UK TELEVISION PREMIERE – BBC TWO – 9pm, WEDNESDAY 17th AUGUST 2011
Narrated by Liam Neeson
Featuring the voices of Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson,
Hugh Dancy and Alan Rickman
Altitude Films presents THE WILDEST DREAM: CONQUEST OF EVEREST. This stunning feature documentary, directed by BAFTA and Emmy® award-winning filmmaker, Anthony Geffen (released in cinemas in 2010), follows a team of modern climbers as they retrace the footsteps of British explorer George Mallory who disappeared near the top of Everest in 1924. Mallory’s disappearance is one of Britain’s greatest unsolved mysteries: could he have reached the summit of Everest 29 years before Sir Edmund Hillary?
Dressed in gabardine and wearing hobnailed boots, Mallory risked everything in pursuit of his dream. He was last seen alive just 800 feet below the mountain’s peak, before the clouds closed in and he disappeared into legend. Mallory’s death stunned the world. In 1999, renowned mountaineer Conrad Anker discovered Mallory’s frozen body high in the mountain’s “death zone” and his life became intertwined with Mallory’s story. Remarkably, all Mallory’s belongings were found intact on his body. The only thing missing was a photograph of his wife, Ruth, which Mallory had promised to place on the summit if he succeeded. Haunted by the story, Anker returns to Everest to solve the enduring mystery surrounding the ill-fated expedition and the disappearance of one of the world’s greatest explorers.
THE WILDEST DREAM is a story of obsession and breathtaking adventure, told through the explorer’s poignant and evocative correspondence with his wife and using previously unseen photos and original footage shot on Everest in 1924. Anker and British rock-climbing prodigy Leo Houlding embark on their own quest to conquer Everest, following the original North East Ridge route taken by Mallory in 1924 to discover whether he and fellow climber Andrew “Sandy” Irvine could have reached the summit. To find out if Mallory could have succeeded, Conrad and Leo must scale the infamous Second Step, which has never been free climbed, a 90 foot sheer rock wall with a 7,000 foot drop, just as Mallory and Irvine would have had to do eight decades earlier.
THE WILDEST DREAM is narrated by Liam Neeson and features the voices of Ralph Fiennes as George Mallory, the late Natasha Richardson as Ruth Mallory, Hugh Dancy as Andrew “Sandy” Irvine and Alan Rickman as Noel Odell, the last person to see Mallory alive.
THE WILDEST DREAM is an award-winning film produced by Altitude Films in association with Atlantic Productions. It is directed by Anthony Geffen, in his first collaboration with executive producer Mike Medavoy, who has been behind seven Best Picture Academy Award-winning films. Produced by Anthony Geffen and Claudia Perkins with Peter Miller as the editor. Directors of photography are Ken Sauls and Chris Openshaw. Joel Douek composed the music.
BBC Two on Wednesday 17th August at 9pm.