Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Although the first mountain film, depicting the ascent of the Mont Blanc by the American climber Frank Ormiston-Smith , was released in 1903, the genre developed in Germany in the 1920s. The most important director of mountain films was Arnold Fanck, and its most important actors were Luis Trenker and Leni Riefenstahl.
Mountain films pose unusual difficulties for the filmmaking process; although parts can and have been shot in studios, filming on location is a longstanding tradition. Concerns include low temperatures, variable weather, and the objective dangers of the mountain environment. Directors may "cheat" by filming the actors in a less dangerous area, such as on the slopes of a ski resort, and intersperse with shots of the real location taken with a telephoto lens.
Although experienced climbers are often used, in roles ranging from consulting to standing in for the actors, the resulting film may not seem particularly logical to an audience knowledgeable about climbing. For instance, a rescuer in the film may take a hard but dramatic-looking route, even though in real life time is of the essence, and rescuers will always go by the easiest available route.
- Die Geierwally (1921), remade 1940, 1956 and 1988
- Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü (1929)
- Das blaue Licht (1932)
- Der Berg ruft (1938)
- Cliffhanger (1993)
- Vertical Limit (2000)
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