[[quoteright:299:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alive_poster.png]]
[[caption-width-right:299:[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons "Pass me another hunk of co-pilot."]]]]

''Alive'' is a 1993 drama film, starring (among others) Creator/EthanHawke, Vincent Spano, Josh Hamilton, Bruce Ramsay, John Newton, Josh Lucas and Creator/JohnMalkovich. This was the second film directed by Frank Marshall, previously known for ''Film/{{Arachnophobia}}'' (1990).

The film is an adaptation of a non-fiction book: ''Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors'' (1974) by Piers Paul Read. It describes in detail the events of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 and the story of its survivors. In summary, the plane contained 5 crew members and 40 passengers. The passengers were the members of the "Old Christians Club", a rugby team, along with various family members and associates. The flight took off from their native Montevideo, Uruguay for Santiago, Chile. But on October 13 (a Friday), 1972 the airplane crashed on a then-unnamed peak of the Andes (later called Glacier of Tears). 12 people died in the crash, including the pilots. The other 33 were left stranded in an uninhabited area at the borders of Chile and Argentina.

The survivors had to survive on their own while waiting for help. Several suffering from injuries, all suffering from a complete lack of medical supplies and their meager food supplies. Over the following months several would die from injuries, disease or avalanches. Those surviving eventually resorted to cannibalism, eating the bodies of their dead comrades. They attempted a number of expeditions but failed to contact anyone, prior to returning to the remains of the plane. On December 20, two of them (Roberto Canessa and Fernando Parrado) managed to establish contact with a Chilean huaso (local equivalent of the gaucho and cowboy). He brought them help. By December 23, the final 16 survivors were rescued and brought to civilization. They had survived 72 days in the wild.

The film closely follows the events of the book, though it notably changes the focus. Piers Read paid close attention to the harshness of the living condition and the sociological aspects of organizing a group in the wild, while giving a calm and detached view of the extreme measures they had to take to survive, cannibalism included. Marshall was more interested in the HeroicSpirit of the people trying to survive. Cannibalism is portrayed but its brutal details are largely left out. The film has been praised for the way the "barren hopeless wasteland" of the Andes was portrayed, strong performances by the leads, and some genuine human drama, but often criticized for glossing over the worst effects of starvation, dehydration, etc.

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!! This film provides examples of:

* AchillesInHisTent: At some point, Canessa.
* ArcWords: "My name is Federico Aranda, and I will return."
* BittersweetEnding: The survivors were rescued at the end, but [[spoiler:29 of them died throughout the film, only 16 survived]].
* BringHelpBack: Realizing that rescue searches were over, two team members walk over the Andes mountains into Chile to summon help.
* ChromosomeCasting: Played straight after the death of Lilliana, Javier's wife. Still, it's pretty much sausage fest casting due to the fact that most of the passengers were rugby players, with the only other female characters being the doctor's wife and Mrs. Parrado (killed instantly during the crash), Mrs. Alfonsini (died on the first night), and Nando's sister Susana (died a few days after the crash).
* ClosestThingWeGot: Once the tail is discovered with the battery intact, Roy is chosen to connect the radio to it because he helped his cousins set up a stereo a while back and is thus the closest thing to an electrician the survivors have. [[RealityEnsues It turns out hooking up a radio to a battery is a lot more complicated than that]], and he's unable to do it.
* DeadpanSnarker: Carlitos.
-->'''Carlitos Paez''': I'll pay for a pizza if you go get it.
* DespairEventHorizon: Many survivors seem close to it but are just momentarily [[FreakOut freaked out]]. Only the mechanic has really crossed it. See LaughingMad.
* FightToSurvive: It's pretty difficult to live on the top of the Andes without food.
* {{Foil}}: Highlighted at first between Canessa and Antonio, then Canessa and Nando.
* FromBadToWorse: As if freezing to death and being forced to eat their dead friends was bad enough, two weeks in an avalanche occurs, killing 8 more of the survivors.
* HairTriggerTemper: Canessa. To say he's moody and more than occasionally grouchy is an understatement. (Also see: AchillesInHisTent)
* HeroicBSOD:
** Antonio, after hearing that the search has been called off. From that point on, he retreats into a shell, hardly saying a word, even as Nando, now fully alert, takes charge and convinces the survivors that they have no choice but to eat the dead if they want to make it out. Several days later, he approaches Carlitos' group and tells them they can go ahead and eat his flesh if he dies, seemingly coming out of his funk and shedding his reputation as the stern, serious team captain. [[spoiler:Not surprisingly, he's among the eight who get killed in the avalanche early the next morning.]]
** Javier, the "cool older guy" supporting his favorite rugby team. After his wife is killed in the avalanche, he also becomes silent and brooding, refusing to eat, and not caring if he lives or dies. Although Nando tells him to snap out of it and start eating again so he can go home to his two daughters, his dark mood remains until he and the other survivors are rescued.
* HollywoodAtheist: Fito refuses to pray the rosary on repeated occasions, each time explaining that he's agnostic. But after several people are killed in an avalanche on the 16th day, Fito's agnosticism is almost played for laughs when, upon hearing the sounds of another potential avalanche, he hurriedly starts praying the Hail Mary with the rest of the survivors.
* ImAHumanitarian: The survivors have to choose between resorting to cannibalism and dying from starvation. Obviously they choose the first option.
* KarmicDeath: A player named Alonzo isn't understanding the gravity of the situation during the first signs of major turbulence, as he stands up and impersonates a flight steward, asking everyone to "put on your parachutes, (as) we're jumping into the Andes Mountains." He is among the first to get killed, fumbling with his seat belts, then flying off the plane while still seated, after the plane's tail comes off.
* LaughingMad: The mechanic in his [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJuMiZOQdCw hilarious]] OneSceneWonder :
-->'''Antonio''': Can it [the radio] be made to work ?
-->'''The Mechanic''': God, not without batteries ! [already grinning]
-->'''Roy''': Well, are there batteries or not ?!?
-->'''The Mechanic''': The batteries are in the tail, and ... the tail's gone! [[LaughingMad HAHAHAHA!!!]]
* LetsHaveAnotherBaby: Lilliana Methol (Ileana Douglas) tells her husband she wants to have another baby. That night an avalanche crashes in over the fuselage, killing several people, among others Lilliana. An example of DeathBySex by proxy.
* NoPartyLikeADonnerParty: In the bitter cold at altitude, with no vegetation or animals, the survivors eventually resort to eating the remains of the deceased.
* OneSteveLimit: Subverted. There are two characters named Antonio team captain Antonio Balbi, and the silent, hardworking Antonio "Tintin" Vizintin, who is always called by his nickname. Interestingly, Antonio Balbi, [[spoiler: who died midway through the film]], was based on the real-life team captain, whose name isn't Antonio, but Marcelo Perez.
* RuleOfDrama: The survivors are surprised by their rescue helicopter. In real life, they found out Parrado and Canessa had made it through the radio, and they even changed their clothes and combed their hair.
* RunningGag: Carlitos' never-ending obsession with getting pizza.
* {{Robinsonade}}: Survivors of tragic accidents trying to survive. Stranded in an uncharted location. Everything here except that the story takes place away from the sea.

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