The White Hell of Piz Palu

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

The title of this late silent mountain picture refers to a sequence in which a party of rescuers brandishing flares enter a crevasse to retrieve the bodies of some students caught in an avalanche. The imagery is indeed hellish, the scene itself the only one to suggest that Fanck and Pabst might genuinely have collaborated. For the rest, a lengthy passage in which a grim, grief-stricken Diessl shares a mountain hut with a sexy couple (Riefenstahl and Petersen) is echt-Pabst, while Fanck's trademarks - distant figures traversing fantastic ice-scapes, the theme of endurance in the face of hostile Nature - are overwhelmingly present. The plot is rudimentary, with WWI ace Ernst Udet, as himself, flying in to round things up. Altogether a curious example of bifurcated auteur syndrome.

By: BBa


Release details

133 mins

Cast and crew

GW Pabst, Arnold Fanck
Arnold Fanck, Ladislaus Vajda
Leni Riefenstahl
Otto Spring
Gustav Diessl
Ernst Petersen
Ernst Udet
Mizzi Götzel
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