I love a good film about mountainclimbing, be it the over-the-top extravaganza of a hollywood blockbuster, like Vertical Limit, or an excellent documentary like Touching The Void. Here is the list of the films I have seen, plus any recommendations I get. So please let me know if there are films or documentaries missing in this list.
A climber must rescue his sister on top of K2, one of the world's biggest mountains. (124 mins.)
A U.S. climbing team, funded by millionaire Clairborne is determined to conquer K2. (102 mins.)
The Eiger Sanction
A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend. (129 mins.)
A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains. (112 mins.)
Based on a true story, North Face is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps... (126 mins.)
Touching the Void
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. (106 mins.)
The Wildest Dream
Uses astonishing visuals to tell the intersecting stories of George Mallory, the first man to attempt a summit of Mount Everest, and Conrad Anker, the mountaineer who finds Mallory's frozen remains 75 years later. (94 mins.)
An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb... (44 mins.)
The Beckoning Silence
(2007 TV Movie)
After a near-death mountain climbing accident, Joe Simpson's injuries were so severe he was told he'd never climb again... (75 mins.)
“ Let me start by saying that I love watching good mountaineering films, whether they be hollywood blockbusters like Cliffhanger or Vertical Limit, or simple, down-to-earth documentaries like Touching The Void. If I have a particular favourite mountain, it is the Eiger.
This film puts the hero from Touching The Void, Joe Simpson, on the Eiger trying to retrace some of the steps taken by his inspiration for climbing, Tony Kurz. It is a story I have come across 3 times now. Firstly in the excellent German film Nordwand and then a BBC documentary about the Eiger, the name of which escapes me at the moment. So I was familiar with the story. This was however different because Joe Simpson shared a similar experience climbing in Peru (which is shown in Touching The Void). His personal step-by-step commentary of the 1936 climb Kurz, Hinterstoisser & 2 Austrians made somehow makes it feel more real. As if he is stepping into the minds of the climbers. He tells us what they are thinking and some specific details non-climbers simply wouldn't think about.
Recommended for anyone who likes a good documentary or fans of mountainclimbing. ” - Sublevel4
A group of friends on vacation decide to venture onto a trail high up in the mountains that has been closed for repairs... (90 mins.)
“ The first half builds up the tension very nicely, while also showing a lot of fabulous mountain scenery. The second half however lets the film down. Suddenly it seems we are not really in a mountainous area, but instead a forest and there is someone out there intent on mayhem. Some of the decisions along the way, both by characters in the film, as well as general plot points, make little to no sense. The ending didn't do it for me at all. The only thing that raises this out of the quagmire of B-grade horror movies is the first half an hour or so. Such a shame.. this truly could have been so much better! ” - Sublevel4
A Lonely Place to Die
A group of mountaineers in the Scottish Highlands discover a kidnapped girl and are pursued by her captors. (99 mins.)
“ A group of five climbers come across a little girl buried in a box in the highlands. Their decision to save her leads them down a dangerous path, chased by the girl's kidnappers. Although only the first bit of the film is focussed on actual mountaineering, from the moment they find the little girl, the film goes into breakneck speed. Strangely it actually slows down a bit towards the end, only to speed up again for the finale.
Ever since seeing Melissa George in Triangle, I have been a huge fan. Not only is she very talented, she is also quite attractive. In this film she doesn't disappoint at all and although I have read mixed reviews and not every one will agree with me, I actually really like this film. Not quite a classic, but definitely better than most. ” - Sublevel4
The Sharp End
Enter the danger zone with the worlds' best climbers, including Alex Honnold, Dean Potter, Steph Davis... (63 mins.)
“ The perfect film... if you are an adrenaline junkie. For the rest of us mere mortals it still makes for a somewhat interesting hour-long documentary. It is mostly about a couple of semi-insane people doing things that would make your sphincter close up shop. ” - Sublevel4
"First Ascent" is unlike any mountain climbing film you've ever seen. Join Swiss climber Didier Berthod as he attempts the impossible... (90 mins.)
“ If you really REALLY like mountaineering, then this is a good documentary for you. If not, then it offers little extra compared with other documentaries. It certainly feels more like an "insider" type film, where knowing those involved would make it more interesting. Also it focuses a lot more on the specifics, techniques involved and getting you close-up shots, than the mindset or the before and after. It watches more like a weekly tv-show doing segments, than a feature-length documentary. ” - Sublevel4
To the Limit
Daredevil mountain climbers on their attempt to break yet another speed climbing record. (95 mins.)
“ Good mountainclimbing film about the Huber brothers who set themselves the target of speedclimbing the "Nose" in the Yosemites. Beautifully shot and an interesting character study. ” - Sublevel4
Steep traces the legacy of extreme skiing from its early pioneers to the daredevils of today. (92 mins.)
“ A truly beautifully shot film and an interesting documentary.
And I think I am in love with Ingrid Bergstrom... ” - Sublevel4
Selfish Chris Teller pressures his older brother, a retired climber, to accompany him on a treacherous Alpine climb to loot the bodies of plane crash victims. (105 mins.)
“ Some very good scenery, some shoddy camerawork and lighting and clear use of a greenscreen. Nevertheless a compelling film with Spencer Tracy delivering the goods and a thoroughly unlikeable Robert Wagner. The two of them play brothers, but their interactions remind me more of a caring parent and a petulant child. Definitely worth a watch if you like "mountain" films. ” - Sublevel4
The White Tower
Six people come together in the Swiss Alps to climb a mountain, known as 'The White Tower,' which has never been climbed. While struggling together to conquer the obstacle, each climber shows his true worth, or lack of. (98 mins.)
“ Glenn Ford is good in this sometimes slow film about a woman who wants to climb "The White Tower" to honour her father, who died while trying to finally reach the top. The film is a little heavy on dialogue, but has some excellent cinematography. The main theme the film delivers is about the need for teamwork when trying to complete a tough task. ” - Sublevel4
Third Man on the Mountain
A boy attempts to realize his father's dream of climbing an alpine peak known as the Citadel. (107 mins.)
“ This has Disney written all over it. It is a sanitized version of mountain-climbing where people climb in suits and without gloves (yet don't risk frostbite or snow-blindness). The central theme of the film is about earning respect by working towards a goal and persevering. Disney films tend to be most appreciated by a younger audience, and parents. This is no different. If you are looking for a film to watch together with your son or daughter, then this is a good film. For most others it is a mediocre film with some nice scenery. ” - Sublevel4
Two professional solo climbers form an uneasy partnership after a successful rescue mission grants them the gift of a lifetime. (98 mins.)
“ This Christian film starts out well enough, being interesting and fun, with only a hint of it being Christian. Unfortunately the ending is way to sentimental and preachy. It is a shame as "less is more" and most people who are not hugely religious will be put off by it, thus defeating the entire purpose of the film. If you don't want the heavy preaching, turn off the film about 10-15 minutes before the end. ” - Sublevel4
Five of the world's best snowboarders are taken to the mountains of Alaska for some outrageous "Big Mountain" rides. (110 mins.)
“ A good documentary about snowboarding, touching on all aspects. Its beginnings, how it grew and where it is now (2005 when the documentary was made). To balance it out they gave 5 snowboarders do all kind of freestyle stuff in Alaska. ” - Sublevel4
Drama about the tragic Nanga Parbat expedition by the two Messner brothers in 1970, on which Reinhold Messners younger brother Günther died. (104 mins.)
“ Supposedly biographical account of Reinhold Messner's siege of the Nanga Parbat in Pakistan, together with his brother Gunther.
It was difficult for me to follow everything, as I am not fluent in German and the version I watched didn't have subtitles. However what I did see was a quite beautifully shot film, although the connection between the beautiful panoramic shots of the mountains and the close-ups of the various climbers actually on the mountain seemed lacking, which to me makes it less like you are really there in the thick of it with the climbers.
The acting was ok, but it felt like a battle to get through the film. There was little suspense throughout the film and the story seemed disjointed and at times painfully slow.
The Germans have done this kind of film much better with "Nordwand". Nanga Parbat is only for the real die-hard fans of mountain-climbing films. ” - Sublevel4
John Harlin III attempts to climb the North Face of the Eiger, the site of his father's death 40 years earlier. (45 mins.)
Three elite climbers struggle to find their way through obsession and loss as they attempt to climb Mount Meru, one of the most coveted prizes in the high stakes game of Himalayan big wall climbing. (90 mins.)