Film: 11467

Entertainment + Leisure | 1950 | Sound | B/W


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Nepal Conquest of Everest by Hillary 1953. Aerials of Everest. Hillary, Tensing and George Lowe on the mountain. The Conquest of Everest 1953, May 29th 1953.
A short extract of what was probably a longer film, told in epic manner, of the final ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing – commentary in cut glass English is done in heroic manner with suitable orchestral music – genuinely thrilling footage of the men descending triumphant to their base camp – May 29th 1953.

We open with a shot of a blond mountaineer crouched amongst sherpas and other climbers on Everest. A climber in a hat is seen, looking upwards, wearing open necked shirt and jumper – this is a close up of John Hunt, leader of the expedition - commentary begins – tells us that the climb today is “beyond the reach of human eye”. A shot taken from an aeroplane of the summit of Everest with cumulus clouds in the background as far as the eye can see. Another similar shot of the peak of Everest with other lower mountains, snow covered in the background – commentary continues and tells us that the climbers had, in fact passed the south summit and were well on the way to the peak of Everest itself – the view is seen as the plane passes in front of the summit of Everest and wind is heard howling – “Two very small men cutting steps in the roof of the world” says the narrator. Now we see a shot taken as the plane flies closer to the mountain and the camera follows a narrow ridge – the voice, probably of Edmund Hillary (as he has a New Zealand accent) describes overhangs of ice at 18,000 feet, saying they had to keep off those or they could give way – he is describing the last part of his ascent with Tenzing Norgay in 1953 – he says they were getting tired and a little desperate. Another aerial view of a snow covered ridge near the summit of Everest as Hillary continues his description of the ascent and his first view of the summit as he passes around several ridges – the shot now takes us close to the summit of Everest and the narrator tells us of how the two men finally stood on the summit. Still photograph of Hillary holding a stick containing the flags of the expedition Great Britain, Nepal, India and the United Nation, standing on the summit of Everest – triumphant orchestral music plays. Back to aerial footage taken from a plane flying above Everest. An aerial view of a dramatic steep ridge on the side of the mountain, then panning up to show an infinity of clouds as far as the eye can see. Now we see John Hunt, in an anorak with the hood up and a Sherpa in snow goggles and bobble hat pointing upwards as, the next day, they await the arrival, in the combe, of the victorious mountaineers – the side of a tent is visible to one side and the two men are smiling. We see snowy wastes with vast billows of snow and spy three tiny figures descending the mountain “in the middle of the Lhotse face of Everest – Hillary, Norgay and George Lowe. We see Colonel John Hunt, from behind, as he looks upwards – commentary tells us he could not see whether they had succeeded in their ascent or not at this stage. Now we are behind the three descending mountaineers, roped together, descending towards their friends down below them – Lowe is in front, then Hillary, then Norgay carrying an ice-axe – the camera swoops upwards, taking in the rocky slopes of the mountain. Next we see one lone figure ambling quite casually upwards to meet the climbers. We are again with the descending climbers as they come down into a beautiful col where their fellow climbers are waiting – a good snowscape – George Lowe raises his right hand and gives a thumbs up sign. We now see the tiny camp (Camp X111) of tents huddled in the snow with several small figures visible waiting for the victorious men – the three men come into shot in front of us with Lowe still giving a thumbs up sign. Now we are in front of the three men and see Lowe in snow goggles, carrying a large ice-pick and wearing a kerchief around his neck – then, roped to him comes Hillary walking with his stick and finally Sherpa Tenzing. We see a side view of Lowe reaching out to shake hands with the first man to greet him and they embrace – then the first man moves to Norgay and shakes his hand. Then someone who is probably Hunt wearing a hat arrives and flings himself around Hillary and embraces him – he moves onto Norgay and they hug and Hunt slaps the Sherpa on the back several times – another of the welcome party is in the background. A hot of Hillary, Hunt, Norgay shaking hands with the welcoming party, all with broad smiles. A group of five men gathered together in congratulations – commentary says “the top of the world has been reached”. One of the expedition, wearing a hat with ear flaps walks in front of a wall of ice and comes up to shake hands with Hillary. Abrupt End.

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