The Alps

Rated 3.0

The latest IMAX documentary recounts the effort of mountain climber John Harlin III to scale the north face of the Eiger, the forbidding Swiss peak where Harlin’s father fell to his death in 1966. (This, oddly, is a real-life echo of the theme of 1959’s Third Man on the Mountain, the all-but-forgotten Disney movie that prompted the addition of a miniature Matterhorn to Disneyland.) Along the way, we get clever animation explaining the geologic development of the Alps, plus the usual breathtaking how-did-they-do-that IMAX photography, all of it accompanied by the elegantly intimate narration of actor Michael Gambon. A special recognition, too, should go to the unidentified stuntman who reenacted Harlin Sr.’s fatal fall, and to those who restaged earlier climbs with Victorian-era clothing and equipment.