As 127 Hours takes its place in the canon of survival cinema, we recall a few other features and documentaries that tell thrilling - and terrifying - true tales.
APOLLO 13 (1995)
Ron Howard's best movie recreates the most extreme survival scenario imaginable: NASA's finest struggle to rescue three astronauts trapped in a disabled capsule 200,000 miles from Earth. It's a nail-biter from start to finish even though we know it all works out in the end.
LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY (1997)
Werner Herzog's fascination with extreme personalities led him to Dieter Dengler, whom he interviewed at length for this documentary. A U.S. Navy pilot shot down over Cambodia during the Vietnam War, Dengler spent six months in a hellish POW camp before making a daring escape. Herzog revisited the story in 2006's Rescue Dawn, with Christian Bale as Dengler.
THE ENDURANCE: SHACKLETON'S LEGENDARY ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION (2000)
The mixture of sorrow and resolve in Liam Neeson's narration sets the tone for George Butler's powerful survival documentary, a tribute to the men of the Endurance - who spent almost two years trapped in a frozen wasteland after their disastrous attempt to cross Antarctica in 1914 - through archival footage, photographs and re-enactments. You'll want to watch this one wrapped in several blankets, clutching a hot water bottle. Preferably in August.
TOUCHING THE VOID (2003)
This documentary by Kevin Macdonald recreates the ordeal of mountaineers Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, whose 1985 climb up the Peruvian Andes nearly killed both of them. Hanging over a crevasse in a storm, Yates had to cut an injured, slipping Simpson loose to save himself; Simpson survived the 100-foot drop and then spent three days dragging himself back to the base camp. Were it not for the re-enactments, we'd never believe this happened - and if Simpson and Yates didn't appear on screen to tell their own story, we'd never believe they survived.
STRANDED: I'VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS (2007)
The story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, which crashed in the Andes on October 13, 1972 - leaving the members of a Uruguayan rugby team to fend for themselves (and turn to cannibalism) until the survivors were rescued just before Christmas - has been adapted into a sensationalistic Mexican 1976 TV movie (Survive!) and a grim 1993 Hollywood feature (Alive).Stranded, Gonzalo Arijón's documentary - which played Hot Docs in 2008 - reunites all 16 survivors to tell their story properly.