7.8/10
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33 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
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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Betts, who was Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, served as a consultant to the production. He gave writer/director Charles Sturridge access to the notes and diaries of Rupert Gould, which helped flesh out the 20th century portion of the story. See more »

Goofs

During the entire movie, when H1 is seen, the ticking that can be heard belongs to H3. The actual H1 and H2 tick in a rather dull way, but H3 is instantly recognizable, which is probably why its sound was used for H1 and H2 too. H4 appears to use the correct sound. See more »

Quotes

Nurse Grace Ingram: They're going to kick you out soon, you know.
Rupert Gould: Oh, they can't possibly. I'm feeling particularly mad at the moment.
Nurse Grace Ingram: I don't think they cure that kind of madness here. What will you do?
Rupert Gould: Don't know. Pitch a tent outside the gates, I suppose. Do you have any objections to life under canvas?
Nurse Grace Ingram: Not more than... a couple of thousand.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 500 Days of Summer (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely first rate!
10 July 2000 | by 8-FootSee all my reviews

Despite its feared four-hour length (including commercials as shown on A&E), "Longitude" gets my top rating. Totally engrossing, with absolutely no false or phony notes. Acting, photography superlative.

(Available on home video without commercials and with additional footage.)


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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