8.0/10
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163 user 122 critic

Touching the Void (2003)

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1:10 | Trailer
The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Director:

Kevin Macdonald

Writer:

Joe Simpson (book)
8 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Brendan Mackey ... Joe Simpson
Nicholas Aaron ... Simon Yates
Richard Hawking Richard Hawking ... Himself
Joe Simpson Joe Simpson ... Himself
Simon Yates Simon Yates ... Himself
Ollie Ryall Ollie Ryall ... Richard Hawking
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Storyline

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 Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The closer you are to death. The more you realize you are alive. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

IFC Films [United States]

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sturz ins Leere See more »

Filming Locations:

Peru See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$96,973, 25 January 2004

Gross USA:

$4,593,598

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,904,795
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Commenting his descent deeper into the break, Joe says, "I didn't put a knot into the end of the rope. If there was nothing down there, I would fall, and it would be quick." Two minutes before (approx. at 54:30) he is throwing the end of the rope into that break, and as it falls, we see clearly that the knot is properly tied at the end. Just as safety rules prescribe. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joe Simpson: We climb cause it's fun.
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 »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #1.1 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Spem in Alium
Written by Thomas Tallis
Performed by King's College Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Awesome - in the truest sense of the word
16 July 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

The story of what happens when two British climbers try to reach the top of a previous unclimbed mountain is one of the most spellbinding films in years. A hybrid of talking heads and re-enactments this movie is one of the best films (on mountain climbing) ever made. You'll forgive me but its hard not to speak in terms like, best, greatest, ect when you talk about this film. I think its all best summed up by the term, "WOW!!!"

I can only imagine what this would be like on a big screen, where the sense of scale would be overwhelming. Not having been able to see this on a big screen I've had to make due with the DVD, which contains an extra called "What happened next..." which is what you'll want to know once the credits start to roll.

My only complaint, and its a small one, is that the pace of the second half could be a bit tighter, other wise this is simply a great great movie.

9 out of 10.


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