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  • Critics often fault Alive with petty complaints: Gee, wasn't the avalanche a convenient plot device? Why didn't the plane have signal flares? How come the survivors were all those pretty boys? Why don't we see the dramatic search? In doing so, they're faulting reality: The avalanche really did happen when and how it was portrayed. The wreckage really did lack signal flares. The plane really was chartered by a bunch of ruggedly handsome young men -- what else do you expect from a rugby team? And yes, the search was dramatic (the moment when Roberta Cannessa's father learned that his son is alive is one of those stranger-than-fiction moments), but it was enough of a task to compress the survivors' story into a feature film. The search would have comprised another film entirely on its own.

    How do you compress nearly three months of terror and tedium into less than two hours while still holding the attention of the audience? It's a daunting task, and Alive manages quite nicely. With technical consulting provided by crash survivor Nando Parrado, Alive captures the look and mood of the crash site, and sketches in the relationships among the passengers of the ill-fated flight.

    It leaves many strange questions hanging (Where, in this plane full of mostly unmarried adults, does Nando come up with two tiny red sneakers?) and those questions are best answered by reading the book. And watch Alive again. Things become clearer with multiple viewings.
  • I first saw the film "Alive" on video. I really wish I had seen it in the theater as it was probably one of the better films to come out around that time. I thought it was well shot, well acted and the fact that the real survivors were on hand as technical advisors showed me that the film was as accurate as it could be. One of the frustrations Ive come across in discussing this film is when you mention it to someone, and their immediate response is "isn't that the movie where they all eat each other?"...obviously, these people latched on to one small part of the story, and feel it is the basis for the entire movie. I found "Alive" to be more of an uplifting story. Sure, there's cannibalism involved, but in the 2 hours the film takes, cannibalism is focused on for approximately 10-15 minutes. I, instead, found myself moved by the determination of these young boys to survive. The plane crash, the avalanche, starvation, illness...all insurmountable odds stacking themselves against them, and they STILL found the strength to preserve their own lives. Alive as a movie about cannibalism? No. It is an example of the human spirit, and (I use the term again) an uplifting film with many touching moments. In closing, I borrow a line from the film..."If I die, you can eat me". :-)
  • I can remember reading the book on which this story was based many years ago when I was in High School and being engrossed by the story. The movie version is no less engrossing, the entire story being made absolutely gut-wrenching by the fact that it's true. A South American rugby team is stranded in the remote heights of the Andes after a plane crash and has to find a way to survive the freezing temperatures, their injuries and a variety of other challenges (not the least of which is a lack of food.) The acting in it is good, but the situation itself becomes the focus rather than the actors, and so I can't really say that anyone in particular stood out to me, but that doesn't come across as a weakness here. After all, the story of survival was a story of teamwork; a "star" to the movie would have detracted from that.

    This is literally gut-wrenching stuff, and I'm surprised it doesn't have a higher rating. It is not an easy movie to watch at times. The injuries are graphically portrayed, the suffering of the injured very realistic and the ultimate solution to the food problem will upset some people (but, in spite of what I've heard some say about this movie, it isn't the focus of the story. It's just an example of what had to be done to survive in an impossible situation.) It also has a surprisingly strong spiritual component to it.

    Truly excellent.

  • neobowler24 October 2002
    The very concept that this film is based on a true story makes it great. When you watch it you can't help but wonder what you would do in their situation. You want to think that you wouldn't, but then you think of their situation. After watching this movie the whole cannibalism thing sticks in your head, but you really should look at the whole movie. It really is a great story and is uplifting. I know Roger Ebert doesn't think that this movie really shows, what it would be like to be stranded there for 70+ days, but I don't think any movie truly could. But Alive gets really close at doing that, they just keep getting in one bad situation after the other. It really shows how strong the human spirit is. I give it a 10/10!
  • I would like to say how powerful the movie is. Being forced into a circumstance where you are being tested constantly in order to survive for 72 days. I thought that the acting in such a disaster film was expressed decently. Although critics and viewers(why then did you waste your money?) nitpick the dialogue, it ran smoothly in the compressed time given. Exactly how would you pass the time in conversation if you survived the plane crash, freezing temperatures, hunger and watching other people die in front you for 72 days? I don't think the dialogue was that bad, considering the time slot and trying to keep the story interesting for its two hours. When I first saw it, I was shocked by the plane crash sequence. I first thought it was all about cannibalism-like the Donner party- but it wasn't. It was more about keeping hope alive and working together even when despair and dying seems easier to give in to. What the rugby teammates did under the circumstances was incredible until they made the solution to hike out and get help. I haven't read the book its based on, yet I read a little about the actual people who went through the ordeal. There are similarities and contrasts with the real-life story and the movie. I appreciate the movie after seeing several times and the actual story behind it. I think it's one of the most fantastic films that I have seen.
  • "Alive" is the kind of movie that you wouldn't believe if you didn't know in advance that it was based on true events. If you didn't know better, you would say it was all made up by some scenarist with too much of inspiration, looking for a spectacular and sometimes shocking script. But unfortunately enough it all really happened, which makes the movie interesting to watch.

    For those who don't know the story yet, it is based on what happened to the Uruguayan rugby team during and after their plane crash in the middle of the Andes mountains in 1972. Some of them survive the initial crash, some wounded, others only with some minor scratches. They pray that they will soon be found, but no search team is coming to rescue them. At first they keep themselves alive by eating what they find in the luggage of the passengers, but soon that food is also gone. If they don't eat, they will all die. And they need to gain strength, because they need to try to get help themselves. There is only one horrible solution: they will have to eat the dead people...

    Despite the fact that this may sound horrible to many, I must say that it isn't as bad as you may think. Of course you'll see them cut a piece out of the bodies and eat it, but it is done in a watchable way. I'm sure that only the very faint of heart will not be able to watch it. It's a part of the story, but it is never shown in a too spectacular or sensational way.

    All in all this is a very interesting movie. I asked myself several times: 'What would you do if you were in that situation? Would you eat it or not?' I'm not sure, but I guess I would, but that's not why I tell you this. Just the fact that I was able to think about it in this way shows that it wasn't too bloody or with too much gore (I really don't like that). That's why I reward this movie with a 7.5/10.
  • In 1972, the Uruguayan rugby team is flying to Chile to play a game. However, the plane from the Uruguayan Air Force with 45 persons crashes on the Andes Mountains and after the search party, they are considered dead. Two months after the crash, the sixteen survivors are finally rescued. Along the days, the starved survivors decide to eat flesh from the bodies of their comrades to survive.

    "Alive" is an impressive and timeless film based on a true event – the crash of a plane on the Andes in 1972. The screenplay is very well written, considering the dramatic and sensitive theme, and is respectful with the survivors. The performances are top-notch and the special effects seem to be ahead of time. The fight for survival of this group is amazing and shows what the man is capable to do in extreme situations. My vote is eight.

    Title (Brazil): "Vivos" ("Alive")
  • Alive is a great movie experience. It is based on a true event in 1972 and on the narrative book by Piers Paul Read. It's about a Uraguayan college rugby team whose chartered airplane crashed deep in the icy Andes Mountains while on its way to a game in Santiago, Chile. Reeling with disbelief and shock and bleeding from dozens of wounds, the passengers who lived through the crash are faced with the brutal elements, starvation and the horror that they may never be found alive. The cast is terrific: Ethan Hawke as Nando, the levelheaded, determined leader; Vincent Spano as desperate Antonio, whose optimism slowly crumbles under the weight of hopelessness; Josh Hamilton as medical student Roberto, who tirelessly treats gangrenous wounds knowing his ministrations are useless; and especially Bruce Ramsay as Carlitos, whose unwavering faith in God and his sense of dark humor ("If you eat me, will you promise to clean your plates?") acts as the glue that holds this wet, shivering clump of survivors together. You indeed can feel the cold and the misery as you watch these poor people wade through waist deep snow, endure a nightmarish avalanche, spend days at a time soaked to their skins in minus forty degree winds, and face the ultimate decision that will make or break them physically, emotionally and spiritually: whether or not they can bring themselves to eat the bodies of friends and relatives who did not survive the crash. Everything in this movie, from James Newton Howard's touching music score to the unbeatable cinematography showing the majesty and severity of the Andes, is beautiful and flawless. This movie is one I'd recommend to anyone who wants an exciting, touching, unforgettable movie to chew on for years to come.
  • If you want a movie which demonstrates the determination of humankind and fight for survival, "Alive" is the movie for you. I have seen this movie many times and even though they do eat flesh from their dead team mates the sight isn't repulsive. You want them to do what they can to survive and you admire their great courage to perform such a discouraged act. What they do is considered uncivilized, but in this movie I feel that it isn't. It took great courage for the men to do what they had to do and pushed to a similar extreme, any of us is likely to do the same. No one can say they wouldn't for sure, you wouldn't know unless you face a similar situation. The scenery is terrific, the special effects are good and worth seeing. The actors went to extrodinary lengths to look the part and they all played their parts extremely well and handled the roles sympathetically. Top grade movie all round!
  • I live in Uruguay and i have been hearing about the "The tragedy of the Andes" ever since I was born. One day I decided to read the book and short after that this movie was released. I couldn't wait to see it, and when I did I was a little disappointed (as you always are when you've already read the book). If you really want to know everything about the accident, read the book.

    Some thoughts and facts:

    • The movie is faithfull to the book (of course, the book has much more information).

    • The survivors had plenty of offers for a book deal, and they took the one that gave them almost not money at all because they didn't want their tragedy to become a shocking Stephen King-like novel with gore, etc. The book documents facts, it has no tear-dropping dialogue or 20/20-like lines.

    Some points about other comments and critics:

    • Yes, they were nice boys. They were the rugby team of the Old Christians School (I'm not translating the name of the school, that's the actual one), an English catholic school for boys only (at that time at least), private and expensive, where only high-class boys attended.

    -Also to the previous point: Maybe none of the survivors looks exactly like Ethan Hawke, but, YES... some of them WERE blonde with blue eyes. Most people, especially in the US and Europe, tend to think that in Uruguay (a country with a weird name, i give you that)we all look like native-americans. PLAIN WRONG. Almost all of us are European-americans... the 95% of the population is white and the rest is black or else. As a matter of fact, this is the ONLY American (i mean, North, Central and Southamerica) country that has no native-american population at all. This territory had a very small population when it was conquered by Spain, and they were later killed by our government about 150 years ago (we are not proud of that, but that's the awful truth).

    • Yes, it was a charter flight, not an airline flight, in an Air Force rented plane to carry the players and some relatives and acquaintances to Chile. (Remember: this was people with money and good social positions, therefore connections... and this is a small country).

    • Yes, the avalanche DID take place.

    • Yes, the Andes are nice (I myself flew over them twice, breathtaking sights, TRULY beautiful), but this movie was shot in the Canadian Rockies (hehe :)

    Bottom line: you can't compress 72 days into two hours and give each one of the people involved enough screen time to understand the part they played in that complex society they constructed in order to survive. Some of the most interesting characters are barely mentioned in the movie. If you are really interested in knowing what happened in that ordeal, again, READ THE BOOK.
  • Frank Marshall's "Alive" is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen, a tale of great courage and human ingenuity.

    Although the story was filmed previously (and cheaply) by Rene Cardona as "Survive", this retelling is superior in every department and resonates with me years after I first saw it at the cinema.

    James Newton Howard's score is truly beautiful and incredibly powerful for its ability to convey both the hopelessness of the situation (trying to survive in the Andes) and the awesome wonder of such a savage land. In fact, the score takes the film from very good to great.

    The rendering of Schubert's "Ave Maria" over the rousing climax, with its superbly lensed images by Peter Levy, is one of cinema's most emotional, transporting moments.

  • Given the knowledge from the onset of the movie that the story and characters are real, we are plunged into a world where man must choose whether or not he wants to survive and live to see the world as he knows it once more. The reality i felt when watching this movie was how easily we take for granted things like food to eat, clean clothes to wear, and warmth that comes from blankets and heaters. By the middle of the movie (when watching it last night after nearly 10 years) i was aghast at the sheer strength of some of all of the people that survived the initial crash of the actual plane. And when the deciding moment arrives where they must choose whether they are willing to eat human flesh to survive and find a way beyond the Andes, I found i asked myself 'what would you do?'. The answer is, i don't know. i truly don't. This movie makes you realise how precious life is, and how we should never take anything for granted. How we should be thankful of all that we have, and yet how easy it is to lose all that just by a bad twist of fate. Call this movie what you will, I think it's a must-see for everyone because it really happened. There are lessons to be learned, morals to be recognised, and questions to be asked and somehow solved. Each person/character you will encounter in this movie is unique which makes it all the more worthwhile to watch. Because you find yourself sympathetic with the viewpoints of all the men and women in the movie yet at the same time questioning what decision you would make if you were in their place. Maybe we never will know or understand what they went through. But by watching this movie and reading the book, it will help us become wiser people and possibly open our minds to the endless enigma that is life, God, and the vastness and emptiness of the world that lies not so beyond our reach.
  • It was called the "Miracle of the Andes" and any outsider would agree.

    However, if triumphing over two months of cold and starvation, punctuated with a deadly avalanche, was nothing short of a miracle, even for people raised in the Catholic faith, that simplification might also satisfy a natural craving for sensationalism while harming the memory of those who died. So a film like Frank Marshall's "Alive" or any documentary retelling the harrowing (and sometimes horrifying) journey of the Vol 571 survivors is, at least in intentions, an extraordinary tribute to human solidarity and determination when facing a cruel adversity.

    Released in 1993, the film retells the story of the survivors stranded in the Andean mountains for 70 days in 1972. It opens with an aged one (played by John Malkovich) showing a few pictures caught days before the crash where they're all young, wearing rugby uniforms, their faces illuminated by the sun. What the narrator says is a piece of wisdom inherited from the journey and shared with us outsiders: we can't tell what we would do until we're put in the situation. Besides, it's not just a matter of surrendering to death or fight for life, the question raised by the first ten minutes is even simpler: "would we be among the lucky ones?" so the plane crash sequence isn't just generous in spectacular special effects but in various occasions to contemplate these scary thoughts while watching someone plunging to his death.

    The plane sequence is a masterstroke, starting with the set-up: we see young and healthy kids from privileged backgrounds, wearing blazers or spring clothes and all acting like spoiled brats under adult's indulgent eyes, one plays his guitar, another with the microphone, some exchange views about rugby and girls; joy is everywhere and spirits are high, much higher than the plane that finds itself engulfed in a storm and the "air pocket" get so persistent the passengers stop taking them in all stride. Some don't even have time to realize it's no joke, as the tail breaks, they're sucked off the air, then the plane slides down a snow drift, and passengers pray and scream.

    Suddenly, the plane stops and the deceleration pushes everything forward, those in the front weren't much luckier than those in the back as they're crushed instantly by the seats piling up on them, and a few kids are literally projected to the cockpit wall. There's absolutely no correlation whatsoever between the seats and the odds, one can unharmed while his neighbor passed away, one would get a black eye and his friend would later die from internal injuries. That's the big lottery of life, who's going to make it and who won't have to bother. "Why you and not me?".

    So the questioning of God's will and the omnipresence of religious undertones (something Ebert and Siskel complained about) is actually capital to understand the way the passengers' frames of mind will evolve. It wasn't just a psychological wrestling with the elements but also with a certain vision of God and destiny, a long apprenticeship divided into three chronological phases.

    First, the survivors realize that they must form a sort of micro-society and the team captain, confident that the rescuers will come, organizes the rationing: a daily square of chocolate and a sip of wine. The dead are taken out and will never be absent from the site nor their friends' thoughts, seat covers are used as blankets and the first aids are given. Interestingly, it's only after being able to sleep the first night that they feel the exhilaration of being alive. Surviving the night and its freezing effect is one of the key challenges with food, and each day is a new triumph.

    But there's a catch in their motivation, it works within the certitude that these solutions are temporary. A few days go, the badly wounded die and the others learn that the searches have been abandoned, a final blow on the captain who feels responsible for giving false hopes and gets depressed. Meanwhile, new leaders emerge: Nando Parrado (Ethan Hawke) who spent the first days dazed and unconscious, wakes up before his sister dies, he takes her to the snow and takes off the coat she wouldn't need anymore, he decides that he must survive even if it means breaking the ultimate taboo, his friend Roberto Canessa (John Hamilton) also knows there's only one alternative to food.

    Get busy living or get busy dying; without meat, bodies will fade to a certain death, so it's a whole new dimension of thoughts and perceptions, one that asks for a discussion and a total agreement. The film deals with the desecration soberly, no red flesh is shown, first a few muscle fibers are taken and distributed to the group, like a mystical communion, that chapter is handled rather tactfully until the necessity of meat is validated during the final phase, when an avalanche proves them that the snow and mountain weren't as lifeless and indifferent as they thought, and they were at the mercy of a living entity that could take their lives at any moment. Later, some "meat" would be shown as the only way for the "scouts" to go as far as possible to find a village, the dead offer their muscles, so to speak.

    Life will find a way.

    A film like "Alive" is more a humbling than a mystical experience, it's a story that transcends our beliefs in our capabilities. And if the film isn't totally flawless, it's simply because some stories, like "Papillon" for instance, are just so larger-than-life than even a film wouldn't do them justice, but speaking for myself, I had seen that film only once on a Sunday night of 1996 before watching it again on Netflix, and I was surprised by how vivid my memory was, and many details stuck to my memory. And at the end, I was cheering as intensely as I did 23 years ago.
  • n-mo2 March 2012
    "Alive" is not an easy film to watch or to understand. This is not a cheap Armageddon-like disaster flick: everything in the movie really happened and with the same timing that it happens on screen. One might imagine, though, that BECAUSE it is so true-to-life, it would be difficult to tie it together with any sort of unifying underlying theme.

    Yet the film is extremely coherent both thematically and plot-wise. I would argue it is coherent because of the coherence of the society from which the survivors sprang: most of them had gone to the same school, all of them had grown up in the same small country and, perhaps most importantly, all of them were Roman Catholics. Would a more cosmopolitan and less tight-knit mix have been able to feel each other out and understand one another enough to form such a coherent survival group?

    But this is only the most existential of the many fascinating lines of thought provoked by this beautiful film. What would you do to survive? is another, but it is not a particularly deep question. (You do what you have to, that's what.)

    Perhaps other questions might be: what does it mean to be alive? What is it like to be confronted with barbaric conditions and maintain a civilized composure? What strength of character does it take? Or what strength of character does it confer?

    And in particular: how can one permit onesself to love one's neighbors so deeply knowing that many of them may soon be taken away by death? Or is that the point? Are the bonds of friendship and kinship just all the more precious for the constant threat of loss?

    A truly fascinating piece of art.
  • Fact - all movies based on a true story are rubbish. Despite having the extra money and time not wasted on producing a killer screenplay, they'll all have tiny budgets and gaps in the story where the commercials go. And oh yes, they will be made-for-TV - the kiss of death for any movie project as far as I'm concerned. This was the kind of prejudice that almost made me avoid watching this movie when my Better Half threw in the DVD. So it says something when I found my attention diverted to this harrowing and beautifully shot drama based on a horrifying true story.

    In 1972, a plane carrying a Uruguayan rugby team was crossing the Andes when their plane crashed in bad weather in the mountains. A number were killed and the survivors quickly began to realise that the unforgiving weather, lack of supplies and a called-off rescue mission would mean certain death. But some weren't ready to give up without a fight, meaning that they would have to overcome impossible odds just to survive. Faced into an unimaginable situation, what lengths would they go to in order not just to survive but to escape the icy grip of the Andes?

    Looking and feeling the business, "Alive" is a genuine triumph of film-making. Filmed high up in the mountains with little else to see besides snow and rocks, it forces home the hopelessness of the unfortunate souls trapped up there. Featuring a largely unknown cast, the horror of their predicament is all the more real. Ironically, the person who dispels the illusion that this is drama and not documentary is the biggest star on screen - Ethan Hawke, though his performance is as faultless as the rest. So with a truly inspiring story of how difficult the human spirit is to defeat, an jaw-dropping vision of brutal isolation and hardship and a cast who give it their everything, why doesn't "Alive" score higher than it does?

    The simple reason is that despite the story and everything going for it, "Alive" is the sort of film that you can only watch once. It reminded me of "The Shawshank Redemption", another great film with a rousing finale and a touching tale of spirit but a film that I have little or no resolve to watch again. Watch them once, certainly, but after the magic has gone, what's left? The other thing that works against this film is it's sheer unrelenting sense of disaster. At times, you can't help but feel that it is just too much, even for a film like this. It's just one thing after another but of course, it did happen exactly as you see - the survivors who worked as technical advisers made sure of that. In short, this film is a stunning testament to those who survived the most traumatic of experiences and a solemn memorial to those who lost their lives. "Alive" is a real achievement, both in its making and its watching.
  • This is one of those movies where you say to yourself, "that could never really happen", and yet it did. The story of how these boys, some who had never even seen snow, were able to survive for 72 days on the side of a mountain is truly uplifting. It is a spiritual experience to see this film, as it puts you in the survivors point of view and you say to yourself, what would I do?

    The plane crash is incredible and terrifying, with the tail ripping off and people flying out the back, and the shuddering of the vibration as the pilots struggle to get over the mountain. Then, the eerie silence as the wings get torn off and the plane flies like missile down the mountain. All this before CG, so it's even more amazing.

    Watching the movie is a spiritual experience that illustrates that if you don't give up, you can overcome almost anything. It's a wonderful movie about the power of the human spirit...
  • Frank Marshall's account of the plight of the survivors of a Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the Andes after a horrific plane crash, features a startling and impressive crash sequence in which the fuselage is ripped apart and passengers, still buckled to their seats, are flung from the gaping hole like flies from the windscreen of a moving car. It is a superlative sequence that skilfully encapsulates the helplessness and horror of those trapped in such a situation.

    After such an explosive start the movie quickly settles down to depict the struggles of the survivors of the crash to survive the bleak and freezing conditions. The first night is a sub-zero nightmare, filled with the groans and cries of the fatally injured as they gradually die. Ominously, perhaps, the bodies of the dead are not buried beneath the snow, but laid on top of it.

    That the writer chooses not to focus entirely on the cannibalism in which the handful of survivors partake strengthens the film, and prevents it from becoming a sensationalist gore-fest. Instead, their decision to eat the dead is just one aspect of a multi-faceted tale of the will to survive against seemingly impossible odds.

    One problem I had with this movie is that the makers fail to cast actors who look dissimilar enough for the viewer to be able to differentiate one from another. At times it is difficult to follow the narrative thread because of this, making it hard to be sure what is going on, and what frictions exist within the gradually dwindling group. The impact on the group of the deaths of individuals as the film progresses is also weakened because the viewer is left unsure of who has actually died. While the movie does occasionally focus on the psychological effects their dilemma imposes on individuals and the group as a whole, it does so only fitfully, as if the task is too daunting.

    The movie is very gripping, however, and never drags throughout its 2 hour-plus running time, and the makers can, perhaps, be forgiven for an ending that seems just a little too sentimental.
  • The_Core25 January 2002
    A film of this nature depends on many things, but most of all on the quality of acting. Unfortunately, this film is inhabited by many poor actors, none of which I found convincing. The survivors looked extraordinary good after 70 days in the Andes, right down to their neatly styled hair and perfect skin. In fact, by the time they were rescued they looked to have been on a skiing trip and merely forgotten to shower for a day or two.

    If you want the real experience, read the book -- there, you will come to feel for the characters, and will feel their pain and suffering, trials, tribulations and triumphs and will sympathize when they die. In the movie, most of the characters are utterly one-dimensional, and I didn't really give a damn whether they lived or died. A very poor film rendition of a classic book that takes few risks and barely scratches the surface of the real human story behind the Andes survivors.

  • A lot of unfair and plainly wrong assumptions from critics. Fact: these were handsome, strong atheltes. Tough from playing rugby..very religious, but also part of uruguay's upper class. The actors are caucasion, but that's who uruguayans are.,decscendents of german, spanish and italian.,very caucasian., very european., However, as is often the case,, the two books " alive: miracle in the andes" and nando's book are far better., Still, this movie touches on survival, heroes, perservarence, indominatble spirit and a connection with god., I would have liked to gsve grown up with and been friends with these guys. I have nothing but admiration for them amd have zero problems with what they did to survive.,no matter how controversial, it was the right call to make and i would have done the same thing. Most of us would. That should not be the story here. It was their heroism and faith in god that is the real story.,
  • bevo-136782 April 2020
    Great rugby rom com. I like the bit where they are each other
  • A good survival film that's not as harrowing as a more exploitative film would have been. It's an interesting approach in that it cares less about the suffering of the people and more about the humanity and beauty found in the situation. In that way it can also be corny and by underselling the more painful moments it leads to less uplift later.

    The opening plane crash scene is still something to behold. All the interiors seemed to me to be practical effects and they looked great (exteriors were a CGI plane). I'm sure there are some who will say it hasn't aged well but that's only because what they're seeing isn't over- edited or shiny and everything is tangible and comprehensible which might be confusing, I guess, to some.
  • rpete5284 April 2014
    I read some of the reviews by the people who didn't like this movie. Some people think they know everything and one reviewer actually stated he wished the all died. I just shake my head. I could never imagine the pain and suffering these people went through. How traumatic it must have been to just survive the crash but then survive in those conditions. This movie tries to tie in a lot into 2 hours. Most people just associate the crash because of what occurred after it being the eating of human flesh. What would any of us have done to survive? Had this movie been made now it probably would be more graphic and intense which is what people are looking for. To me, this was fine the way it was done. Just remember, when you watch this, you have understand this movie is telling a big story in a short time. I'm sure there were a lot of other things that could have been told.
  • riss0716 January 2006
    Although the ending could have been a little stronger, this is a fantastic movie about the human spirit. It doesn't come across to the audience as though the actors are acting out a script, it is as though they are experiencing this situation for the first time with no knowledge of the final outcome.

    Frank Marshall has obviously gone to much effort to gain as much information as possible in order for this film to be believable that it is a true story and a historical record as to what happened in the Andes in 1973.

    Overall, this is my favourite movie of all time as it captures the true story of the tragic event in 1973 whilst incorporating the entertaining aspects of action, fear and humour.
  • swharing8 February 2005
    I initially read the book prior to seeing the film and was absorbed into it. It was uplifting and a poignant story. I remember seeing the film the first time in the theaters and was inspired. It is a story of faith and compassion beyond all boundaries. I recently bought it on DVD and was again thrilled by the special effects, brought into the story by the characters and, uplifted by the simple message of faith and perseverance. I have read some of the negative comments and, yes, the story is a bit melodramatic, but that does not take away from its simple message. Anyone who says this movie is trash, has no concept of faith and the love of life beyond all measures. I would recommend this film to anyone who has a love for life.
  • I have seen this film after having read "Alive",by Piers Paul Read. I found the scene portraying the crash quite dramatic. However, I found the portrayal of the solidarity among the survivors to be rather shallow. In fact, some of the portrayals of individual characters were lacking depth or understanding. A notable example is the depiction of Roberto Canessa,who,in the book "Alive" is a complex and slightly volatile character. The very duality of Canessa who is both aggressive and bullying and at the same time frightened and vulnerable,physically and emotionally, makes him compelling and memorable. I also felt the film trivialized the bravery and heroics of Parrado and Canessa's astonishing trek out of the mountains. The film shows us nothing of the ten day journey which made the rescue occur. Face it, the film is a rather flimsy vehicle for Ethan Hawke. The depth of emotion so lyrically described in the book is absent in this film. If you want a film version of this story, watch "Alive,20 Years Later".This documentary makes a much better attempt to portray the survivors as unique and interesting people.
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