Let’s see the roof of the world.
I have always been interested in Mount Everest, and this film details the first successful expedition in 1953. We also get a brief history of the numerous failed attempts to reach the summit.
The best part of this is the chance to see the mountain before it became buried in garbage and has become an amusement park ride of people who simply have enough money to pay for skilled people to guide them. During these early expeditions there was still wonder and awe in what the mountain was and what summiting it would mean.
The worst part of the documentary is probably the needless music in the background that rarely fits the tone of the film. Let’s watch people freezing while listening to an upbeat melody!
We don’t get recreations, which is awesome. The photos and footage are real. Aside from some animated maps that show pathing what you see is all real. I loved this aspect of the film and it is cool to see actual history.
Old documentaries like this are highly educational. I consider myself a bit obsessed with Everest and I learned quite a bit here. However, I do wonder if someone not as familiar with the history of the mountain, early expeditions, and the basic geography of the mountain would get as much out of this. These old documentaries would work in perfect concert with a lesson plan or discussion group about the mountain.
It is hard to recommend this one. Do you want to learn more about the first successful summit? Then this is a well-made and thorough examination of that expedition. If you’re not interested in Everest, I don’t imagine this one would hold your interest. A bit more information on the scientific findings and how the mountain effects the bodies of the climbers might make this appeal to a wider audience.
Not sure how else to sell this one. I enjoyed it. Never hurts to learn something once in a while, right?
2 thoughts on “Conquest of Everest (1953) Film Review”
Jay, I too have always been fascinated by Everest and the Himalayas. Given your like of horror, I recommend “The Abominable” by Dan Simmons. He’s a post-humanist author. He wrote “The Terror” about the disappearance of the Franklin Expedition with those two British ships in the Arctic in the 1840s. The ships were the HMSTerror and HMS Erebus. They only recently found the ships. AMC based their first season of “The Terror” on his book. The story of the discovery of the ships is itself fascinating, but you would like what he did with the unknown aspects by intertwining an Inuit demon/spirit. Similarly in “The Abominable,” he mixes the mystery of Everest and a spirit with intrigue by British and American mountaineers against those damned Nazis who want to recover some damning footage of old Adolf. Also the mystery of whether Mallory and Irvine actually make the summit is explored. Worth the read or listen via audiobook. Harry
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I love “The Abominable” I have become obsessed with the Franklin Expedition thanks to “The Terror.” Glad to know someone else who digs his storytelling.