The Conquest of Everest tells the awe-inspiring story of the first successful attempt on the peak of Mount Everest, using footage filmed by the climbers as they ascended to the top of the highest mountain in the world. A truly unique document of an epic journey, the film won a BAFTA for Best Documentary.
Narrated by Meredith Edwards (A Run For Your Money) and featuring the mountaineers Sir Edmund Hillary, Wilfred Noyce and Tenzing Norgay, the documentary details the history, preparation and description of the route as well as fascinating footage of previous attempts and the social context of the achievement.
In order to document the entire ascent, the producers had to rely on footage from the climbing team themselves. Select members were given rudimentary training and equipped with cameras and a variety of lenses, which they had to lug around in addition to the actual essentials, such as their oxygen tanks. They also carried a few experimental automatic cameras that were as small as cigarette packets and much easier to use. Original cameraman Tom Stobart fell ill at the lower level, so George Lowe, Hillary’s climbing partner, took over as director and came back with dozens of magazines of footage. The news of the expedition’s success was received on the morning of the Queen’s coronation helping further cement its place in history.
For the 2023 restoration of Conquest of Everest, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned and restored in 4K to produce a brand new HD master