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Werner Herzog's Scream of Stone is a legend in film sales: a big-budget German-French-Canadian mountaineering drama that became a byword for how not to sell a movie to foreign distributors when they asked so much money that no-one could afford it and it went virtually unreleased before turning up a decade latter on budget DVD (this is its first UK release in any form).
It's actually not at all bad, although there's surprisingly little mountaineering in it: the main thrust of the film is the conflict between a legendary mountaineer who fails to climb an infamous Patagonian mountain and the exhibition climber who claims to have done so, with a restrained Donald Sutherland as the sports journalist caught in the middle and Mathilda May making a better job of the obligatory love interest than the script should let her. Brad Dourif turns up briefly as a fingerless climber infatuated with Mae West and seeming to channel the spirit of early Jack Nicholson (well, it is Herzog - you expected restraint?), but even he is less wild than expected.
The least successful element is the comic relief introduction of Al Waxman's tiresome TV producer towards the end (as well as an actress who HAD to be sleeping with either the director or one of the producers), but it's not fatal. It's a minor film, but an engaging watch with some good photography (albeit the film was surprisingly not shot in widescreen, presumably to emphasise height over width) and a neat ending.
No extras - not even a menu (although the disc is chaptered), but more than acceptable at the bargain price.
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HALL OF FAMEon 13 January 2005
scream of stone is based on a true story of the ascent of cerro torre in the fitzroy range in argentinian patagonia, and as such its interesting to see how the story was handled, and the elements that herzog has woven in such as the competition and the character of fingers work well to compliment the myth. although, its hard to imagaine the film would hold much interest to anyone not interested in the climbing or the locations, its a fairly slow film and in terms of pace and feel could easily have been shot ten years or more before 1991.
The last sequence with the two climbers battling it out to ascend the torre is spectacular, and the ending ultimately satisying.
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Werner Herzog's Scream of Stone is a legend in film sales: a big-budget German-French-Canadian mountaineering drama that became a byword for how not to sell a movie to foreign distributors when they asked so much money that no-one could afford it and it went virtually unreleased before turning up a decade latter on budget DVD (this is its first UK release in any form).

It's actually not at all bad, although there's surprisingly little mountaineering in it: the main thrust of the film is the conflict between a legendary mountaineer who fails to climb an infamous Patagonian mountain and the exhibition climber who claims to have done so, with a restrained Donald Sutherland as the sports journalist caught in the middle and Mathilda May making a better job of the obligatory love interest than the script should let her. Brad Dourif turns up briefly as a fingerless climber infatuated with Mae West and seeming to channel the spirit of early Jack Nicholson (well, it is Herzog - you expected restraint?), but even he is less wild than expected.

The least successful element is the comic relief introduction of Al Waxman's tiresome TV producer towards the end (as well as an actress who HAD to be sleeping with either the director or one of the producers), but it's not fatal. It's a minor film, but an engaging watch with some good photography (albeit the film was surprisingly not shot in widescreen, presumably to emphasise height over width) and a neat ending.
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on 7 March 2016
The mountain is the star. I suspect thirty years on most people watching this are either climbers or Herzog completists. I suspect the latter may be disappointed but for climbers there is much here to enjoy. Cerro Torre looks majestic from afar and the closer footage is probably unique and well worth the wait. If you're familiar with the Maestri enigma then spotting the links may be more entertaining than the plot itself. Also Glowacz at his prime, real footage the of Chalten area before the town, and the obligatory wacky Hollywood climbing/ falling.
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on 19 September 2009
This is a classic CLIMBING MOVIE plot:

1) a veteran climber
2) a young upcoming climber ( a star )
2) a girl who does not know what she wants, involved with both climbers
4) a rotten journalist who feeds on tragedy of others

The quality of the movie is bad, well below DVD standard ( very annoying ). Some of the climbing scenes are nice - you know right away when the professionals are climbing by the way they move. In general as in many other movies the climbers are portrayed as reckless, emotional, people who risk their lives for very obscure ideals, etc. This may be true for some, but it is not true for most of the climbing community. Other ideals like beauty, perseverance, hard work and dedication are not portrayed in the film at all. Some climbing scenes are outright stupid - a good laugh.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2010
This region free Dutch edition of one of Herzog's least known films is a marvel. Once I got through the initial ropey acting and unfamiliar context (celebrity rock climbing), which made me fear this might be another "Invincible", I was drawn into a mesmerising "fictional" world of male rivalry of the super ego type. Put simply the film involves a challenge between a hardened experienced mountaineer and a young upstart (the indoor rock climbing world champion): the first to climb a sheer mountain face in icy Patagonia. But with the added tension of a competing love interest, mutiny, an unscrupulous agent and the emerging possibility that someone else might have beaten them to it. The presence of the media (note Werner's cameo at the beginning) is a key feature of the film which culminates in a massive effort to film the race (which must have been the case considering the awesome footage taken by the film crew). In essence this film is a parody of the media industry that feeds off the sports personality. The hidden layers can be found in Werner's hypnotic use of music and landscape, the profound ennui experienced by one of the characters, the elderly lady and her poetic mutterings and more. The last ten minutes are incredible as the two heroes ice axe their way to the summit.
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on 25 April 2012
Poeple will only buy this film knowing what they're doing, so I won't comment on the film itself. However... NO SUBTITLES! REALLY? What's the point of making a DVD?
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