IThe Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest, documentary, rated PG, The Screen, 3 chiles On June 8, 1924, British mountaineer George Herbert Leigh Mallory and climbing partner Andrew “Sandy” Comyn Irvine disappeared from the sight of their expedition party while heading into a cluster of clouds about a thousand feet from the summit of Mount Everest. For more than seven decades, Mallory’s fate remained a mystery. On May 2, 1999, Eric Simonson, organizer of the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition, announced that a portion of that mystery had been solved.
While conducting a survey on the uppermost portion of Mount Everest’s Northeast Ridge climbing route, American mountaineer Conrad Anker discovered a human body. There, half-buried in swaths of loose mountain shale, with alabaster skin peeking out from remnants of crude climbing gear and tattered gabardine clothing, lay the frozen remains of Mallory.
British producer/director Anthony Geffen’s 2009 film The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest, documents Anker’s 2007 return to Mount Everest — with a climbing partner and several tons of IMAX and other film equipment — to shed some light on one of the most enduring unknowns in mountaineering history: Was Mallory the first climber to successfully reach the top of Mount Everest, nearly three decades before the officially recorded debut summit by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay?
Using archival film footage (restored from the original nitrate), photographs, documents, wincingly unrealistic reenactments, and interviews with Mallory’s granddaughter and others, Geffen explores Mallory’s early life and paints a compelling portrait of a well-educated man who struggled to strike a balance between satisfying his lust for adventure and attending to his wife, Ruth, and their three children.
A Cambridge graduate, teacher, and avid climber since childhood, Mallory served with the Royal Garrison Artillery during