8.1/10
28,510
157 user 121 critic

Touching the Void (2003)

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director:

Writers:

(script writer), (book)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
6 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Beckoning Silence (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a near-death mountain climbing accident, Joe Simpson's injuries were so severe he was told he'd never climb again. His recovery left him to confront the question: why, after coming so... See full summary »

Director: Louise Osmond
Stars: Roger Schäli, Simon Anthamatten, Andreas Abegglen
North Face (2008)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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. Set in 1936, as Nazi propaganda urges the nation's ... See full summary »

Director: Philipp Stölzl
Stars: Benno Fürmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek
Meru (2015)
Documentary | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Stars: Conrad Anker, Grace Chin, Jimmy Chin
The Summit II (2012)
Documentary | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of the deadliest day on the world's most dangerous mountain, when 11 climbers mysteriously perished on K2.

Director: Nick Ryan
Stars: Christine Barnes, Hoselito Bite, Walter Bonatti
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Anthony Geffen
Stars: Conrad Anker, Susan Robertson, Robert Macfarlane
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Following a group of climbers attempting to climb K2 in 2009, on the 100-year anniversary of its landmark 1909 expedition. Experience the adventure, peril and serenity of a group's attempt to climb the most challenging peak on earth.

Director: Dave Ohlson
Stars: Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, Simone Leorin, Jake Meyer
Documentary | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary's monumental and historical ascent of Mt. Everest in 1953 - an event that stunned the world and defined a nation.

Director: Leanne Pooley
Stars: Chad Moffitt, Sonam Sherpa, John Wraight
Cold I (2011)
Documentary | Short | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

For the past 26 years 16 expeditions have tried and failed to climb one of Pakistan's 8,000 meter peaks in winter. On February 2, 2011, Simone Moro, Denis Urubko and Cory Richards became ... See full summary »

Director: Anson Fogel
Stars: Simone Moro, Cory Richards, Denis Urubko
K2 (1991)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A U.S. climbing team, funded by millionaire Clairborne is determined to conquer K2.

Director: Franc Roddam
Stars: Michael Biehn, Matt Craven, Annie Grindlay
Everest (1998)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An international team of climbers ascends Mt. Everest in the spring of 1996. The film depicts their lengthy preparations for the climb, their trek to the summit, and their successful return... See full summary »

Directors: David Breashears, Stephen Judson, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Liam Neeson, Lhakpa Dorji, Dorje Sherpa
Nanga Parbat (2010)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Drama about the tragic Nanga Parbat expedition by the two Messner brothers in 1970, on which Reinhold Messners younger brother Günther died.

Director: Joseph Vilsmaier
Stars: Florian Stetter, Andreas Tobias, Karl Markovics
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Richard Hawking ...
Himself
Joe Simpson ...
Himself
Simon Yates ...
Himself
Ollie Ryall ...
Edit

Storyline

In the mid-80's two young climbers attempted to reach the summit of Siula Grande in Peru; a feat that had previously been attempted but never achieved. With an extra man looking after base camp, Simon and Joe set off to scale the mount in one long push over several days. The peak is reached within three days, however on the descent Joe falls and breaks his leg. Despite what it means, the two continue with Simon letting Joe out on a rope for 300 meters, then descending to join him and so on. However when Joe goes out over an overhang with no way of climbing back up, Simon makes the decision to cut the rope. Joe falls into a crevasse and Simon, assuming him dead, continues back down. Joe however survives the fall and was lucky to hit a ledge in the crevasse. This is the story of how he got back down. Written by bob the moo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rope | crevasse | climbing | bone | partner | See All (87) »

Taglines:

The closer you are to death. The more you realize you are alive. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sturz ins Leere  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£115,332 (UK) (12 December 2003)

Gross:

$4,581,222 (USA) (4 June 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the long distance shots of Simon and Joe climbing the mountain are played not by the lead actors, but by body doubles, who were Simon Yates and Joe Simpson themselves. See more »

Goofs

Commenting his descent deeper into the break, Joe says, "I didn't put a knot into the end of the rope. If there was nothing down there, I would fall, and it would be quick." Two minutes before (approx. at 54:30) he is throwing the end of the rope into that break, and as it falls, we see clearly that the knot is properly tied at the end. Just as safety rules prescribe. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Simpson: We climb cause it's fun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the first part of the closing credits (before the crawl), the credits are accompanied by black-and-white pictures showing the three men's journey back into civilization; the final picture is of Joe in the hospital. See more »

Connections

Featured in 50 Documentaries to See Before You Die: Episode 4 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Brown Girl in the Ring
Written by Frank Farian
Performed by Boney M.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Egotism Meets Nature's Wrath
30 August 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Beautiful scenery and excellent cinematography highlight this true-life story of two young adventurers who, in 1985, attempt to be the first climbers to reach the top of imposing Siula Grande, in Peru. The two actual climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, narrate the story, while two stand-in actors re-enact the climbing.

A big part of the film is Joe's quest merely to survive, once he becomes separated from Simon. Toward this objective, he calls forth inner strength in the form of two mental processes: first, make a decision and then act on it; second, set small goals or targets. During his ordeal a part of him keeps pushing: "You have to do this, this, and this, if you're going to get there; come on, keep moving, keep moving; right, get up, and do it again".

In a docudrama like this, acting ability is not that important. What is important is the cinematography. The mountain scenery is spectacular. The camera also captures visual perspective, by backing away from the two climbers, or Joe alone in the second half, to reveal how small and insignificant they are against the towering mountain face, or lost within the vast expanse of a huge glacier, peppered with a maze of dangerous crevasses.

The story is certainly harrowing. And I admire how Joe kept going, in the face of such adversity. However, I must say that overall I was not impressed with Simpson or Yates, both of whom came across in the film and in the DVD special features as overly ambitious, opportunistic, and egotistical. Joe as much as admits it: "We didn't give a damn about anyone else or anything else, and we just wanted to climb the world ..." This kind of cavalier attitude is not uncommon among participants in extreme sports, many of whom participate less for the adventure than for the opportunity to set records and make money.

"Touching The Void" is a great story of survival set amid the majestic splendor of the mountains of Peru. The only thing that would have made the story even better is if the two actual climbers had not been so arrogant. Overconfidence, born of an inflated sense of self-importance, almost cost them their lives.


19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page