stanley Baker. It was written by Alec Coppel and Max Trell based on the 1949 novel The White South by Hammond Innes, and presents interesting footage of whaling fleets in action. It was the second of Ladd's films for Warwick Films.
Captain Nordahl, an associate in a Norwegian whaling company, Bland-Nordahl, is on a factory ship Southern Harvester in Antarctic waters, when he is lost overboard.
Duncan Craig, an American, meets Judie Nordahl, the captain's daughter on his way to South Africa, where he gets even with a business partner who cheated him. With little money left and a desire to see Judie again, Craig signs on to be a mate on the ship taking Judie to Antarctica.
On arrival in Antarctic waters, Craig finds suspicious evidence that seems to implicate skipper Erik Bland, the new captain of the factory ship, in a conspiracy. Another murder follows and the film concludes with a dramatic showdown on the ice.
The movie was part of a two-picture deal Ladd made with Warwick Films, following The Red Beret. Ladd was paid $200,000 against 10% of the profits. During production it was known as White South and White Mantle. Director Mark Robson wanted Eugene Pallette to play a role but Pallette was unhappy with the size of the part in the script.
Shooting took place at Pinewood Studios near London. The film included location footage shot in Antarctic waters. Albert Broccoli accompanied a second unit crew down there for over three months. The film's sets were designed by the art director Alex Vetchinsky.
The budget was £247,512 plus the fees of Ladd, Broccoli and Allen, screenwriter Maibaum and the director.
According to Kinematograph Weekly the film was a "money maker" at the British box office in 1954.
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