The film explores George Mallory's obsession with becoming the first person to reach the highest place on Earth. Told through the explorer's poignant and evocative letters to his wife, Ruth, previously unseen photos and film archive from 1924 (restored from the original nitrate especially for the film), dramatization and a modern-day expedition retracing the original route taken in 1924, Mallory's incredible adventure lives again. The expedition was led by renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker, whose life became inextricably linked with Mallory after he found Mallory s body on Everest in 1999. Using replica 1920s-era clothing and equipment, Anker sets out to solve the great mystery of whether Mallory succeeded in summiting Everest before he died he was last seen just 800 feet from the summit before the clouds closed in and he disappeared into legend. The most heart-breaking clue: All of Mallory's belongings were found intact on his body, except the photograph of his beloved Ruth, which he promised to leave at the top of the world if he succeeded.
Between the 1920s and the 1960s the world's great powers sent vast military-style expeditions to conquer the peaks of the Himalayas, with Everest at their head. This was a great game played - camera in hand - by Imperial Britain, Nazi Germany and superpower America. As a result, Himalayan mountaineering's most iconic, epic and tragic moments didn't just go down in history, but were caught on film - from the deaths of Mallory and Irvine on Everest in 1924, to Everest's final conquest in 1953 by Hillary and Tensing. Using footage never before seen on British television, this is the story how of how film-makers turned the great peaks into great propaganda.
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