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Douglas Meredith is a respectable married middle aged doctor with a terrible secret. He's been having a secret consensual incestuous affair with his barely legal niece Kate for some time now. She lives in the Swiss Alps and they have their badly needed privacy there. One day, Swiss guide Johann Biari shows up to take them mountain climbing. Kate shows a faint interest in this man, which worries Douglas. During the climb an accident happens and their lives are changed forever.
'People' magazine reported in their 22 November 1982 edition: "To make this film, set high in the Swiss Alps near St. Moritz, director Fred Zinnemann "shot in caves and crevasses, during avalanches, on glaciers and sheer rock walls, in numbing temperatures at breathtaking altitudes, and from pitching helicopters." See more »
This is a very fine movie. Maltin really misses it with his review. Fine acting by all of the major players. As at least one other reviewer pointed out, this is a finely crafted, minimalist production as far as the character dialogue. Zinnemann did a superb job of direction. The alpine scenes are exquisitely beautiful. The mountain climbing is realistically of the period (1932) and I found it to be completely engrossing.
The film is a morality play about the nature and reality of boundaries. And what type of tragedy can happen when one ignores boundaries. Beautifully done film. If you like real stories about real people you should love this film. If you're a special effects type of guy you might want to ignore it. Still, the cinemaphotography and mountain climbing scenes are worth a look--even for the most jaded modernist.
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