7.1/10
127,368
153 user 60 critic

Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

Trailer
1:54 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,961 ( 114)
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 (as B.D. Wong)
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 ... 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Day-Lewis were considered for the role of Heinrich Harrer. See more »

Goofs

When Peter bargains with his watch about how much food they should get he shows the 3 with three fingers (the British way) and not two fingers and the thumb (the German/Austrian way). 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?
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Mind, Explained: Mindfulness (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Nyu-Tra Le-Mo
Performed by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA)
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User Reviews

 
Passable - Good Scenery
31 January 2000 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

This biographical movie is about real-life Austrian (and Nazi) mountaineer Heinrich Harrar (Pitt) who is unfortunately scaling peaks in British India when WWII breaks out in 1939. Interred in a British POW camp he and his climbing companion (Thewlis) eventually escape and commence a tortuous travail through India into Tibet and all the way to the forbidden city of Lhasa. There the two men make friends, including the young Dali Lama, and find enlightenment.

The best thing about Seven Years in Tibet is the breathtaking high mountain scenery. How disappointing to learn the movie was shot in the Andes and not the Himalayas. The story is also compelling following Harrar as he morphs from selfish pig to generally nice guy. Unfortunately it's sometimes awkwardly told, and is over-long. And finally the use of English language dialogue as variously English, German, and Tibetan was as off-putting as Pitt's on-again, off-again German accent.

All in all a very ok film, not rip-off from the dollar bin.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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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:

Seven Years in Tibet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,020,378, 12 October 1997

Gross USA:

$37,957,682

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$131,457,682
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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