The Survivors (movie, 1993)

The Survivors ( Alive ) is an American film directed by Frank Marshall and produced by Kathleen Kennedy , released in theaters in 1993 .

Adapted from the bestseller namesake Piers Paul Read Survivors , he tells the crash of Flight 571 Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya relying on the testimony of survivors of the plane crash that killed 29 people and has known only 16 survivors.


The film begins with a series of photographs showing the Old Christians rugby team in training. Carlitos Páez explains that these photos were taken by his father and takes the opportunity to introduce the team: him younger, Alex Morales, Felipe Restano, Nando Parrado and Antonio Balbi. Carlitos then recounts the plane crash that took place on Friday, October 13, 1972. In a monologue , he explains that it was thanks to their courage and tenacity that they were able to survive in the mountains.

On this day of 1972 , Flight 571 Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya flies over the Andes . The plane carries about 60 people: the rugby team, their families and friends. About twenty minutes before landing, the plane will experience some difficulties to properly fly over the glaciers of the surrounding mountains. Due to a miscalculation, the attempt to fly over an unknown mountain peak fails, and in a fraction of a second, the aircraft collides with it.

First, the right wing and the tail of the plane hit the rocks and come off. Then, the left wing hits another point and detaches in turn. Six passengers, still in their seats and tied up, are torn off the plane by the extreme suction caused by the breaking of the cabin in the open air. The rest of the fuselage slides quickly on a slope of the mountain before reaching a complete stop. Nando is thrown forward against the wall of the cabin, bangs his head and falls into a coma. The impact of the crashfinal kills one of the drivers and fatally wounds his colleague. After the first relief of seeing himself alive, Antonio turns to see his teammate, Alex, dead next to him. Roberto Canessa, 19, a medical student, is the first to act and help the wounded. Federico Aranda suffered a deep cut in his left leg but says his injury is not serious. Gustavo finds an old couple huddled on the luggage, dead. Canessa cares for serious injuries to Felipe’s head with leaves that Gustavo gives him to help other passengers. Federico crawls up to Mrs. Alfonsín, whose legs are inextricably entangled in the seats behind her during the crash, to comfort her and offer her moral support. Antonio and Roy Harley tear off a few seats to finally find Alberto, seriously injured, but alive. Pablo Monteiro approaches with Gustavo to extract a piece of metal that protrudes from Alberto’s belly; Not having the proper anesthetic or surgical tools, Gustavo distracts the patient and pulls the bar with his bare hands. Nando’s mother, Eugenie, is found dead and her body is transported outside. Susana, in a state of shock, calls her mother dead, saying she wants to go home, while Canessa strips her head. In all, twelve people die on the day of the accident. Eugenie is found dead and her remains are transported outside. Susana, in a state of shock, calls her mother dead, saying she wants to go home, while Canessa strips her head. In all, twelve people die on the day of the accident. Eugenie is found dead and her remains are transported outside. Susana, in a state of shock, calls her mother dead, saying she wants to go home, while Canessa strips her head. In all, twelve people die on the day of the accident.

At sunset, the survivors begin to prepare for the night. Canessa discovers that the seat covers can be detached from them and used as covers. Survivors take shelter inside the fuselage and hug each other to stay warm. Antonio and Roy plug the rift at the end of the cabin with luggage. Ms. Alfonsín, still stuck under the crushing weight of the seats behind her, complains that she is in great pain and dying. Carlitos tells him to shut up. In the morning, when she is found dead, he feels responsible for his death and for having removed all hope. Gnawed by guilt, he turns to prayer .

Antonio institutes rationing when the survivors find a box of chocolates and a box of wine. But this is not respected by all the survivors, and very angry, Antonio demands to know who disobeyed him and thus put in danger their collective survival. They all claim to recognize his authority, but Antonio decides to relinquish the role of the group leader to Canessa shortly after this episode. He devotes his hours to listening to the radio restoration, in order to know the progress of the researches made to save them. He is devastated when he learns that the research is interrupted after five days by the authorities because of the great difficulty that their implementation represents.

Meanwhile, Nando who was in a coma and considered a cause lost by almost everyone, is revived by the attentive care of two of his teammates. He is then annihilated by the news of his mother’s death, and begins to watch over his sister. Seeing that she will die from her wounds a few days later, he swears to find a way out of the mountain, on foot. When Canessa reminds him that he will need food for such a long and risky journey and that it is lacking, Nando decides to start his journey as soon as possible.

Following a big debate, the other passengers decide to eat the flesh of their dead companions to survive: Canessa opens the leg of one of the corpses with a piece of glass found by Moncho, extracted from the flesh and eats it. In turn, the survivors feed on the flesh of the body. Finally more or less fed, a team of passengers scouts in search of the tail of the plane in the hope of finding batteries for the radio transmitterwho was in the cockpit. The team finds pieces of the wreckage as well as several corpses and returns to announce that the tail of the plane is probably a little further. A second team, consisting of Nando, Canessa and Tintin, eventually find her, puts their hands on the batteries, but they are too heavy to be brought to the rest of the plane. They then return to find Roy who comes with them to the tail where the batteries are tested, but without success. The team then becomes distraught towards the carcass of the fuselage.

Several days later, an avalanchesweeps over the carcass of the plane and fills it with snow. Some manage to extract themselves; most of the passengers are saved, but eight people are suffocated or frosted to death by the avalanche, including Antonio. Nando convinces Canessa that their only hope of collective survival is finding a way out of the mountain, no matter what. They then set out with Tintin to seek help. After several days of travel, they send Tintin to the back of the fuselage so he can recover his food rations. Finally, after a journey of 12 days, Nando and Canessa manage to leave the mountain range. They are rescued by a shepherd who will alert the authorities of the first locality in the valley and they can then report the place of the crash. thus succeeds in recovering and saving their 14 companions of misfortune still alive.

In an epilogue, Carlitos recounts how once out of danger, the survivors return to the accident site to bury under a heap of stones the unburied bodies of their deceased companions, heaps they mark with a cross at about one half mile from the crash site.

Technical sheet

  • Title: Survivors
  • Original title: Alive
  • Director: Frank Marshall
  • Scenario: John Patrick Shanley , based on Piers Paul Read bestseller
  • Director of Photography: Peter James
  • Editing: Michael Kahn and William Goldenberg
  • Music: James Newton Howard
  • Technical Advisor: Nando Parrado
  • Production: Kathleen Kennedy and Robert Watts
  • Production Companies: Touchstone Pictures , The Kennedy / Marshall Company and Paramount Pictures
  • Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures
  • Budget: $ 32 million
  • Country of origin: United States
  • Language: English
  • Duration: 120 minutes
  • Genre: drama , disaster
  • Release dates in theaters:
  • Classification:
    •  United States : RatedRfor crash scenes too intense for unaccompanied children (Minors (17 years and under) must be accompanied by an adult for reasons of crash scenes too intense).
    •  France : All Audiences With Warning


  • Ethan Hawke (VF: Mathias Kozlowski ) : Fernando Parrado / Nando
  • Josh Hamilton (VF: Damien Boisseau ) : Roberto Canessa
  • John Haymes Newton (VF: Vincent Violette ) : Antonio Vizintin / Tintin
  • Bruce Ramsay (VF: Bertrand Liebert ) : Carlitos Paez
  • David Kriegel : Gustavo Zerbino
  • Jack Noseworthy : Roberto Francois / Bobby
  • Kevin Breznahan : Roy Harley
  • Danny Nucci : Hugo Diaz
  • David Cubitt : Adolfo Strauch / Fito
  • Gian DiDonna : Eduardo Strauch
  • John Cassini : Daniel Fernandez
  • Richard Ian Cox : Ramon Sabella / Moncho
  • Nuno Antunes : Alvaro Mangino
  • Vincent Spano (VF: Philippe Vincent ) : Antonio Balbi
  • John Malkovich (VF: Gerard Rinaldi ) : Carlitos, Elderly / Narrator
  • Sam Behrens : Javier Methol
  • Illeana Douglas : Lilliana Methol
  • José Zúñiga (VF: Eric Missoffe ) : Fraga, the mechanic
  • Ele Keats (VF: Barbara Tissier ) : Susana Parrado, Nando’s sister
  • Josh Lucas : Felipe Restano
  • Christian Meoli : Federico Aranda
  • Jake Carpenter : Alberto Antuna
  • Michael de Lorenzo : Rafael Cano
  • Michael Woolson : Juan Martino
  • Chad Willett : Pablo Montero
  • Gordon Currie : Coche Inciarte
  • Silvio Pollio : Alex Morales
  • Michael Tayles : Pancho Delgado
  • Steven Shayler : José Pedro Algorta
  • Jason Gaffney : Victor Bolarich
  • Michael Sicoly : the pilot of the plane
  • Jerry Wasserman : the co-pilot of the plane
  • Diana Barrington : Ms. Alfonsin
  • Jan d’Arcy : Eugenia Parrado, Nando’s mother
  • Frank Pellegrino : the stewart
  • Seth James Arnett : Tomas Alonso
  • Aurelio Dinunzio : Dr. Solana
  • Fiona Roeske : Mrs. Solana
  • Tony Morelli : Martinez
  • Patrick Ramano : Jorge Armas

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