Alive / Society of the Snow

They were ordinary young men driven to the very limits of human endurance
They were ordinary young men driven to the very limits of human endurance
ALIVE (15)
D: Frank Marshall
Paramount/Touchstone (Robert Watts & Kathleen Kennedy)
USA 🇺🇸 1992
121 mins
W: John Patrick Shanley [based on the book by Piers Paul Reid]
DP: Peter James
Ed: Michael Kahn
Mus: James Newton Howard
PD: Norman Reynolds

Ethan Hawke (Nando Parrado), Josh Hamilton (Roberto Canessa), Bruce Ramsay (Carlitos Perez), John Haymes Newton (Antonio Vizintin), David Kriegel (Gustavo Zerbino), Vincent Spano (Antonio Balbi), John Malkovich (narrator)
Based on a true story. On the afternoon of Friday, October 13th 1972, one of the most controversial and inspirational tales of survival began when an aeroplane carrying a team of young Uruguayan rugby players and their families crashed into the Andes Mountains.
Several of the passengers died instantly, but most survived.  For a week, they say and waited for rescue to arrive, but help never came and they learn from a salvaged radio receiver that the search party had been abandoned. Soon after, all their food has been deplenished.
Forced to exist in subzero weather for ten weeks, the survivors endured the unimaginable by doing the unthinkable and eating their dead.  Meanwhile, a team of three leave the makeshift camp in an heroic attempt to trek out of the mountains for help.
Unfortunately, the high-octane, adrenalous plane crash in the first ten minutes let's the rest of the film drag due to a very overclimactic beginning.  The opening and supporting visual effects over the course of the movie aren't enough to carry the drama without any real focus on the characters, who are merely supporting roles to the special effects and set pieces. Nevertheless, it gave a promising start to Frank Marshall's directorial career (following 1990's Arachnophobia) which he never really did much better with after serving as Steven Spielberg's producer over the course of the 1980's.
The film does ask an important question however, but doesn't really answer it in any volumes.

The cast of Alive
The cast of Alive
Did You Know:
The real Nando Parrado (Ethan Hawke's character) was technical advisor to the film.

Award Wins & Nominations:


Wins: 1 (Best Sound Effects Editing)

Nominations: 2 (Best Sound; Best Visual Effects)


Wins: none

Nominations: none


Wins: none

Nominations: none


Australian Cinematographers Society (Cinematographer of the Year)


D: J.A. Bayona

Netflix / Mision de Audaces / El Arriero (Belén Atienza, Sandra Hermida & J.A. Bayona)

Spain/US 🇪🇸🇺🇸 2023

144 mins


W: J.A. Bayona, Bernat Vilaplana, Jaime Marques & Nicolás Casariego [based on the book “La Sociedad de la Nieve” by Pablo Vierci]

DP: Pedro Luque

Ed: Jaume Marti & Andrés Gil

Mus: Michael Giacchino

Enzo Vogrincic (Numa Turcatti), Matias Recalt (Roberto Canessa), Agustin Pardella (Nando Parrado), Tomas Wolf (Gustavo Zerbino), Diego Vegazzi (Marcelo Perez del Castillo), Esteban Kukuricza (Adolfo ‘Fito’ Strauch)

The story of “The Miracle of the Andes” had previously been brought to the screen in the early 1990s with the film “Alive”, an attempted blockbuster effort from director Frank Marshall that highlighted the disaster of the event, but didn’t pay homage to the human element of the real-life scenario.

It’s only correct that a Spanish-language version can tell the story of the factual disaster and the real people whom were affected, rather than it simply be characters in a Hollywood movie.

The story surrounds an Argentinian rugby team of boys in their early 20s, along with some of their family and friends, whose plane crashed deep in the Andes mountains whilst en route to Chile.

Miraculously, 16 of the 40 passengers survived, but had to face harsh weather conditions, an avalanche and starvation in the 72 days they remained stranded, only surviving by resorting to cannibalism, and a pair of the survivors trekking for 10 days along the mountain range to seek help in a Chilean village.

This is a much more tasteful & genuine film than its 1990s counterpart, mostly due to the performances of the cast and respectful direction of J.A. Bayona, who doesn’t try to make the film more than what it is.


Society of the Snow
Society of the Snow
Did You Know:
The film was made in chronological order, allowing the actors to steadily lose weight and accurately portray the effects of starvation.