Touching the Void ()

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


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Joe Simpson
Simon Yates
Richard Hawking ...
Joe Simpson ...
Simon Yates ...
Ollie Ryall ...
Richard Hawking

Directed by

Kevin Macdonald

Written by

David Darlow ... (script writer)
Joe Simpson ... (book)

Produced by

Charles Furneaux ... executive producer
Robin Gutch ... executive producer
Gina Marsh ... line producer
John Smithson ... producer
Paul Sowerbutts ... associate producer
Sue Summers ... co-producer
Paul Trijbits ... executive producer
Paul Webster ... chief executive procuder: FilmFour

Music by

Alex Heffes

Cinematography by

Mike Eley
Keith Partridge

Film Editing by

Justine Wright

Editorial Department

Stephen Barker ... post-production consultant
Simon Brook ... on-line editor
Ben Lester ... assistant editor
Vincent Narduzzo ... colorist
Kevin Phelan ... head of post-production: Lip Sync Post
Jon Thompson ... post-production consultant

Casting By

Susie Figgis

Production Design by

Patrick Bill

Art Direction by

Patrick Bill

Costume Design by

Patrick Bill

Makeup Department

Sarita Allison ... makeup designer

Production Management

Emma Clarke ... executive in charge of production: film council
Peter McAleese ... executive in charge of production

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Nick Laws ... first assistant director

Art Department

Giles Asbury ... storyboard artist

Sound Department

Tim Alban ... re-recording mixer
Robert Brazier ... foley editor
Felicity Cottrell ... foley artist
Richard Davey ... assistant sound re-recording mixer
Mick Duffield ... sound recordist
Anthony Faust ... adr foley mixer / foley supervisor
Joakim Sundström ... supervising sound editor
Mark Kenna ... consultant: Dolby film sound (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Martin Neill ... special effects

Visual Effects by

Matthias Albrecht ... digital film editor
Simon Burley ... software and technical
Peter Farrer ... visual effects supervisor
Ben Haworth ... digital effects artist


David Cuthbertson ... climbing stunt double
Rory Gregory ... climbing stunt double

Camera and Electrical Department

John de Borman ... additional photography
Oliver Driscoll ... second assistant camera
Olly Driscoll ... clapper loader
Christian Klehr ... grip
Ralph Kulike ... gaffer
Dan Shoring ... additional photographer / first assistant camera
Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert ... unit photographer: Alps
Chris Thornton ... film recorder operator
Simon Wagen ... additional climbing photographer (as Simon Hagen)

Casting Department

Indira Ashton ... casting assistant

Music Department

Abi Leland ... music supervisor
Andy Richards ... score mixer
Bevan Smith ... composer: electronic music

Other crew

Olly Allen ... climbing support: Alps
Kim Ballard ... production financing
Christine Barnes ... climbing support: Alps
Christine Baxter-Jones ... production team
Hattie Bowering ... final delivery and release supervisor
Lesley Brown ... production team
Eduardo Shuán Caldúa ... climbing support: Peru
Melorie Chilton ... legal services for darlow smithson productions
Hugo Milla Chinchay ... climbing support: Peru
David Cuthbertson ... key mountain guide / safety team
Lucy Daniels ... production team
Regine Dura ... production team
John Falkiner ... key mountain guide / safety team
Michael Fleisher ... business affairs: Channel 4 International
Néstor Morales Flores ... trekking leader: Peru
Laura Franses ... physical production coordinator: FilmFour
Paul Gardner ... archive researcher
Rory Gregory ... key mountain guide / safety team
Paul Grindey ... business affairs: FilmFour
Brian Hall ... head mountain guide
Nion Hazell ... production coordinator
Andrew Hildebrand ... business affairs: FilmFour
Vince Holden ... head of production finance: film council
Marcelino Milla Huarac ... climbing support: Peru
Vicky Jones ... business affairs: Channel 4
Jim Kerr ... climbing support: Alps
François Marsigny ... climbing support: Alps
Deborah McLaughlan ... production team
Jesús Montero ... production team
Paul Moores ... key mountain guide / safety team
Pelayo Milla Morales ... climbing support: Peru
Fiona Morham ... head of physical production: film council
Eloy Salazar Obregón ... climbing support: Peru
Rodolfo Reyes Oropeza ... climbing support: Peru
Emma Parsons ... production team
Luke Randolph ... completion guarantor: for International Film Guarantors
Jim Reekie ... production accountant (as James Reekie)
Martin Rhodes ... unit doctor (as Dr. Martin Rhodes)
Tim Rhodes ... climbing support: Alps
Faye Richardson ... production team
Ollie Ryall ... climbing support: Alps
Joe Simpson ... additional reconstruction / consultant
Sally Steele ... film publicist
Gillian Strachan ... production team
Ulla Streib ... head of production: Darlow Smithson Productions
Juan Sánchez ... climbing support: Peru
Gareth Tansey ... title designer
Harry Taylor ... key mountain guide / safety team
Jorge Clemente Vargas ... climbing support: Peru
Howard Watkins ... title designer
John Whittle ... key mountain guide / safety team
Marc Wolff ... aerial coordinator
Simon Yates ... additional reconstruction
Michael J. Harker ... completion bond company representative (uncredited)


Richard Hawking ... thanks
Adrian Warren ... thanks
Paul Webster ... thanks
Marc Wolff ... thanks
Simon Yates ... thanks
Marc Ziegler ... thanks

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 Keywords
Taglines The closer you are to death. The more you realize you are alive. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • La mort suspendue (France)
  • Sturz ins Leere (Germany)
  • Aggizontas to keno (Greece)
  • Tocando la cima (Mexico)
  • Kuoleman rajalla (Finland)
  • See more »
  • 106 min
Official Sites
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Opening Weekend United Kingdom GBP115,332, 12 Dec 2003
Cumulative Worldwide Gross $15,396,525

Did You Know?

Trivia At the end of the movie, there's a written line claiming that Simon faced "strong criticism" from the climbing community after his return to England. This claim has been repeated in several press statements and reviews, but it's not correct. What really happened is that, one month after his return in Europe, Simon went climbing in the Alps, unaware that the Daily Mail newspaper had published a wildly incorrect version of the Siula story, implying that Simon had tried to kill Joe. This was of course absurd, and the British climbing community dismissed it immediately as nonsense. However, back home Simon discovered that a small group of senior members of the Mount Everest Foundation (the body that manages founding for climbing expeditions in the Greater Ranges) had misjudged the story and now wanted Simon excluded in the future from the MEF funds - a move that could basically kill Simon's climbing career. At this point however, Joe Simpson had a correct version of the Siula story published in a respected climbing magazine, and the whole issue was cleared. However, in the DVD commentary, Joe Simpson himself clearly says that Simon came under much criticism after returning home, and that he wrote Touching the Void to defend Simon. See more »
Goofs When Joe reaches the bottom of the crevasse (00:59:57) and starts crawling on his stomach towards the sunlight, you can clearly see the blue helmet of another person. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The Making of 'Touching the Void' (2003). See more »
Soundtracks Brown Girl in the Ring 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 »
Quotes Joe Simpson: You gotta make decisions. You gotta keep making decisions, even if they're wrong decisions, you know. If you don't make decisions, you're stuffed.
See more »

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