Parts of this 1930s-set tale of a pair of German men attempting to scale a treacherous peak in the Alps are riveting - namely, the parts in which our heroes are clinging to said peak.

Parts of this 1930s-set tale of a pair of German men attempting to scale a treacherous peak in the Alps are riveting - namely, the parts in which our heroes are clinging to said peak.

"North Face" feels very much like a '30s movie, from the appropriately foreboding score to a plot that's a little more melodramatic than it needs to be. A love story angle feels forced, even though the girl, Johanna Wokalek, is lovely.

And then there's the obligatory Nazi storyline. A newspaper reporter is desperate to come back with a story that depicts these mountaineers as patriotic symbols, a man-triumphs-over-nature kind of thing. Those scenes feel dull in comparison with the incredibly tense mountain climbing.

Luckily, though, there's enough cliff-side action in this based-on-a-true-story foreign film to make it worth recommending.