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Great Adventurers: Sir Walter Raleigh and the Orinoco Disaster
Great Adventurers Sir Walter Raleigh and the Orinoco Disaster
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     0hr 50min

Navigator, poet and favorite of Queen Elizabeth, Raleigh?s meteoric rise was followed by a slow and tragic fall from grace, which would eventually end with the farce of the Orinoco disaster and death on the executioner?s b...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 03/28/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 0hr 50min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

Movie Reviews

Low budget Narrative, at best
SLaurence | Washington State | 02/18/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This fairly dry narrative of Raleigh's life is really more of a bare-bones 'Cliff's Notes' summary than a documentary. Clearly low, LOW budget in the making, the "re-enactments" are skimpy and generic in locale; the filmers fail to use even modern day views of sites key to Raleigh's life.
Were the producers barred from filming in the U.K., you might wonder?
For example, there are no actual shots of Tower of London, Sherbourne estate, Thames River, Devon coast (and the original Raleigh home, which still stands, for that matter!) or any other scene readily available to a tourist with a video camera. After the first 10 minutes, it becomes clear that visuals are going to be limited to the same few actors sitting or standing in the same few backgrounds. The occasional reenactment scenes are generic, repetitive and dull, and could have been filmed in any studio, or even in my backyard. (Think: local TV newscast that has missed the actual event action, and has substituted in "related" filler visual material with host voice-over).
The diction is clear and understandable, but once again quite limited, about 90% of the time being narrative. I don't believe Queen Elizabeth has any lines at all (although she looks pretty in her period dress). Raleigh is "o.k", but mainly stands imposingly against a bland, seascape background, reciting lines from the real Sir Walter's poems and other writings. (Halfway through the film an odd, brownish smear appears on his right cheek; ostensibly portraying the flavor of a warrior singed in sea battle,?)
Despite the title, fairly short shrift is given to describing the Orinoco disaster, Raleigh's expedition back to Guyana under the impossible conditions set by King James. Essentially no reenactments there at all. And by now, having missed seeing anything of the real England for the past 40 min., you realize despondently that you will DEFINITELY not be seeing any actual shots of the Orinoco River, Trinidad or the New World. Not even a still shot of statuary from Raleigh, N.C.!
This DVD will not inspire anyone wanting to learn about Raleigh for the first time, nor will it add anything to anyone who has read even one Jr. HS-level book about the man."
Talk about hills and valleys!
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 01/20/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"When you think of famous people, you may think of people who always had good luck or had had bad luck once and then overcame it for all eternity. Not Raleigh! He was exiled and at times ordered to stay in England. Queen Elizabeth put him in the Tower of London for impregnating one of her handmaidens. He was punished for not returning from the New World with gold. For a man with so many failures, you'd think he wouldn't be remembered more than 450 years later, but he is an exception to the rule, I suppose.

Just as Queen Elizabeth opened the doors for Shakespeare to write and perform without authorities deeming it obscene or blasphemous, here Queen Elizabeth had so over Raleigh and many other men. It's easy just to focus upon her, but this work proves that one should also focus on the many lives, important lives, she affected.

Instead of having cheesy reenactments with at least a dozen actors, this work focused on the guy playing Raleigh. So you see him on a ship, in a castle, here, there, all over the place. They paid very few actors for this and just paid attention to this one actor. In her solo videos and Eurythmics' videos, Annie Lennox often likes the camera to focus on her face or body and absolutely nothing else. The documentary makers must have stolen a page from her, because Raleigh's actor gets almost 110% of the attention. Further, the work has actors reading/performing letters, rather than having the narrator just read the facts. First, these guys have thick British accents and second, the microphones put on them are not strong. Thus, it felt like there was a lot of dead time here."