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on 25 September 2017
An Insane, real, true example of human endurance. A bargin film worth the buy even if you dont like subtitles
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on 5 March 2017
Really good film to watch.
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on 16 September 2014
Great film gripping and moody
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 May 2009
I like to consider myself a climber. I have scaled Mont Blanc, with some difficulty I must admit. But this achievement is a walk in the park compared to the Eigers infamous North Face. This is at the extreme end of mountaineering and is the preserve of an elite few at the very pinnacle of their sport. I have stared in awe at the "Nordwand" and marveled that men could summon the physical strength and courage to dare to take on this challenge. The mile high great Face dominates the little resort of Kleine Scheidegg like a malevolent black tooth. It is an incredible force of nature close up. It was long considered impregnable. But in the 1930s a special new breed of climber cast eyes on the unclimbed face and dared to take it on. Many died trying. They climbed with equipment that is primitive by todays standards. Hand made hemp ropes, woollen clothes and studded boots. They had basic iron pitons and wore no helmets. But they had youth, strength and an unwavering belief in their own abilities. This film is about some of those men.

"North Face" is based on perhaps the most famous true story in mountaineering history. Yes, even more so than the Mallory and Irvine story on Everest. It concerns the story of two young Germans, Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser, and two young Austrians Edi Ranier and Willy Angerer, and their heroic attempt to climb the unconquered Eiger North Face. At a very early stage Angerer is badly injured by falling rocks. This slows them down and the problem is exacerbated when the weather changes for the worse. Suddenly their concern is not about a first ascent, but about a grim battle for survival. Bravery and deep camaraderie come to the fore.

Those that know their mountaineering history will know how it ends. The story has been told in some detail in Heinrich Harrer's 1959 book "The White Spider", a legendary volume in the annals of mountaineering named after a distinctive icefield near the summit. It is a story that fascinated and influenced the famous British climber Joe Simpson. It is a story that has fascinated me. It is one that is deserving of a very special film, and it is one that has got it. Make no mistake this is the finest mountaineering film ever made. Better even than "Touching the Void" which took the genre to new heights of realism. Much better than nonsense like Clint Eastwood's "The Eiger Sanction". In this film you suffer vertigo just watching. You feel the cold creeping through your body. It feels almost like you can get frostbite watching. You are with the climbers willing them on. It is mesmeric viewing.

It is fitting that the Germans should make this fine film. They have a long and distinguished history in mountain films, especially in the halcyon period of the 1930s. Arnold Fanck and Louis Trenker both made fine films that are watched today. That other force of nature Leni Riefenstahl acted in a number of these. "North Face" follows in that tradition. It shows wonderful attention to detail in the equipment of the day and the period feel. This is a very accomplished film in all respects. A word of warning. This is a harrowing story and not for the faint hearted. Blu-Ray is about as close as you will get to experiencing the andrenalin rush you get from climbing on the very edge, without taking the risks. But if you have the stomach this is a tremendous film. A comfortable five stars
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on 26 September 2009
I have read this story and seen Joe Simpsons documentary about this tragedy but watching it played out by quality actors really brought the story to life for me. You get a real essence of the true bravery of these early pioneers of mountaineering. Compared to the equipment and clothing that today's climbers use you wonder how anyone ever ascended anything. This is a real must watch, not only for fans of mountaineering but for those who are in wonder at how far the human spirit will endeavour to stay alive.
The photography in this film are again something else.

The only thing which did annoy me were the White subtitles which were at times hard to see.

But don't let that put you off..... Watch it
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on 10 September 2009
Initially thought the subtitles would spoil the film, but it just enhanced the German "feel".

Great story especially if you are interested in climbing/outdoors, etc. Did not expect the ending.
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on 20 March 2017
I can only echo what others have said about the films brilliance. Normally I don't really go for foreign films with subtitles but I saw a documentary (available on YouTube) about the climbers and when the film was mentioned felt I had to watch it. The true story is even more dramatic than the film and if they had put it into a film I don't think you'd believe it. I really loved the cinematography, the bright orange of the hotel and light blue of the mountain face. I liked the character of Luise and felt it needed it. Not to everyone's taste, granted but I felt it was a good move. The film doesn't make it into a love story it is mainly about the race to the top with a simmering romance underneath.
Really enjoyed it and wish I had watched the film before I knew about the true story.
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on 7 January 2011
This is an utterly gripping and beautifully made film. The climbing scenes are awesome and so realistic - no fantastical special effect unlike Vertical Limit. The magical atmosphere of the north face and the sense of dizzying hight looking down towards Grindelwald are most impressively captured. The political background of the story only adds to the tension, and the contrast between savagery of the mountain and the cozy upper-class luxury of Kleine Scheidegg Hotel intensifies the sense of drama.

My only disappointment about this film is the ending. Having read Heinrich Harrer's in-depth account of the tragedy in his book 'The White Spider', I found the intervention of the fictional character, Luise, quite off-putting. The fact was relentlessly tragic and more heroic. There was no guardian angel in the form of a woman encouraging Toni Kurz to keep awake during the night, he had to do more difficult operations than merely unravelling the ropes and connecting them, and his last words were not feeble 'Mir ist so kalt...' but 'Ich kann nicht mehr...' which were a heart-rending utterance of a life who had fought to the end and literally exhausted itself. It could have been a great film if they'd stuck to the historical facts.
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on 18 May 2011
I too have done Mont Blanc. I too found it difficult. I've read all the usual Eiger melodrama climbing literature and will have life long respect for the mountain and those with the cojones to tackle it; not me for a moment.
Forget historical lip service; this film is the movies
But Boy, is it "the movies"
For the mountaineer absolute respect for the courage of the fated four. At a time in Mountaineering history as Walter Bonatti reminds us in " Mountains of my Life", risk was accentuated manyfold
For the "actors" and stunt providers, just terrific
For the makers, you can't truly do Mountaineering surely and not respect this film
Don't be put off by the subtiitles; you don't notice
For Toni Kurz an immortal alpinist
Thank you
Just excellent
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 29 May 2009
I like to consider myself a climber. I have scaled Mont Blanc, with some difficulty I must admit. But this achievement is a walk in the park compared to the Eigers infamous North Face. This is at the extreme end of mountaineering and is the preserve of an elite few at the very pinnacle of their sport. I have stared in awe at the "Nordwand" and marvelled that men could summon the physical strength and courage to dare to take on this challenge. The mile high great Face dominates the little resort of Kleine Scheideg like a malevolent black tooth. It is an incredible force of nature close up. It was long considered impregnable. But in the 1930s a special new breed of climber cast eyes on the unclimbed face and dared to take it on. Many died trying. They climbed with equipment that is primitive by todays standards. Hand made hemp ropes, woollen clothes and studded boots. They had basic iron pitons and wore no helmets. But they had youth, strength and an unwavering belief in their own abilities. This film is about some of those men.

"North Face" is based on perhaps the most famous true story in mountaineering history. Yes, even more so than the Mallory and Irvine story on Everest. It concerns the story of two young Germans, Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser, and two young Austrians Edi Ranier and Willy Angerer, and their heroic attempt to climb the unconquered Eiger North Face. At a very early stage Angerer is badly injured by falling rocks. This slows them down and the problem is exacerbated when the weather changes for the worse. Suddenly their concern is not about a first ascent, but about a grim battle for survival. Bravery and deep camaraderie come to the fore.

Those that know their mountaineering history will know how it ends. The story has been told in some detail in Heinrich Harrer's 1959 book "The White Spider", a legendary volume in the annals of mountaineering named after a distinctive icefield near the summit. It is a story that fascinated and influenced the famous British climber Joe Simpson. It is a story that has fascinated me. It is one that is deserving of a very special film, and it is one that has got it. Make no mistake this is the finest mountaineering film ever made. Better even than "Touching the Void" which took the genre to new heights of realism. Much better than nonsense like Clint Eastwood's "The Eiger Sanction". In this film you suffer vertigo just watching. You feel the cold creeping through your body. It feels almost like you can get frostbite watching. You are with the climbers willing them on. It is mesmeric viewing.

It is fitting that the Germans should make this fine film. They have a long and distinguished history in mountain films, especially in the halcyon period of the 1930s. Arnold Fanck and Louis Trenker both made fine films that are watched today. That other force of nature Leni Riefenstahl acted in a number of these. "North Face" follows in that tradition. It shows wonderful attention to detail in the equipment of the day and the period feel. This is a very accomplished film in all respects. A word of warning. This is a harrowing story and not for the faint hearted. But if you have the stomach this is a tremendous film. A comfortable five stars
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