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Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

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True story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China's takeover of Tibet.

Writers:

Heinrich Harrer (book), Becky Johnston (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,978 ( 508)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Heinrich Harrer
David Thewlis ... Peter Aufschnaiter
BD Wong ... Ngawang Jigme
Mako ... Kungo Tsarong
Danny Denzongpa ... Regent
Victor Wong ... Chinese 'Amban'
Ingeborga Dapkunaite ... Ingrid Harrer
Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk ... Dalai Lama, 14 Years Old
Lhakpa Tsamchoe ... Pema Lhaki
Jetsun Pema Jetsun Pema ... Great Mother
Ama Ashe Dongtse Ama Ashe Dongtse ... Tashi
Sonam Wangchuk Sonam Wangchuk ... Dalai Lama, 8 Years Old
Dorjee Tsering Dorjee Tsering ... Dalai Lama, 4 Years Old
Ric Young ... General Chang Jing Wu
Ngawang Chojor Ngawang Chojor ... Lord Chamberlain (as Ven. Ngawang Chojor)
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Storyline

After the death of 11 climbers, Austrian Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pitt) decides to add glory to his country and to the Austrian pride by climbing Nanga Parbat in British India, and leaves his expectant wife behind. An egoist and a loner, he does not get along with others on his team - but must bend to their wishes after bad weather threatens them. Then WWII breaks out, they are arrested and lodged in Dehra Dun's P.O.W. Camp. He attempts to break out several times in vain, but finally does succeed along with Peter Aufschnaiter (David Thewlis), and they end up in the holy city of Lhasa - a place banned to foreigners. They are provided food and shelter, and Peter ends up marrying a tailor, Pema Lhaki, while Heinrich befriends the Dalai Lama. They meet regularly; while he satiates the child's curiosity about the world, including Jack the Ripper and 'yellow hair'; he is exposed to the teachings of Lord Buddha, He even constructs a movie theater, while getting news of the end of the war, his ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

At the end of the world his real journey began.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | Mandarin | Tibetan | Hindi

Release Date:

10 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Siete años en el Tíbet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,066,508, 12 October 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,957,682

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$131,457,682
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The government of the People's Republic of China condemned the film upon release. They claimed that the Communist Chinese military officers were intentionally depicted as impolite and arrogant. They also objected to the positive depiction of the Dalai Lama. See more »

Goofs

When everyone is skating, all of them are skating on modern hockey blades. Some of the people can be seen with white plastic blade attachments. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Heinrich Harrer: Why must you be this way? Why, why is there always a problem? It's a good question. Do you want to go home? Do you want to turn around?
Ingrid Harrer: Yes.
Heinrich Harrer: Would that make... It's the Himalayas! How long have I been talking about the Himalayas? How long?
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, a view of the mountains of Tibet is seen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Bang: Episode #1.1 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Zambo Chuwo - Chant D'Offrandes A L'Univers
Performed by Monks of Gyuto Tantric University
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An Underrated Pleasure
9 February 1999 | by MankinSee all my reviews

"Seven Years in Tibet" was a pleasant surprise. Sporting an Austrian accent that got slammed by some critics, I thought Brad Pitt was pretty good as an arrogant Nazi who finds himself captured by the British during a failed expedition to the Himalayas and is later stranded in Tibet after escaping from a POW camp. He finds his humanity in the forbidden-to-foreigners city of Lhasa, especially after meeting the 14 year old Dalai Lama. Echoes of "Lost Horizon," "The King and I" "Last Emperor" and others abound, but the movie is "old Hollywood" in the best sense with magnificent scenery (widescreen advised: the mountains and countryside of Argentina and Canada stand in for Tibet). The heart of the movie is the relationship between the blond Aryan golden boy and the young "Kundun," with a performance by the young Tibetan actor playing the latter that is so charming he nearly steals the whole film. An engrossing blend of fact and fiction, the picture manages to avoid condescending to the Tibetans and over-reverent preachiness. Wrapped in an excellent production, this epic story makes entertaining viewing. One question: how did the young Dalai Lama come by his love of movies in that remote location?


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