6.5/10
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3 user 2 critic

The Challenge (1938)

Approved | | Adventure, History, Romance | September 1939 (USA)
Dramatization of the first climbing of the Matterhorn in 1865.

Writers:

(screenplay), (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frank Birch ...
Rev. Charles Hudson
Geoffrey Wardwell ...
Lord Francis Douglas
Moran Caplat ...
Hadow
Lyonel Watts ...
Morris - Publisher
...
Jean Antoine Carrel
Mary Clare ...
His Mother
Fred Groves ...
Favre
Joan Gardner ...
Felicitas - His Daughter
Laurence Baskcomb ...
The Podesta - Mayor (as Lawrence Bascomb)
Ralph Truman ...
Giordano
Reginald Jarman ...
Minister Sella
Tony Sympson ...
Luc Meynet
Cyril Smith ...
Customs Officer
Lloyd Pearson ...
Seiler
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Storyline

In 1865, the unconquered Matterhorn beckons; former rivals, Italian Carrel and Englishman Whymper, hope to climb it together, but national rivalry intervenes. Rival parties dangerously race for the summit in realistic, well-photographed climbing scenes; but when the mountain is climbed, the danger is far from over... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kampen om Bjerget  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was shot back-to-back with The Mountain Calls (1938) with Luis Trenker as the only actor appearing in both versions. So it was a British-German co-production just one year before the war. See more »

Goofs

When Cassell rescues Whymper at the start of the film, he throws only one rope down but is seen descending using two ropes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Obscene (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretty Good Mountain Climbing Adventure
11 September 2010 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Depicting the race between competing teams of English and Italian mountain climbers to be the first to reach the top of the Matterhorn in the Alps, there are a lot of good things about this movie. It may lack the special effects touches that modern movies have, but there are some really good scenes depicting the mountain itself, and some good and realistic mountain climbing scenes. Surprisingly graphic for the time was the scene in which four climbers fall to their deaths. Although shot from a distance, watching the climbers tumble down the mountain was actually quite unnerving. The performances involved with this were generally pretty good as well and, after the deaths of the climbers, a predictable but well portrayed scape-goating against English climber Whipple.

There were some things about this that struck me as less than necessary. The romance between Carrel and Felicitas, for example. I didn't find it believable, nor did I find that it added anything to the story. There was perhaps a bit too much attention paid to what was going on in the village at the expense of what the movie should have been about - which was conquering the Matterhorn. Overall, though, it's a decent enough effort for its time.


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