In 1936 Austria, two Germans are urged by Nazi propaganda to climb the North Face of the Swiss mountain known as the Eiger. This is the story of their perilous ascent.
During a scene when Toni and Andreas are cycling to Switzerland a tire tube is being mended with a plastic tube of glue. Plastic like this was not available in the 1930's, rather a small tin of glue would have been used with a twig or branch to spread the glue on the tire tube.
Set in pre-1936 Berlin Olympic games, Hitler mounts an attempt to conquer the "last problem of the of the Alps" - the Eiger. Hoping to use this as propaganda for the Nazi movement and their superior Aryan race, two German alpinists - Toni Kurz (Benno Fürmann) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas) - are thrust into the spotlight as they compete against two other teams to traverse up the unclimbed North Face, aptly nicknamed the murder wall. Political and social philosophies are intermixed in this true story of two men facing the perils of the North Face and ultimately the extreme and unimaginable situations that arise that prove deadly for all alpinists involved.
The movie focuses more on the unflinching brutality of the mountain itself than the politics behind the attempt. Both German alpinists, while Nazi's themselves, are portrayed as being more interested in mountaineering than the socio-political intent behind the climb. Both Austrians that end up joining up with Toni and Andi both are portrayed as being hopeful for a Nazi-led incorporation of Austria into Germany, easing the political tension that could arise from the pairing. The true heart of the movie deals with the climbers fight for survival on the Eiger and the brutal conditions that they would endure.
After a successful theatrical run in native Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, the film would continue to receive critical praise in its foreign release schedule, including a small run in the US. The film would ultimately capture several awards in Germany, winning the German Film Award for both Best Cinematography and Best Sound. North Face would also win the German Film Critics Award for Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay.