General Film Corporation,

Chad Moffitt, Sonam Sherpa, John Wraight, Joshua Rutter, Daniel Musgrove, Erroll Shand

This dramatized documentary (with some archive footage of the real event) describes the 1953 climb of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay that climaxed in a 15 minute stop at the summit of the tallest mountain in the world. In 1953 it seemed likely that someone was about to conquer Everest, and the British, naturally, were desperate to be the first. Edmund Hillary was a British subject, though born in New Zealand, he was their last best hope to be the first. This film documents step by step, the climb along with the extreme dangers and hardships that they faced. The pride the Kingdom felt when one of their guys made it was massive. But as we learn, they were very, very lucky to survive.

This is called a documentary, although it is played, for the most part, by actors. This film was made in 3-D, but I did not see it on the big screen. I can’t comment on the 3-D effects, but it doesn’t seem to me to be a huge deal, although the conditions on the mountain are splendidly portrayed. There were other attempts as far back as the 1920’s, and the mystery that surrounds George Mallory’s attempt in 1924 ended in disaster as they were spotted very near the summit but never returned. In 1999 George Mallory’s body was found, but it is still unknown whether or not they ever made it to the summit. For a long time the mountain was unconquered until 1953 when Hillary and Norgay made, and photographed, the summit of the highest point in the world.

This film somewhat misses the mark. As you may have known, I was always fascinated by stories of Mt. Everest and the many successes and tragedies there. I have watched and reviewed a number of films about this particular trek. But this one is rather straight-forward with not a lot of emotion, explaining the technical aspects of how they made the climb, but is lacking in details about the people involved. The few news reels thrown in to authenticate things tell about as much of the story as the rest of the movie does. It does give you a pretty good feel of climbing, and uses Hillary’s own words to describe the challenges and risks they had to take. It’s an interesting story, but I don’t feel it’s even near the best account of conquering Everest. I think perhaps they put so much stock in the 3-D gimmick that they neglected to tell enough of the story to give you anything new that you don’t already know. I am very glad I watched it, as I am very interested in the subject, but I hesitate to recommend it very highly as unless you are really interested in the men on the mountain, you’ll probably be let down.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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