Touching the Void


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Touching the Void
Manufacturer Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Page By
Page Type Jan 19, 2005 / Jan 19, 2005
Object ID 1233
Hits 4924
To describe Touching the Void as a mountaineering documentary would be to do this breathtaking drama an injustice. By intercutting narration from the climbers themselves with a nail-biting reconstruction of their remarkable adventure in the Peruvian Andes, the film has the best of both genres: the authentic stamp of factual storytelling and the edge-of-the-seat tension of a dramatic movie.

In 1985, two British mountaineers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, embarked on a daring--arguably reckless in the extreme--attempt to climb the previously unconquered mountain Siula Grande. A mixture of overconfidence in their own abilities and underestimation of the climb's difficulties brought them to grief after the successful slog to the summit. What follows is an often harrowing account of their perilous descent.

Based on Joe Simpson's gripping book, the film boasts glorious widescreen photography of Siula Grande and its notorious glacier. Actors take the place of the two climbers for close-ups, though Simpson did return to Peru in order to reenact parts of his dreadful crawl back down the ice. The story of Simpson's almost-superhuman fortitude has become legendary in climbing circles, and even for viewers uninterested in mountaineering, Touching the Void is an astonishing slice of real-life drama, magnificently retold. --Mark Walker



Viewing: 1-20 of 23

dspal - Jan 20, 2005 9:27 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Wouldn't exactly call it a "climbing video" as it doesn't delve deeply into the technical aspects of climbing but is a superb piece of filmmaking and a very interesting psychological drama. You can still see the pain, confusion, guilt, and passion on the individuals faces. Could not reccomend this film enough. I own it, love it, and have watched it a # of times. If you can't get out and hike or climb, this film is an excellent way to spend an afternoon or evening...

Erik Beeler - Jan 21, 2005 9:46 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Well I loved this movie, er, documentary. Either way its a great piece of film making that does the sport proud. While Vertical Limit pushes climbers into gales of laughter that disturb the normal mountaineering ignorant viewer, Touching the Void makes sure that viewer will never step foot on a mountain. Touching the Void delves into one man's ability to over come pain and misery with a unyielding desire to live and over come a crippling injury.

Very much worth the trip the video store.

Christoph De Windt - Mar 5, 2005 2:11 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
My comment about this film is very short :



Alan Ellis - Mar 6, 2005 11:28 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Very good picture. Finally, a mountain climbing movie which doesn't make us look like idiots or supermen. Highly recommend.

William Marler - Mar 10, 2005 10:55 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Excellent Movie. Very faithful to the book. As others have mentioned. The Best Climbing movie out there.

miztflip - Mar 11, 2005 9:07 am - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
Having read the book several years earlier, it completely ruined it for me to watch the movie.

I thought the book was at least two stars better than the film and more accurately expressed the suffering of both climbers.

Also I was annoyed that the film couldn't decide whether it wanted to be a movie or documentary.

And lastly, I hated the last part where he started hallucinating with the wobbly camera shots and music that sounded like a cassette dragging. I've never been in a situation so maybe that is what would be happening in your head.

Haliku - Mar 11, 2005 10:59 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Hands down the best climbing movie I've seen. Having not read the book before seeing it kept me on the edge of my seat.

As mentioned below the director forgets what style of movie he is filming. This doesn't distract from the great views of Peru.

Well worth seeing and for those who collect DVD's worth owning.

CharlesD - Mar 22, 2005 4:51 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
"It's a horror film for climbers!" a friend of mine exclaimed walking out of the theater. Great mix of personal narration and re-enactment and very high production values for a fairly specialist film. I am interested to see that even non-climbers get the main gist of the film without having to understand all the nitty-gritty climber-nerd details.

I've also read the book and find that they compliment each other nicely. The book includes a lot more details which couldn't fit in the movie while the movie does a much better job of capturing the breathtaking grandeur of the setting and situation.

desainme - Mar 14, 2005 7:25 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
One of the best climbing movies ever. I thought the photography was great and telling the story through several voices helped the drama.

The Defiant One - Mar 28, 2005 8:39 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Incredible. This movie is a must see. I have never seen a movie in the theatre that depicted climbing so accurately. The cinematography is stunning and while only the most exciting parts of the book(also excellent) were included, it did not over-dramatize the film. I can't stop watching it. I do believe this is one of the best docu-dramas i've ever seen and certainly the best cilmbing film. a harrowing tale, beautifully depicted

James C - Apr 13, 2005 11:14 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
This was an amazing movie. When I think I am suffering on a mountain, I just think of that poor climber who fell in a crevasse climbed out, navigated a glacier, all with a horrlibly broken leg.

Nikolas_A - Sep 22, 2005 5:44 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Great movie! Unbelievable survival story, realistic climbing scenes. I also liked the documentary style, listening to the first-hand experience from the real climbers.

I think it's a movie that non-climbers can also enjoy (it reminds me of the Apollo 13 story which I also liked without being an astronaut ;o) ). However a climber really gets sucked in it (the sound of a good tool placement, small chunks of ice falling trough the rear Dolby speakers...)

travisgollaher - Oct 6, 2005 12:45 pm - Voted 5/5

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Hands down one of my favorite movies even out of the climbing world. I watch this movie all the time. I rarley watch movies on a regulr basis but the story is so gripping. I would like to see it be a real movie if at all posiable. The video is high quality. It is a video that I show all of my non climbing friends, so that they can feel the passion that I feel about climbing. P.S. don't show this to your mom if you are a climber!

m2rainier - Oct 10, 2005 1:31 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
An absolutely inspirational movie. That the guy survived at all and still climbs is unbelievable! The filming of the movie was first rate and it is nice to see a real story from the climbing community be told without all the hollywood hype. You will be totally impressed with this movie whether you climb mountains or not. It so blows all the other movies of this genre off the mountain.

Scott Dusek - Nov 4, 2005 11:07 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
For a larger scale movie I thought they really did a good job on this. Love the special features, it's like a whole 'nother movie. Done well. I've read the book several times and I thought it did it justice.

simo - Dec 26, 2005 5:47 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
It is a hard film, involving and terrible; it is a film on the life meaning, on the death and on a men that, despite the appearences, lost part of himself.

UncleBob - Dec 29, 2005 10:14 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
If my girlfriend ever sees this movie, she will force me to stack all my gear in a big pile and burn it.

MelbaToast - Jan 28, 2007 4:45 am - Voted 5/5

They Lived to Tell It
The fact that they are both still here makes this an awesome flick. Joe and Simon are at peace with each other which means everything. I've talked to plenty of nonclimbers who just can't get how he could have ever cut the rope. They'd get it if they saw this.

Alpinist - Mar 20, 2007 8:53 pm - Voted 5/5

Amazing story
Amazing story of one person's will to survive, and how another copes with guilt and sadness. I was skeptical that they'd be able to capture the same intensity that Joe did when he wrote the book. However, the movie was also very done.

noahs213 - Jul 3, 2007 10:25 am - Hasn't voted

Incredible. .
The best climbing movie I have seen. Very realistic. Amazing how they survived those crazy nights on Suila Grande.

Viewing: 1-20 of 23