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Into Thin Air: Death on Everest (1997)

An adaptation of Jon Krakauer's best selling book, "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster". It attempts to recreate the disastrous events that took place during the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Scott Fischer
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Rob Hall (as Nat Parker)
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Beck Weathers
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Jon Krakauer
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Andy Harris
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Sandy Hill Pittman
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Anatoli Boukreev
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Ang Dorje
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Doug Hansen
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Neal Beidelman
Akemi Otani ...
Yasuko Namba
Richard Rees ...
Lopsang Sherpa
...
Dale Kruse
Nicholas Hewetson ...
Tim Madsen
Luke Garrett ...
Mike Groom
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Storyline

An adaptation of Jon Krakauer's best selling book, "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster". It attempts to recreate the disastrous events that took place during the Mount Everest climb on May 10, 1996. It also follows Krakauer and portrays what he was going through while climbing the mountain. Written by <Tronsark@juno.com>

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Extreme Adventure. Extreme Danger.


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Release Date:

9 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death on Everest  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The long-range view of Mt. Everest, shown several times during the film, is the north face, on the Chinese side of the mountain. The expeditions climbed via the "Hillary Route," on the Southern (Nepalese) side. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Great Indoors: The Explorers' Club (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

A pretty thin mountaineering tale
17 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

I thought Jon Krakauer's book on the 1996 Everest climbing disaster, while not great literature and while a rather subjective and partial account, was well-observed and reasonably absorbing. This film, derived from the book, is a very thin account. Shot in Austria, it does not even have the actual Himalayan scenery of the Everest Imax film which was shot in the same calamitous 1996 climbing season. The acting is at least professional; Nat Parker as guide Rob Hall is quite convincing, though his NZ accent switches to London Cockney at times, and Peter Horton does a good impression of the ebullient American guide Scott Fisher.

On the other hand Chris McDonald as Krakauer relies overmuch on his single facial expression of worried concern. The script is pretty awful and the story more a collection of scenes than a coherent narrative. A lot of the time I had to rely on my knowledge of the book to work out what was going on. As for the factual inadequacies (12 people died, not 5, no mention of the South African party, Taiwanese barely mentioned) I forgive the producers for trying to slim things down a bit – it was a messy disaster.

Even so this has all the hallmarks of a `let's cash in' quick and dirty TV movie – it appeared less than 18 months after the incident. It's not likely to change anyone's ideas about mountaineering though I suppose there is some schadenfreude in seeing rich doctors and socialites with no or limited climbing experience attempting to wipe themselves out in various stupid ways at very high altitudes. The Darwin prize of course goes to the client who stepped outside of his tent one morning with only his boot liners on his feet and went for a fatal skid down the mountain.

I felt a little sorry for the guides, generally people who love the mountains, having for economic reasons to take such awful people up them; in my day as an amateur climber I at least got to choose my companions, though some of them were pretty wild. The exploitation of the Sherpas is also hard to take; even though they are willing participants, climbing has become part of their economy, and there are few other options. If I had seen Lopsang Sherpa struggling up the Lhotse face with Sandy Pitman's 30lb satellite phone I would have chucked it down the nearest crevasse. And if Sandy complained, I would have invited her to join it.


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