The Alps

Watch The Alps

  • NR
  • 2007
  • 51 min
  • 6.9  (363)

The Alps is a 2007 documentary film directed by Steve Judson and narrated by actor Michael Gambon. The film delves into the beautiful and extreme world of the Alps, following a team of skilled mountaineers as they traverse its jagged peaks and valleys. Throughout the movie, viewers are granted breathtaking views of the mountain range in all its glory, from stunning panoramic shots of the Alps' snow-capped peaks to intimate close-ups of the flora and fauna thriving in the mountain range's isolated reaches. We see the Alps in all its moods, from the peaceful calm of early dawn to the frenzied whiteouts of a snowstorm, in a movie brimming with emotional depth and stunning cinematography.

The documentary's primary focus is on the lives of those who call the Alps their home. The film follows a year in the life of four mountaineers as they push themselves and their physical boundaries to explore the eight-thousand-meter peaks of the Alps. The four individuals hail from different countries, each with their story and all experts in their respective fields: Swiss alpinist Didier Berthod, Austrian skier Johann Oettl, American rock climber John Harlin III and the British mountain guide Adele Hammond.

The team's objective is to climb one of the most coveted prizes in mountaineering: the Eiger's north face, a treacherous 6,000-foot sheer wall of rock and ice in the Swiss Alps known worldwide as "The White Spider." Standing 13,000 feet tall, the Eiger has long been a mecca for extreme sports enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.

The movie takes us behind the scenes of the mountaineers' journey, providing a fascinating insight into the science, psychology and sheer courage required to climb such peaks. Along the way, we get an insight into the toll of living and working in such remote and unforgiving corners of the world.

In addition to the impressive footage of the climbers' progress, The Alps dives into their personal lives, friendships and motivations. The movie features interviews with their loved ones, detailing the joys and hardships that come with pursuing a life lived in the shadow of the mountains. For one climber, the north face represents the possibility of redemption: a triumph over his father's ill-fated attempt to climb it half a century earlier. For another, the mountain is merely the latest conquest in a career that has seen him scale some of the world's most extreme heights.

Throughout the course of the movie, the audience is given a front-row seat to the perils that often accompany such feats of human bravery in extreme conditions. From near-misses on icy slopes to rockfall on a cliff face, The Alps is a reminder that danger and death are never far away from those who choose to live and work in such high altitudes.

The Alps is recommendable to anyone who loves world-class climbing, stunning landscapes, and the fascinating characters who make it their home. Through its stunning visuals and gripping storyline, the movie manages to capture the sense of awe-inspiring majesty and utter horror that come hand in hand with the world's most beautiful mountain range. With excellent cinematography and powerful storytelling, it's hard not to recommend this moving glimpse into an unfamiliar world.

The Alps
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    51 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (363)