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Hella (Leni Riefenstahl), who works at the observatory in the valley,
is in love with meteorologist Hannes (Sepp Rist), who leads a lonely life
in the permanently snowed-in weather station on top of the Mont Blanc. The
two have never met and only communicate via morse code, but still ...
Hella and her father (Friedrich Kayssler) pay Hannes an unannounced visit,
and Hella and Hannes spend a romantic time climbing up and down the
glaciers - but as much as the glaciers might be the source for romance,
they nevertheless remain a major threat ... and thus, while his daughter
is out with Hannes, her dad, taking a walk, is caught in an avalanche and
killed. This leaves Hella heartbroken, and though she still is in love
with Hannes, she can't stay on the Mont Blanc another day. Hannes gives
her the address of a musician friend of his in the valley, Petersen
(Mathias Wieman), if she ever needs some shoulder to cry on.
a visit to Peterson a few days later, and finds him gravely ill - and now
she makes it the new meaning of her life to nurse him back to health,
something he mistakes for love, and thus writes his friend Hannes of his
Hannes is just about to leave the Mont Blanc for
good to reunite with Hella when Petersen's letter reaches him - and breaks
his heart. Now Hannes doesn't want to leave the mountain anymore, ever ...
but then, during one of his expeditions, he freezes both his hands, and
when returning to the weather station, he has to find out the fire has
gone out, and his hands are in no position to light a match. This leaves
him with but two alternatives, either to try to make it to the valley, or
to freeze to death. But now a storm has set in, has cut off most roads
down to the valley, and Hannes's skies break, too. The only thing he can
do now is to morse SOS ...
Hella receives Hannes's signal, and she
personally leads a rescue expedition to the Mont Blanc, an expedition that
just about makes it to the summit despite all setbacks, and at the
weatherstation, on which the storm has taken its toll, Hannes is found
more dead than alive, but as soon as she embraces him, one can't shake the
feeling that everything will be ok ...
German ace (fighter-)pilot Ernst
Udet stars as himself and does quite a bit of flying.
mountain film that's often impressive: The location-shots are
breathtaking, and are captured in a likewise manner, the action sequences
are very slickly executed and show a director with an eye for dynamic
filmmaking, the many outdoor shots give the movie an air of adventure
rarely achieved even within the genre, and the film is extremely
atmospheric from start to finish ...
... and yet, I wouldn't exactly
call Stürme über dem Mont Blanc a masterpiece per se: Sure,t he
film is a feast for the eye, no doubt about that, but its plot quite
simply leaves A LOT to be desired, it's cheesy as hell, features quite a
few plotholes, and is weak on character motivation and development. And on
top of that, the cast isn't all that great either.
All that said, the
film is still well worth a look - just don't get too excited about it ...