Five Days One Summer (1982)

PG | 108 mins | Drama, Romance | 7 November 1982

Director:

Fred Zinnemann

Writer:

Michael Austin

Producer:

Fred Zinnemann

Cinematographer:

Giuseppe Rotunno

Editor:

Stuart Baird

Production Designer:

Willy Holt

Production Company:

The Ladd Company
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HISTORY

End credits include the following statement: “Sincere thanks to the Townships and people of Pontresina, Samedan, Sils-Maria, Maloja, and Latsch. To Paul Nigg and The Alpine Climbing School of Pontresina and to Ueli Baerfuss and Capito Wyssmann of The Helicopter Alpine Rescue Service for their goodwill and generous help,” and note that the picture was “Filmed on Location in Switzerland and Great Britain and in Lee and Shepperton Studios, London, England by the Ladd Company (Great Britain) Ltd. 6 Broad Street Place, London EC2.”
       The Irving Berlin song, "Alexander’s Ragtime Band," can be heard during the dancing scene at the hotel, although it is not credited onscreen. An 8 Aug 1981 Screen International crew assignment list indicated that production accountant Sandy Langdale is also omitted from onscreen credits.
       According to an article in the 7 Nov 1982 NYT, director Fred Zinnemann harbored a nostalgia for the mountains of his native Austria since his arrival in Hollywood in 1929, but did not develop the story for a film about climbing until he read the Kay Boyle short story, Maiden, Maiden, in 1950. Zinnemann combined the Maiden, Maiden love triangle with an Austrian Alps folk tale about an old woman whose missing bridegroom was discovered in a glacier, which became the subplot of Five Days One Summer. Despite the 18 Jan 1980 NYT claim that events of the film would take place in the 1920s, the 7 Nov 1982 NYT explained that in 1979, Zinnemann took a hiking trip to Pontresina in the Alps; a 20 Oct 1982 The Times (London) article suggested that the ...

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End credits include the following statement: “Sincere thanks to the Townships and people of Pontresina, Samedan, Sils-Maria, Maloja, and Latsch. To Paul Nigg and The Alpine Climbing School of Pontresina and to Ueli Baerfuss and Capito Wyssmann of The Helicopter Alpine Rescue Service for their goodwill and generous help,” and note that the picture was “Filmed on Location in Switzerland and Great Britain and in Lee and Shepperton Studios, London, England by the Ladd Company (Great Britain) Ltd. 6 Broad Street Place, London EC2.”
       The Irving Berlin song, "Alexander’s Ragtime Band," can be heard during the dancing scene at the hotel, although it is not credited onscreen. An 8 Aug 1981 Screen International crew assignment list indicated that production accountant Sandy Langdale is also omitted from onscreen credits.
       According to an article in the 7 Nov 1982 NYT, director Fred Zinnemann harbored a nostalgia for the mountains of his native Austria since his arrival in Hollywood in 1929, but did not develop the story for a film about climbing until he read the Kay Boyle short story, Maiden, Maiden, in 1950. Zinnemann combined the Maiden, Maiden love triangle with an Austrian Alps folk tale about an old woman whose missing bridegroom was discovered in a glacier, which became the subplot of Five Days One Summer. Despite the 18 Jan 1980 NYT claim that events of the film would take place in the 1920s, the 7 Nov 1982 NYT explained that in 1979, Zinnemann took a hiking trip to Pontresina in the Alps; a 20 Oct 1982 The Times (London) article suggested that the highly-protected region known as Upper Engadine inspired the director to recreate the area onscreen as the 1930s. The following year, the 18 Jan 1980 NYT reported that The Ladd Company, which had collaborated with Zinnemann as producers on Julia (1977, see entry), had agreed to finance the project, then using the working title, Five Days In Summer. On 23 Jan 1980, Var stated that Sandy Lieberson would oversee the picture as The Ladd Company’s new London-based president of international production, with plans for Hugh Whitmore to write the screenplay and principal photography to begin the following year, in late 1981. Production notes in AMPAS library files claimed that Zinnemann had considered filming in black and white, believing it would make the mountains look more dramatic. Once Ladd approved the budget, pre-production commenced Jan 1981.
       A 22 May 1981 DV news item noted that the film’s title was changed to Maiden, Maiden, and that Sean Connery would begin filming mid-Jun 1981, with production under the English-based international arm of The Ladd Company unaffected by the impending Jul 1981 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike. A 28 Oct 1982 LAHExam story stated that Betsy Brantley joined the project when Zinnemann, eager to find an unknown actress, pulled her from the London stage production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, to make her motion picture debut. The 10-16 Sep 1981 issue of The Journal mentioned that locations included sites in Switzerland, Scotland, and London, England. An undated article in the Swiss Observer reported that, despite Swiss authorities’ strict rules, Zinnemann credited executive producer Peter Beale, Swiss production manager Leonhard Gmür, and respected climber Norman Dyhrenfurth for ensuring the production permissions to access Upper Engadine. Filmmakers began climbing training in the first weeks of Jun 1981. According to production notes, due to a stage commitment in Paris, France, actor Lambert Wilson was unable to train with the crew; although he spent weekends practicing in the French Alps at Chamonix before joining the production at the end of the play’s run. The seventy-five-member team consisted of many international talents Zinnemann had worked with before, including a French art department and construction workers, an Italian camera crew, an English floor crew, and a production department from Switzerland and Germany, few of whom had any climbing experience. Although equipped with protective clothing and survival gear under supervision of a doctor, one catering crewmember sustained serious injuries in a fall, causing him to be sent home.
       Hotel scenes took place in the Roseg Valley wildlife conservation area, where a ban on all motorized transport forced the production to employ the use of “horse-bus” and helicopters to construct the full-scale set. Shooting at higher altitudes, however, proved to be a much greater challenge. Gmür organized the transport of crew and equipment up the mountainsides, while assistant safety officer Joe Brown inspected the slopes for crevasses and additional risks. Filming of exterior village scenes took place in a town called Latsch, 8,000 feet above sea level, and was followed by a cable car trip to the 11,000-foot high plateau of Diavolezza, where the crew built a helipad and a 1930s-style, cliff-edge hut to serve as a base camp for all electrical, wardrobe, makeup, food, heating, latrine, and shelter needs. Due to their $15-per-minute cost, helicopter flights were kept to a minimum; however, scenes at the Val Forno glacier required round-trip airlifting of the full crew in two Bell 204 and Alouette 3 aircraft.
       In order to arrange the camp for Zinnemann’s 7:00 AM arrival and sunrise start time each day, the production hired Alpine shepherds who were accustomed to the harsh wintry conditions. After locations were prepared for work, the changing weather often forced the crew to find new filming sites. According to the Swiss Observer, heavy snow in mid-July made the mountains impenetrable, and later that month, crewmembers discovered the frozen body of a man who had been missing for thirty-one years, preserved in the ice at a prospective location. The 7 Nov 1982 NYT indicated that the intermittent blowing of dust from the Sahara unexpectedly turned the mountains orange, halting production until there was a new snowfall. Production notes stated that, forty-eight hours prior to filming at the main crevasse site, a storm destroyed the extensive dressings, and a new crevasse had to be prepared. There, a falling chunk of ice broke the camera magazine and destroyed an entire day’s worth of takes, which were scheduled to be reshot on the Thursday of that week. On Friday, however, Lambert Wilson developed an infected sun blister, which prevented him from applying screen makeup. As reported by the 7 Nov 1982 NYT, Wilson’s close-ups were suspended for ten days until the infection subsided. In addition, the crew was caught in an electrical storm on a ledge of Piz Palu in late Sep 1981. Following a 7 Oct 1981 Var report that Maiden, Maiden was currently shooting interiors at Shepperton Studios in England, a 4 Nov 1981 Var brief stated that the production was on hiatus due to poor weather, and would resume for two weeks after 1 Jan 1982. The Swiss Observer added that, amid these complications and treacherous conditions, Sean Connery was required to use 1930s-era climbing boots and equipment, while the actors had to learn outdated, period-appropriate climbing techniques. The Times (London), however, asserted that Connery did not use a stunt double, due to the frequency of close-up shots. Additionally, the film’s highest peak, “The Maiden,” was created by compositing parts filmed at Piz Castello, Piz Badile, Piz Palu, and the Largo. The 7 Nov 1982 NYT claimed that principal photography finished within four months, at a final cost of just over $17 million.
       On 1 Mar 1982, DV stated that the title had been changed back to Five Days In Summer, with Connery returning to London, England, for dialogue looping. An article in the 4 Aug 1982 Var reported a budget for the picture of $15,375,000; the film would be included in a $50 million, eight-picture distribution package in a partnership with Warner Bros. and the Hollywood Associates Limited Partnership. According to the 25 Sep 1982 issue of Screen International, the movie would have its world premiere at the National Film Theatre in London, on 23 Oct 1982, concluding an eighteen-film career retrospective on Zinnemann. London release was expected for five days later at the Warner West End 4 and the ABC Fulham Road cinemas. Despite the 28 Oct 1982 LAHExam’s anticipated 4 Nov 1982 Los Angeles, CA and New York City release prior to its North American expansion Jan 1983, Five Days One Summer opened at the Cinema 1 Theater in New York City 7 Nov 1982.
       As stated by the 8 Feb 1983 HR, working titles in Germany included Rivals Around Kate and Five Days In Summer, before it was ultimately changed to a translation of On the Brink of Disaster, or On the Edge of the Precipice. Zinnemann arrived in Munich, Germany, a day prior to promote the film, which was scheduled for the 4 Mar 1983 German release. The 24 Feb 1983 LAT noted that in France, the title was changed to Five Days One Spring.
       Five Days One Summer was Fred Zinnemann’s final motion picture.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
PERSONAL & COMPANY INDEX CREDITS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
22 May 1981.
---
Daily Variety
1 Mar 1982.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 1982
p. 3, 25.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Feb 1983.
---
LAHExam
28 Oct 1982
Section A, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
6 Nov 1982
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
24 Feb 1983.
---
New York Times
18 Jan 1980.
---
New York Times
7 Nov 1982
p. 1, 16.
New York Times
7 Nov 1982
p. 72.
Screen International
8 Aug 1981.
---
Screen International
25 Sep 1982.
---
Swiss Observer
p. 14-17.
The Journal
10-16 Sep 1981.
---
The Times (London)
20 Oct 1982
p. 10.
Variety
23 Jan 1980.
---
Variety
7 Oct 1981.
---
Variety
4 Nov 1981.
---
Variety
4 Aug 1982.
---
Variety
27 Oct 1982
pp. 14-15.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Fred Zinnemann Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr, Switzerland
Prod mgr, U.K.
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit mountain photog
2d unit mountain photog
2d unit mountain photog
2d unit mountain photog
Chief grip
Focus puller
Gaffer
Gaffer
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
2d unit cam asst
Stills
Stills
Lighting by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward master
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd rec
Sd ed
Re-rec mixer
Boom op
2d unit sd rec
Dial dubbing ed
Eff dubbing ed
Dubbing by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Spec eff tech
Spec eff tech
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdresser
Spec make-up eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Chief safety officer
Prod adv
Finance controller
Continuity
Asst safety officer
Chief guide
Guide
Guide
Guide
Dial coach
Casting
Casting
Casting
Loc mgr
Loc catering
Loc transport
Runner
Unit pub
Prod exec
Loc accountant
Prod asst, Loc
Prod asst, U.K.
Mr. Zinnemann's personal asst
Prod's secy
Prod accountant
STAND INS
Climber
Climber
Climber
Climber
Climber
Climber
Climber
COLOR PERSONNEL
Processed by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based in part on "Maiden, Maiden," a short story by Kay Boyle, published in her Fifty Stories (1992).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Five Days In Summer
Maiden, Maiden
Release Date:
7 November 1982
Premiere Information:
London world premiere: 23 Oct 1982; Los Angeles and New York openings: 7 Nov 1982
Production Date:
Jun 1981--spring 1982 in Switzerland, Scotland, and London, England
Copyright Info
Claimant
DATE
CopyrightNumber
Cable and Wireless (Finance) Ltd.
2 March 1983
PA168446
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Languages:
German, English
PCA No:
26531
SYNOPSIS

On a train, in the middle of the night, a young woman awakens next to a middle-aged man and rises, looking out the window at the passing mountains. In 1932 Switzerland, the man, a Scottish doctor named Douglas Meredith, waits for a delayed carriage as the young woman, Kate, sleeps on a bench. The carriage arrives and drives them to a hotel near the Alps, where Kate and Douglas join a group of guests dancing on the porch. When the hotel owner, Brendel, interrupts them, Douglas introduces Kate as his wife. Brendel shows the couple to their room, where Douglas kisses Kate and asks her if she is happy. At dinner that night, two elderly sisters, Jennifer and Gillian Pierce, ask Douglas about his plans to climb the mountains, and request that he join their table. He declines, and when Kate enters the dining room, the guests fall silent. Brendel introduces the couple to their young climbing guide, Johann Biari, who agrees to speak with Douglas after dinner. Later, Douglas tells Johann that his wife is a proficient rock climber, but is unskilled navigating ice. As the younger man maps out a route for the next day, a mountaineer named Dieter praises Johann’s skills, and Johann explains that Dieter aims to set climbing records. Douglas returns to the room and finds Kate crying, suffering from a sudden bout of depression. She remembers years earlier, when she was working as an apprentice in the shipyard drafting office: Douglas and his relatives arrive for a visit. Not having seen Kate in ten years, he does not immediately recognize her, and introduces his wife, Sarah as they sit down for a meeting. ...

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On a train, in the middle of the night, a young woman awakens next to a middle-aged man and rises, looking out the window at the passing mountains. In 1932 Switzerland, the man, a Scottish doctor named Douglas Meredith, waits for a delayed carriage as the young woman, Kate, sleeps on a bench. The carriage arrives and drives them to a hotel near the Alps, where Kate and Douglas join a group of guests dancing on the porch. When the hotel owner, Brendel, interrupts them, Douglas introduces Kate as his wife. Brendel shows the couple to their room, where Douglas kisses Kate and asks her if she is happy. At dinner that night, two elderly sisters, Jennifer and Gillian Pierce, ask Douglas about his plans to climb the mountains, and request that he join their table. He declines, and when Kate enters the dining room, the guests fall silent. Brendel introduces the couple to their young climbing guide, Johann Biari, who agrees to speak with Douglas after dinner. Later, Douglas tells Johann that his wife is a proficient rock climber, but is unskilled navigating ice. As the younger man maps out a route for the next day, a mountaineer named Dieter praises Johann’s skills, and Johann explains that Dieter aims to set climbing records. Douglas returns to the room and finds Kate crying, suffering from a sudden bout of depression. She remembers years earlier, when she was working as an apprentice in the shipyard drafting office: Douglas and his relatives arrive for a visit. Not having seen Kate in ten years, he does not immediately recognize her, and introduces his wife, Sarah as they sit down for a meeting. Although he and Kate share ownership of the family business, Douglas explains that he wishes to join a medical practice instead. In the hotel the next morning, employees discuss the age difference between Douglas and Kate, and the couple joins Johann for their climbing expedition. As they walk, Kate reflects on the day Douglas left to travel to India, when she was a child. While climbing a steep rock, Kate slips, but eventually reaches the summit, with her husband close behind. Over lunch, Douglas reveals that he served as a medical officer on the 1924 expedition of Mount Everest. Just then, a thunderstorm forces Kate, Douglas, and Johann to descend the cliffs and seek shelter under an overhanging rock. There, Kate remembers Douglas approaching her in her bedroom of her large, English estate, following his return from India, and their reunion at the shipyard. Johann tells Kate that he works as a teacher, and is content spending his entire life in Switzerland. After lunch, the hikers return to the hotel, and Kate remembers the first time she and Douglas made love and were nearly caught by his wife, Sarah. The next morning, Kate, Douglas, and Johann climb a snowy mountain. When jumping across a deep ravine, Douglas falls and is forced to climb up the side with a broken shoe and no pickaxe. As Johann descends the ravine to retrieve the lost axe, he finds the boot of a man, frozen in the ice. Believing the body to be a climber who went missing many years ago, Johann returns to the village to recruit help. Upon his return, a climber explains to Douglas that a man disappeared forty years earlier, on the day before his wedding. When the corpse is carried down the mountain, the deceased man’s elderly former fiancée, Maria, looks upon his youthful face, preserved in the ice. That evening, Kate looks at Douglas’ cigarette case with its engraving from Sarah, and remembers telling Sarah her plans to go climbing with Douglas’ friends. Kate then finds Johann sitting alone on a hilltop, and he reveals that the frozen man was the brother of his grandfather. Maria never married. Kate admits that Douglas is married, and explains that she has been in love with him since she was a child. Johann warns her that she should not be with Douglas, and she runs away. Kate then tells Douglas that she wants to stay in Switzerland after he leaves, insisting that Sarah knows of their relationship but refuses to believe it, because Kate is Douglas’ niece. Douglas slaps Kate, then kisses her, but she insists they can never be happy. Later, when Johann approaches the couple’s room, Kate opens the door wide enough to show him Douglas’ undressed form lying in bed, indicating that they had just made love. Before dawn, Douglas, Kate, and Johann ascend to a mountainside inn, owned by a man named Martin, where Kate spends time with a group of young French climbers. The two men continue their hike, and Douglas sees a difficult peak that he wishes to climb, although he knows it is beyond Kate’s skill level. At Martin’s inn, Kate agrees to stay behind, as Johann gazes at her longingly. That afternoon, Johann asks her how she can waste her life with an elderly man. That night, Kate follows Johann outside, and Douglas awakens. When she returns, Douglas pulls her close. At daybreak, Johann and Douglas prepare to leave, as Kate reminds Douglas of her plans to stay in Switzerland. After many hours of climbing, the two men reach the top of the icy mountain. Johann reveals that he knows about Douglas and Kate’s affair, and claims that Douglas can never make her happy. Infuriated, Douglas tells the guide that his relationship with Kate is more than just a “fling.” As they repel down the steep mountainside, their rope becomes stuck in the rocks. Johann tugs at the knot, causing a rockslide, and a body plummets through the sky into the crevasses below. Meanwhile, Kate seals a letter, and prepares to leave. Concerned that the climbers have not returned, Martin looks through his binoculars to see only one man walking down the slopes. As Martin and his friend rush to meet the climber and retrieve the fallen body, Kate follows, and discovers that Douglas is the sole survivor. Following Johann’s funeral, Kate tells Douglas that she will not be in England when he returns home, and rides away in a carriage.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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