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Eiger Sanction -- and other climbing movies?
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Oct 22, 2008
So I just watched The Eiger Sanction for the first time last night, and I have to admit it: I liked it! It was more realistic than some other climbing movies *cough* Cliffhanger *cough* out there. Although, I think that if I weren't a climber and a general Clint Eastwood fan, the movie would have been terrible.

I loved how politically-incorrect it is. Sexism, racism, homosexualism (ok... homophobia), bigotism--all the ism's are equally represented and insulted!

Cool views, old-school mountaineering boots, Wild Turkey Bourbon, hot chicks, and tons of terrible monotone Clint Eastwood one-liners. What more could one want?

I caught one discrepancy though: when Clint is in training with his old climbin' buddy, Clint is supposedly leading, but there's a top-rope attached to his harness? Odd...

Apparently Clint did all his own stunts though, which is cool.

So now that the bug has bitten and the weather's getting more suitable for staying in to watch movies, are there any other climbing movies out there that don't totally suck?
jcntrl
From Smoulder, CO
Joined Jun 27, 2008
0 points
Oct 22, 2008
[Hemlock saves Meier from falling off the mountain]
Anderl Meier: You're very good. I have really enjoyed climbing with you.
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: We'll make it.
Anderl Meier: I don't think so. But we shall continue with STYLE.
Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Joined Sep 4, 2006
805 points
Oct 22, 2008
mountainproject.com/v/tea/1062... Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Joined Apr 28, 2006
5 points
Oct 22, 2008
It doesn't beat the Eiger Sanction...not much does...but

K2: The Ultimate High isn't bad...a few good climbing scenes, a little melodrama, and a quote from The Art of War.
Lee Wilson
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Jan 18, 2006
0 points
Oct 22, 2008
If you like to actually read this kind of stuff, the guy who wrote the Eiger Sanction (Trevanian) has a really good novel in the same genre: Shibumi. Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Joined Apr 28, 2006
5 points
Oct 22, 2008
This one...

imdb.com/title/tt0386060/trail...

ROCKS!!!
J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,015 points
Oct 22, 2008
The best realistic climbing movie ever was Touching the Void.

As for cheesy climbing movies...
-- there's the scene at the beginning of MI2 with the reverse Iron Cross move in the desert. It's totally unrealistic but very cool.
-- there's a funny scene in Failure to Launch when Matthew McConaughey falls and decks while his belayer reaches for a banana.
-- you gotta love Cliffhanger
Dave Pilot
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jun 19, 2004
40 points
Oct 22, 2008
Anybody seen this one yet?

imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi22...

Its about the Huber bro's attempt at the Nose speed record. Not a work of fiction, but a climbing documentary.
J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,015 points
Oct 22, 2008
Dave Pilot wrote:
The best realistic climbing movie ever was Touching the Void.


...the most moving, memorable, and evocative.
Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
0 points
Oct 22, 2008
Shawn Mitchell wrote:
...the most moving, memorable, and evocative.

Geez Shawn. You obviously haven't seen Cligffhanger.
Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Joined Apr 28, 2006
5 points
Oct 22, 2008
The White Tower, 1950, with Glenn Ford, Claude Rains, Lloyd Bridges and the incredibly beautiful Alida Valli. Anyone who has been to Chamonix will recognize the backdrop.

The Mountain, 1956, with Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner.

Both classic and old school.
Tom Halicki
From Boulder, CO
Joined Jun 19, 2006
5 points
Oct 22, 2008
Take It To The Limit! SO GOOD! Ryan Huetter
From Mammoth Lakes, CA
Joined Apr 10, 2006
135 points
Oct 22, 2008
My personal favorite climbing film is “Solo” by Mike Hoover

Hoover won an Emmy Award for this tale of his solo assent of a fantasy peak.
He filmed “Solo” on locations in the Yosemite Valley and High Sierra.
Mike wrote, filmed, climbed, acted, and produced “Solo” while studying film making at U.C.L.A. in the late 60’s.
I am sure that many of you have seen this film and been as inspired to pursue the sport as I was.
Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Joined Mar 16, 2007
160 points
Oct 22, 2008
Shout out to Olaf! Your name still comes up in a few climbing stories. But I digress, we could walk into the library at RIT and view Solo anytime we wanted. I must've seen it 20 times when we couldn't builder anymore. It's a classic. rob bauer
From Golden, CO
Joined Dec 2, 2004
2,416 points
Oct 23, 2008
K2: Not bad...

But you gotta love the beginning of the movie when the "stars" climb up under a huge roof to find other climbers hanging in their harnesses from bolts... and the "stars" are standing on a huge column top...

Don't know about anyone else, but given the option, I'll stand ANY day...
John Gunnels
From Gillette, WY
Joined Aug 6, 2004
1,115 points
Oct 23, 2008
I second 'the mountain' with Spencer Tracy. I don't know how they did it but Spencer Tracy is really nailing granite in this movie. I similarly like when Clint is topping off on some route - he's pulling a tough mantel with a pack and you see the rock in is hand break off - the guy is tough.
Also from the Eiger Sanction on top of the route where he pulled off a hold

BOWMAN: Want a beer?

HEMLOCK: You gonna call room service?

BOWMAN: We got beer.

HEMLOCK: If you hauled beer up this rock, you're insane.

BOWMAN: I may be insane, but I'm not stupid. I didn't carry it, you did. It's in your pack.(Pulls a six-pack out of Hemlock's backpack.)

HEMLOCK: Jesus Christ, I ought to throw you off this pillar. Besides, it's warm.

BOWMAN: I'm sorry, I thought you'd draw the line at hauling ice.


Ohh, so many more.. how about

POPE: My superior wants to see you.

HEMLOCK: Your superior? Well that doesn't narrow the field much, does it?
andrew kulmatiski
From logan, ut
Joined Oct 17, 2005
315 points
Oct 23, 2008
The Eiger Sanction rules. Yes, the toproped leading scene is busted but hey - it's filmed on some beautiful desert sandstone!

I think my favorite line is from one of the Euro dudes while they are up on the Eiger:

(spoken in hokey German accent) "Climbers alveys bring home zere dead"

The un-PCness of the movie is remarkable (and awesome).
Dave West
From Roanoke, VA
Joined Dec 23, 2007
45 points
Oct 23, 2008
Olaf Mitchell wrote:
My personal favorite climbing film is “Solo” by Mike Hoover.

Is this the one where the guy comes across a little frog on his ascent?
Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Joined Apr 28, 2006
5 points
Oct 23, 2008
and tenderly puts it in his pocket...then squishes it when he takes the dramatic fall on Bishop's Balcony? Oh, no, I mean carries it down to the stream at the end of his climb? Yes, that's the one. OK, that was almost as evocative as Touching the Void.

Am I remembering that right or imagining? Did he take a big fall on that aid roof?

Richard, great to meet last night. Look forward to catching up.
Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
0 points
Oct 23, 2008
Justin Cantrall wrote:
Apparently Clint did all his own stunts though, which is cool.


Well, not exactly, there were a couple of guys named Messner and Haebler on the Eiger, and I've forgotten who did the the desert climbing stuff (anyone?).

Is it just me, or does Clint kind of look like a young Layton Kor? (I know I'm gonna get lots of negative feedback on this one!)
YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Joined Aug 7, 2003
240 points
Oct 23, 2008
which part of the desert, the top-roping or the leading? Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
545 points
Oct 23, 2008
Scott M. Mossman wrote:
Is it just me, or does Clint kind of look like a young Layton Kor? (I know I'm gonna get lots of negative feedback on this one!)

Well, aging has been kinder to Clint, but at least in some pictures, I think young Kor was even more dashing than young Eastwood. Those far away eyes and firm jaw, sort of a cross between Clint Eastwood and Erroll Flynn.
Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Joined Mar 4, 2008
0 points
Oct 23, 2008
Clint did most of his own stunts, but Messner was his double. Just for proper prepping Messner took Cliint and the other actors out the tunnel at the Gallery Window (on the Eiger, about 1/3 up). They stepped out on the ledge and Clint said something like " This is crazy... lets get the hell out of here, boys."
It affirms him as one of my hero's even more as I think the same thing regularly.

There are a few faux Pas in the film for climbers, but I think it is still the best climbing film of all time. ITs fun and they not only tried to capture the climbing but also the repoire between the climbers (Hemlock and Ben chatting while they climb).

Last week I was talking with Eric Bjornstad. He told me that he is in the movie for 3 seconds. The scene where Jonathan has summitted the Pole and Ben is following on Jumars is actually Eric. George KEnnedy couldnt do that scene, so Eric pulled a hat over his face and did the jugging without looking up.
Sam Lightner, Jr.
From Lander, WY
Joined Apr 9, 2006
1,915 points
Oct 23, 2008
I third 'The Mountain'. Spencer Tracy climbing a chimney and it looks like it was shot on location.

'Five Days One Summer' is awesome with Sean Connery climbing routes on location in Switzerland in 30's era climbing gear. I think he puts Eastman to shame!

imdb.com/title/tt0083947/

movies.nytimes.com/movie/17653...
Pete Fox
From Boulder, co
Joined Jul 11, 2004
230 points
Oct 23, 2008
Actually Messner had nothing to do with the film. He and Habler where on the mountain during the filming but just climbing it (in a day). The stunt and rigging was done by the guys from Leysin/ ISM... Dougal Haston, Bev Clark, Chic Scott, etc.... Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Joined Jun 12, 2004
1,065 points
Oct 23, 2008
Sam Lightner, Jr. wrote:
Clint did most of his own stunts, but Messner was his double.

Really? I always thought Messner and Habeler just happened to be on the scene at the time of the filming. I also thought that Clint was a weekend-warrior-like alpine climber himself.

EDIT: Beat me to it Allen.

Rock Climbing Photo: Messner, Habeler, Eastwood
Messner, Habeler, Eastwood
Richard Radcliffe
From Louisville, CO
Joined Apr 28, 2006
5 points


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