Alive (1993)

R | 125 mins | Drama, Adventure, Biography | 15 January 1993

Director:

Frank Marshall

Cinematographer:

Peter James

Production Designer:

Norman Reynolds

Production Companies:

Touchstone Pictures, Paramount Pictures Corporation, The Kennedy/Marshall Company
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HISTORY

The film is bookended by an interview with a survivor of the 1972 Andes flight disaster, now middle-aged, played by John Malkovich in an uncredited cameo. A 14 Jan 1993 LAT article noted the scene was included so that viewers who were unaware of the real-life story would know in advance that some people survived; otherwise, director Frank Marshall feared the film would be a “horrific” viewing experience. Although an article in the 18 Apr 1993 The Independent (London) states that Malkovich plays a middle-aged “Carlitos Paez,” his specific identity is not made clear in the film.
       Opening credits include the title of the film, accompanied by the statement “Based on a true story.” They conclude with the following title cards: “1972. A South American rugby team together with some friends and relatives crosses the Andes to play a game in neighboring Chile.” The film ends with the following statement superimposed over footage of the victims’ mass grave in the Andes: “This film is dedicated to the 29 people who died on the mountain and the 16 who survived.”
       A 10 Jan 1993 NYT article noted that film rights to Piers Paul Read’s best-seller, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, were optioned in 1974, the year the book was published, by United Artists (UA). Palomar Pictures was set to produce, and screenwriters Harold Pinter and William Goldman were rumored to be involved. UA considered building a town in the Andes mountains for filming, then selling it to the Chilean government to be used as a ski resort. However, in 1976, a low-budget Mexican film about the ordeal, titled ... More Less

The film is bookended by an interview with a survivor of the 1972 Andes flight disaster, now middle-aged, played by John Malkovich in an uncredited cameo. A 14 Jan 1993 LAT article noted the scene was included so that viewers who were unaware of the real-life story would know in advance that some people survived; otherwise, director Frank Marshall feared the film would be a “horrific” viewing experience. Although an article in the 18 Apr 1993 The Independent (London) states that Malkovich plays a middle-aged “Carlitos Paez,” his specific identity is not made clear in the film.
       Opening credits include the title of the film, accompanied by the statement “Based on a true story.” They conclude with the following title cards: “1972. A South American rugby team together with some friends and relatives crosses the Andes to play a game in neighboring Chile.” The film ends with the following statement superimposed over footage of the victims’ mass grave in the Andes: “This film is dedicated to the 29 people who died on the mountain and the 16 who survived.”
       A 10 Jan 1993 NYT article noted that film rights to Piers Paul Read’s best-seller, Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, were optioned in 1974, the year the book was published, by United Artists (UA). Palomar Pictures was set to produce, and screenwriters Harold Pinter and William Goldman were rumored to be involved. UA considered building a town in the Andes mountains for filming, then selling it to the Chilean government to be used as a ski resort. However, in 1976, a low-budget Mexican film about the ordeal, titled Survive!, was looped into English and released in the U.S. by Paramount Pictures, causing UA to scrap its plans. Paramount took over the option in 1978. A 15 Oct 1979 DV brief announced Tony Scott would direct, and Edgar J. Scherick Associates would produce. A 14 Feb 1980 DV item noted Steven Zaillian had been hired to write the script and Michael Seymour would be production designer. However, rising costs kept Paramount from moving forward. The project then “ricocheted from studio to studio” throughout the 1980s, as stated in the 14 Jan 1993 LAT, going through over ten drafts in eighteen years. A 10 Apr 1987 LAT item noted that Steven Zaillian’s script had recently been named one of the ten best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood by American Film writer Stephen Rebello.
       In 1990, former Paramount executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, now head of Walt Disney Pictures, set out to green-light a picture about the Andes disaster but discovered Paramount still owned film rights to Piers Paul Read’s book. In Oct 1991, Katzenberg negotiated a co-production deal between the studios, wherein they would co-finance the estimated $20-million budget and split distribution rights according to a coin toss, which awarded domestic rights to Disney, and foreign rights to Paramount. A 10 Sep 1991 NYT article described the joint production as a rarity at the time, especially between Disney and Paramount, which had reportedly been feuding for years.
       Katzenberg brought the project to producer Kathleen Kennedy and her husband, director Frank Marshall, who was planning to direct Swing Kids (1993, see entry) as his next project. However, Marshall was so enthralled by the idea of Alive that he immediately signed on to direct, in lieu of Swing Kids. Kennedy and Marshall traveled to Uruguay and recorded hours of interviews with fourteen of the survivors over the course of three days, marking the first time any filmmakers had personally met with the survivors. Although Monte Merrick, and later Paul Attanasio, were commissioned to rewrite the script, their versions were thrown out and John Patrick Shanley, whose script for the 1987 film Moonstruck (see entry) had won an Academy Award, and who was known as an accomplished playwright, was brought on. Kennedy stated that she and Marshall sought out a playwright because the story, with its single setting on the mountain, unfolded like a play. Shanley reportedly finished a new screenplay in three-to-four weeks at the end of 1991. In Shanley’s version, the scope of the narrative was reduced. Previous versions had included scenes showing the parents’ search for the crash victims, and more of “Roberto Canessa” and “Nando Parrado’s” ten-day trek to Chile. The only scenes added to the film that were not in the book were two cliffhanger scenes in which survivors nearly fall to their deaths during expeditions.
       A 10 Jan 1992 Screen International item reported that actor Vincent Spano was the first to be cast. Filming began 16 Mar 1992 in Vancouver, British Columbia, according to the 31 Mar 1992 HR production chart and production notes in AMPAS library files, where the $1.5-million crash sequence was filmed on soundstages at Bridge Studios. On 27 Mar 1992, production moved to Panorama, British Columbia, where the bulk of the seventy-two-day shoot took place on the Delphine glacier, at an elevation of 9,500 feet. The location was chosen over terrains scouted in the Swiss Alps, U.S. Rocky Mountains, and South American Andes, because filmmakers were able to shoot “above the tree-line” on the glacier at a lower elevation than the other spots. During filming, temperatures dropped as low as twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Cast and crew stayed in a resort that ran helicopter expeditions for advanced skiers. Transportation to the fuselage set required a fleet of five helicopters that had to make twenty-five round trips to transport all 150 actors and crewmembers. An emergency camp was set up to provide overnight accommodations in case of inclement weather, and was used twice by crewmembers. A forty-five-person crew filmed for three weeks at even higher altitudes in the Canadian Bugaboos mountains, where Nando and Roberto’s trek to Chile was filmed. Mountain rescue experts ensured safety in both locations by probing for hidden crevasses and avalanches.
       Cast members underwent a restrictive diet and exercise program under the supervision of a physical trainer from Hollywood, CA, and an exercise physiologist. Ethan Hawke reportedly lost more than twenty pounds over the course of production. While a 27 Sep 1992 LAT item stated the “human meat” eaten by the actors was pork, another item in the 3 Feb 1993 Long Beach Press-Telegram quoted an interview with Vincent Spano, in which he claimed they ate colored tofu.
       Several survivors visited the set, including Roberto Canessa and Gustavo Zerbino. Nando Parrado, who acted as technical advisor, was on set daily.
       According to the 14 Jan 1993 LAT and 3 Mar 1993 HR, the plane crash sequence produced by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) included live-action and blue-screen footage, stunt work, “model and miniature manipulation,” matte paintings, optical composites, rear-screen projection, and digital wire removal. The opening shot of a plane flying through the Andes mountains consists of 600 frames of a miniature airplane against a filmed backdrop. Three Naval smoke generators were used to fabricate clouds. Two fiberglass airplane miniatures, eight-feet long with eight-foot wingspans, were constructed with breakaway tails and wings. One was lightweight for motion-control photography, and the other, used for the crash, weighed 200 pounds. A miniature set, 20x50 feet, was built in the ILM parking lot, including a tiny mountain range made with black foil sprayed with foam, and canvas covered in baking soda to resemble snow. For the shots depicting passengers being thrown from the airplane, a set was built twenty-five feet above the soundstage floor. Stunt performers were yanked out of the fuselage by cables, and fell onto air bags as the fuselage was rocked on a gimbal mount.
       Principal photography ended on 25 Jun 1992. The film, which ultimately cost $25 million, was set to be released on 6 Nov 1992, as stated in an 11 Oct 1992 LAT brief. However, the release date was pushed to Jan 1993 to give Touchstone Pictures more time to develop a strong marketing campaign, which, according to a 27 Sep 1992 LAT article, emphasized the inspirational aspect of the story, and downplayed the cannibalism. Although an early version of the trailer included a discussion about eating the dead to survive, it was cut so that the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) ratings board would approve the trailer for general audiences. Although filmmakers were reportedly anticipating a PG-13 MPAA rating for the film, it was ultimately rated R, due to the intensity of the plane crash sequence.
       Critical reception was tepid. The 13 Jan 1993 DV called the film a “well-crafted effort” but an “uphill marketing climb,” and complained that the characters’ personalities and looks were not distinct enough to tell them apart. The 15 Jan 1993 LAT review echoed the latter sentiment, stating that it took the entirety of the film to figure out “who is whom,” and complained that although the film was well-done, it did not transcend its material.
       A 20 Jan 1993 DV article reported that Alive took in an unexpected $8.6 million in its first four days of release over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. The article attributed the surprise success to the marketing campaign and well-placed television advertisements aimed at teenagers. The promotional campaign also included a seven-city tour featuring three of the survivors: Nando Parrado, Roberto Canessa, and Carlitos Paez.
       A documentary titled Alive: 20 Years Later, shot by Australian director Jill Fullerton-Smith, was aired on the British television network, BBC1, on 18 Apr 1993. The documentary included behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the film, and was later included as an extra in a home video release of the film.
       A 13 Oct 2002 LAT brief reported that fourteen survivors from the Uruguayan Old Christians rugby team finally held the match against the Old Boys Chilean team thirty years after it had been thwarted by the 1972 Andes disaster.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1979.
---
Daily Variety
14 Feb 1980.
---
Daily Variety
13 Jan 1993
p. 4, 12.
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1993
p. 1, 42.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Jan 1993
p. 8, 48.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1993
p. S-8, S-9.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
3 Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Apr 1987
View, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
10 May 1992
Calendar, p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
27 Sep 1992
Calendar, p. 25.
Los Angeles Times
11 Oct 1992
Section G, p. 28.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jan 1993
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
15 Jan 1993
p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
13 Oct 2002
Section A, p. 14.
New York Times
10 Sep 1991
Section D, p. 17.
New York Times
10 Jan 1993
Section A, p. 11.
New York Times
15 Jan 1993
p. 6.
Screen International
10 Jan 1992.
---
The Independent (London)
18 Apr 1993
p. 20.
Variety
18 Jan 1993
p. 77.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Touchstone Pictures and Paramount Pictures present
A Kennedy/Marshall Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
3d asst dir
Trainee asst dir
Trainee asst dir
2d unit dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
B cam op
B cam op
B cam 1st asst
B cam 2d asst
Cam trainee
Cam trainee
Still photog
Video playback op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Rigging gaffer
Rigging gaffer
1st company grip
Canadian 1st company grip
Canadian 1st company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Cam asst, ILM
Cam asst, ILM
Cranes and dollies by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Storyboard artist
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed - Vancouver
Apprentice ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Asst set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Const foreman
Head painter
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Ward dept head
Set ward supv
Set ward supv
Set ward supv
Set ward supv
Set ward supv
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus cond by
Mus scoring mixer
Scoring coord
Mus preparation
Mus contractor
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Cableperson
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Supv sd ed
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
ADR mixer
ADR rec
Sd eff supv
Sd eff ed
Sd crew coord
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Addl audio
Addl audio
Foley supv
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley rec
Re-rec at
a division of LucasArts Entertainment Company
Sd by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Spec eff make-up des by
SPFX make-up
SPFX make-up
SPFX make-up
Spec eff coord
Spec eff consultant
Spec eff best boy
FX head machinist
Animatronics eng
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec eff crew
Spec visual eff by
a division of LucasArts Entertainment Company, Marin County, California
Visual eff prod, ILM
Visual eff art dir, ILM
Opt photog supv, ILM
Computer graphics supv, ILM
Visual eff ed, ILM
General mgr, ILM
Exec in charge of prod, ILM
Project mgr, ILM
Cam op, ILM
Cam op, ILM
Cam asst, ILM
Cam asst, ILM
Opt cam op, ILM
Opt cam op, ILM
Opt line-up, ILM
Opt line-up, ILM
CG anim, ILM
CG anim, ILM
Visual eff coord, ILM
Rotoscope artist, ILM
Asst ed, ILM
Negative cutter, ILM
Projectionist, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Modelmaker, ILM
Key gaffer, ILM
Key rigger, ILM
Key rigger, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Key stage tech, ILM
Prod asst, ILM
Title des
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Key make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Head hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Mountain safety & helicopter coord
Mountain safety crew
Mountain safety crew
Mountain safety crew
Mountain safety crew
Mountain safety crew
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Vancouver casting
Paramedic
Avalanche dog
Craft service
Craft service
Craft service
Tech adv
Unit mgr, 2d unit
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
1st asst accountant
Asst accountant
Prod coord
Asst coord
Asst coord
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Unit pub
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Mr. Marshall
Asst to Ms. Kennedy
Asst to Ms. Kennedy
Asst to Mr. Watts
Asst to Mr. Cohen
Asst to Mr. Greene
Casting asst
Casting asst
Helicopter coord/Cam pilot, Vancouver Helicopters
Helicopter coord/Cam pilot
Aviation coord
Caterer
Caterer
Caterer
Driver
Driver
Driver
(Hippy)
Driver
Driver
Health & fitness training
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Canadian stunt coord
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Stock provided by
SOURCES
LITERARY
From the book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read (Philadelphia, 1974).
SONGS
"The Look Of Love," written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David
"Happy Birthday To You," written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
"Do You Know The Way To San Jose?," written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David, performed by Dionne Warwick, courtesy of Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"The Look Of Love," written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David
"Happy Birthday To You," written by Patty S. Hill and Mildred J. Hill
"Do You Know The Way To San Jose?," written by Burt Bacharach & Hal David, performed by Dionne Warwick, courtesy of Warner Special Products
"Ave Maria," composed by Franz Schubert, arranged by Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville, performed by Aaron Neville, courtesy of A & M Records, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 January 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 15 Jan 1993
Production Date:
16 Mar--25 Jun 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc., & Touchstone Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 January 1993
Copyright Number:
PA596912
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
125
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32112
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1972, a Uruguayan rugby team flies through the Andes mountains on its way to a match in Chile. Turbulence rocks the airplane, and the rugby players and other passengers fasten their seatbelts. Suddenly, the airplane nosedives, and the pilot cannot pull up in time to clear a mountain. The tail of the airplane breaks off, and passengers in back of the plane fly out. The wings are torn off, and finally the fuselage and remaining passengers skid to a stop on a snowy mountaintop. Some are thrown forward, and the gaping cabin is filled with snow. Unscathed survivors get out of their seats to help the injured. Medical students Roberto Canessa and Gustavo Zerbino administer first aid, while others dig through suitcases in search of warm clothes. Teammate Nando Parrado appears to be dead. His sister, Susana, calls out for her mother, Eugenia, who is dying. When two teammates attempt to free Mrs. Alfonsi, who is trapped under two seats, she cries out in pain, begging them to stop. Roberto Canessa finds the co-pilot dying in the cockpit, and determines the radio is dead. Fraga, the airplane mechanic, laughs hysterically, informing Roberto that extra batteries were stored in the tail of the plane. The officious rugby team captain, Antonio Balbi, leads others in clearing the dead. When the sun goes down, the survivors freeze inside the fuselage. Antonio enlists teammate Roy Harley to help him stuff the hole in back of the cabin with suitcases. Still trapped, Mrs. Alfonsi moans in agony, cursing the young men for not helping her. Teammate Carlitos Paez loses his temper and yells at her to shut up. The next day, the ... +


In 1972, a Uruguayan rugby team flies through the Andes mountains on its way to a match in Chile. Turbulence rocks the airplane, and the rugby players and other passengers fasten their seatbelts. Suddenly, the airplane nosedives, and the pilot cannot pull up in time to clear a mountain. The tail of the airplane breaks off, and passengers in back of the plane fly out. The wings are torn off, and finally the fuselage and remaining passengers skid to a stop on a snowy mountaintop. Some are thrown forward, and the gaping cabin is filled with snow. Unscathed survivors get out of their seats to help the injured. Medical students Roberto Canessa and Gustavo Zerbino administer first aid, while others dig through suitcases in search of warm clothes. Teammate Nando Parrado appears to be dead. His sister, Susana, calls out for her mother, Eugenia, who is dying. When two teammates attempt to free Mrs. Alfonsi, who is trapped under two seats, she cries out in pain, begging them to stop. Roberto Canessa finds the co-pilot dying in the cockpit, and determines the radio is dead. Fraga, the airplane mechanic, laughs hysterically, informing Roberto that extra batteries were stored in the tail of the plane. The officious rugby team captain, Antonio Balbi, leads others in clearing the dead. When the sun goes down, the survivors freeze inside the fuselage. Antonio enlists teammate Roy Harley to help him stuff the hole in back of the cabin with suitcases. Still trapped, Mrs. Alfonsi moans in agony, cursing the young men for not helping her. Teammate Carlitos Paez loses his temper and yells at her to shut up. The next day, the body of Mrs. Alfonsi is laid in the snow next to five other corpses. Carlitos tearfully regrets shouting at her, and joins the group as they recite the Lord’s Prayer. Antonio, who is optimistic they will soon be found, inventories the food supply and determines that the twenty-seven survivors must make do with a capful of wine and a square of chocolate for each meal until they are rescued. Carlitos feeds a ration of wine to the unconscious Nando Parrado. After another freezing night, the group develops a system to collect drinking water by heating snow. Nando regains consciousness and learns that his mother was killed. He tends to his sister, who is suffering from a head wound. The next day, a small airplane flies overhead. Antonio is convinced the pilot tipped the plane to signal they were spotted. The survivors rejoice. Roberto swigs from a bottle of wine and offers it to others, confident they no longer have to ration. At night, while Antonio is sleeping, the group eats the remaining chocolate. The next day, they wait in vain for helicopters to arrive. Antonio loses his temper when he discovers the empty ration box. He worries that the rescue party could take a week to arrive, if they are on foot. Teammate Bobby Francois acknowledges a land rescue might be necessary, but wonders why helicopters have not dropped supplies in the meantime. Roberto enlists help in building hammocks for Federico Aranda and Alberto Artuna, both of whom have broken legs that are developing infections. A transistor radio is found. Using copper wire, Roy Harley and Antonio manage to get radio reception. Meanwhile, Nando tells Carlitos that if his sister dies, he will hike off on his own. Carlitos believes they are too weak to hike, but Nando claims he will eat the flesh of the dead pilots if necessary to gain strength. Antonio hears a report on the radio that no one has spotted them. Roberto Canessa leads a small group in search of the airplane tail, but the starving hikers become exhausted and must turn around. Examining a map, Alberto Artuna determines they are just east of Chile, where the Andes are bordered by green valleys. After the abortive expedition, however, Roberto argues they lack the energy to hike to safety. Days pass, and they continue to starve. Nando’s sister dies in his arms. Antonio breaks down in tears and admits he cannot save them. On the ninth day, a radio news report announces the search has been called off. Nando gathers everyone to share the bad news. He insists they must save themselves, and will have to eat the dead. Although the others are repulsed by the idea, and some say they would rather die than resort to cannibalism, they agree to pray about it overnight. A few of the young men make a pact with each other, sacrificing their flesh as food in case they die. The next day, the usually taciturn Antonio “Tintin” Vizintín tells the others he thinks they should eat. The young men decide to treat cannibalism like communion – the others have died so they can live. Using a shard of glass, Robert cuts and eats the first piece of human flesh. Others follow his lead. Inside the fuselage, Roberto finds Nando, who asks if they took meat from his sister’s body. Roberto assures him they did not. Nando promises to be a strong leader when he can, but asks Roberto to step in for him when he cannot. No longer starving, three of the teammates set out to find the tail. They do not return by sundown, and the others assume they will die overnight. However, the climbers miraculously survive. The next day, they find ejected seats and dead passengers. When they rejoin the group, Roberto is inspired to organize another search party. Carlitos assures the others that God is taking care of them, and Nando admits he also feels a sense of fate. Passenger Javier Methol, who survived the crash with his wife, Lilliana, urges her to eat, but she refuses. That night, an avalanche buries the airplane in snow and kills eight more, including Lilliana. Trapped inside the fuselage, Carlitos attempts to boost morale by celebrating teammate Rafael Cano’s birthday. Days later, the blizzard finally passes, and Carlitos basks in the sun outside, telling the others God is everywhere. Fifty days after the crash, Roberto, Nando, and Tintin set out on another expedition. They find the tail of the plane, and extra batteries for the radio in the cockpit, but are still unable to fix the radio. On a second trip, Nando discovers waterproof material in the tail that can be used to make a sleeping bag. He decides the only remaining choice is to hike to Chile, and vows to do so alone if necessary. Roberto and Tintin agree to go with him, but Roberto insists on waiting until the weather warms and the days get longer. When they return to the fuselage, spirits are even lower. Nando notices Federico Aranda has died but no one has cleared his body. On day sixty-one, Gustavo lifelessly announces Rafael Cano has died. Fearing for the group’s waning humanity, Nando persuades Roberto to leave earlier than planned. They pack days’ worth of meat and set out with Tintin, who helps Nando pull Roberto to safety when he stumbles over the edge of a cliff. Roberto loses hope just as Nando sees the green terrain of Chile in the distance. Roberto thinks it is too far, but Nando reminds him they have already done the impossible by surviving seventy days. They send Tintin back to the fuselage, and ration Tintin’s meat. After days more of hiking, they come upon a lake, and drink the water. Soon after, they return to the crash site in rescue helicopters, and the fourteen other survivors rejoice. Years later, a survivor of the “miracle in the Andes” recalls that others went back to bury the dead, and marked their grave with a stone altar and iron cross. +

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

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