7.8/10
2,046
34 user 5 critic

Longitude (2000)

In two parallel stories, the clockmaker John Harrison builds the marine chronometer for safe navigation at sea in the 18th Century and the horologist Rupert Gould becomes obsessed with restoring it in the 20th Century.

Director:

Charles Sturridge

Writers:

Dava Sobel (book), Charles Sturridge
Reviews
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Shackleton (2002)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The true story of Shackleton's 1914 Endurance expedition to the South Pole, and his epic struggle to lead his twenty-eight man crew to safety after his ship was crushed in the pack ice.

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, John Grillo, Paul Humpoletz
The American (TV Movie 1998)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After the horror of the Civil War, "ignorant" Christopher Newman (Matthew Modine) made his fortune. He travels to France is search of cultural treasures. He won't get past the Paris ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Unwin
Stars: Matthew Modine, Diana Rigg, Aisling O'Sullivan
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A man new to a smallish British town joins an amateur theatre company. Once there, he discovers that the drama on stage is quite often nothing compared to what's happening behind the scenes... See full summary »

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Anthony Hopkins, Richard Briers
Little White Lie (TV Movie 2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Nicholas Renton
Stars: Andrew Scott, Anthony Morris, David Murray
Killing Hitler (TV Movie 2003)
Documentary | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A drama-documentary about Operation Foxley, a 1944 British plan to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Director: Jeremy Lovering
Stars: Peter McDonald, Kate Ashfield, Kenneth Cranham
Captain James Cook (1987–2000)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Based on Captain James Cook's three voyages. It was on his first voyage, in 1770 (while in the South Pacific region to observe the transit of Venus), that Captain Cook discovered the east ... See full summary »

Stars: Keith Michell, John Gregg, Erich Hallhuber
Mathilde (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When Colonel Pretis of the U.N. falls in love with Mathilde, a local girl, during the Balkans war, he lets his passion overcome his sense of duty and responsibility in a country torn by ... See full summary »

Director: Nina Mimica
Stars: Jeremy Irons, Nutsa Kukhianidze, Dejan Acimovic
Adventure | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In order to provide information for the first air raid over Tokyo, a U.S. submarine sneaks into Tokyo Bay and places a spy team ashore.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Cary Grant, John Garfield, Alan Hale
The Endurance (2000)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A retelling of Sir Ernest Shackleton 's ill-fated expedition to Antarctica in 1914-1916, featuring new footage of the actual locations and interviews with surviving relatives of key ... See full summary »

Director: George Butler
Stars: Liam Neeson, Julian Ayer, John Blackborow
Shackleton's Captain (TV Movie 2012)
Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Captain Frank Worsley signs on as Captain of the Endurance to navigate Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew to Antarctica. When the expedition ship is crushed; Worsley's seamanship and navigational skills saves them all.

Director: Leanne Pooley
Stars: Craig Parker, Charles Pierard, Hugh Barnard
My Life in Film (TV Series 2004)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Art is an independent film-maker with big ideas... sadly nobody will listen to these ideas, with the exception of his best friend Jones. The series follows Art as his overactive imagination... See full summary »

Stars: Kris Marshall, Andrew Scott, Alice Lowe
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sweety Barret is a big man with a gentle nature, who is not exactly known for his brain power. He loses his job with a travelling circus and is stranded in an Irish village, where he gets caught up in a local vendetta.

Director: Stephen Bradley
Stars: Brendan O'Carroll, Brendan Gleeson, Tony Rohr
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Rupert Gould
Anna Chancellor ... Muriel Gould
Emma Kay Emma Kay ... Laura Gurney
Samuel West ... Nevil Maskelyne
Ian McNeice ... Dr. Bliss
Michael Gambon ... John Harrison
Ian Hart ... William Harrison
Bill Nighy ... Lord Sandwich
Brian Cox ... Lord Morton
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Dodo Gould (as Barbara Leigh Hunt)
Gemma Jones ... Elizabeth Harrison
Peter-Hugo Daly Peter-Hugo Daly ... John Jefferies (as Peter Hugo Daly)
John Leeson ... BBC Producer
Nick Reding Nick Reding ... Captain Campbell
Peter Penry-Jones Peter Penry-Jones ... Surgeon
Edit

Storyline

In the eighteenth century, the only way to navigate accurately at sea was to follow a coastline all the way, which would not get you from Europe to the West Indies or the Americas. Observing the sun or stars would give you the latitude, but not the longitude unless done in conjunction with a clock that would keep time accurately at sea, and no such clock existed. After one too many maritime disasters due to navigational errors, the British Parliament set up a substantial prize for a way to find the longitude at sea. This movie's main story is that of craftsman John Harrison (Sir Michael Gambon). He built a clock that would do the job, what we would now call a marine chronometer. But the Board of Longitude was biased against this approach and claiming the prize was no simple matter. Told in parallel is the twentieth century story of Rupert Gould (Jeremy Irons), for whom the restoration of Harrison's clocks to working order became first a hobby, then an obsession that threatened to ...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 January 2000 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A hosszúsági fok See more »

Filming Locations:

Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeremy Irons' character, Rupert Gould, is only mentioned in one paragraph of Dava Sobel's book. When he was writing the screenplay, Director Charles Sturridge conceived the idea of telling Gould's story in parallel with Harrison's. This gave modern audiences a more sympathetic and relatable character to follow through the story. See more »

Goofs

In the final voice over, Dava Sobel talks about charting our three dimensional world. However, one of the major points of this movie is that, as far as navigation is concerned, only two dimensions, latitude and longitude, are required to chart it. See more »

Quotes

Elizabeth Harrison: You've found a way to build this sea-clock, haven't you?
John Harrison: With God's help it might be possible. --I mean, why did He encourage me to build a perfect timepiece in the first place? So the blacksmith might start work 5 seconds earlier or later? Or was it to give us the ability to explore His creation in safety, to move without fear in the space He's given us to inhabit?
See more »

Connections

References The Brains Trust (1955) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great movie for its historical and scientific significance, a definite "10"!
12 July 2000 | by TxMikeSee all my reviews

Dec2004 update: I did eventually buy the DVD set, and it is very nice.

"Longitude" is a towering achievement as a movie. Shown in 4 hours on A&E network, I taped it to skip the commercials and was able to watch it in just over 3 hours. I only give ratings of "10" to truly remarkable movies, and this is one. It helps to be a scientist, and to have had a life-long fascination with navigation and timepieces.

The story is historical - the British government passed an act in the early 1700s for a prize of 20,000 Pounds for the first to provide an accurate and practical means of establishing longitude at sea. A Board of Longitude,comprising self-important scientists, would judge when the challenge was met.

John Harrison, a carpenter who understood the sun's apparent movement with the Earth's rotation, figured you could do it with a very accurate clock. He, with help from his son William, did it over a period of about 50 years, and met all conditions with his 4th clock, but the board kept throwing up roadblocks to avoid giving the award to someone who was not a scientist but a mere "carpenter." Finally, when Harrison was 80, in the year 1774, was given the prize by Parliament. He died only two years later.

The ancient story was interwoven with a WWII-era story of a man, played by Jeremy Irons, who undertook to restore all of Harrison's old clocks, and finally succeeded against similar resistance that Harrison had faced.

If you either are not a scientist, or do not appreciate the magnitude of Harrison's effort, and its contribution to modern navigation, then it is possible that you would find this movie somewhat boring. Do yourself a favor - don't waste your time. For me, it remains one of the absolute best movies I have ever seen, both in significance of the story and the mastery of the acting and direction.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 34 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed