Survive! | Überleben

The famous and shocking original classic about the struggle for survival of a young rugby team after the crash of the Fuerza Aérea-Uruguaya flight 571 in 1972 is available for the first time in Germany on DVD and Blu-Ray. The film “Survival!”  (German title: “Überleben“) is based on the factual novel by Piers Paul Read, who wrote the book in collaboration with the survivors.

UCM.ONE releases the film on the label M-Square Classics in the completely re-scanned HD-version and the 22-minute longer original version in SD as a limited edition Mediabook with DVD and Blu-ray plus a 16-page booklet. At the same time, the cinema version will also be available on VoD portals and via streaming services.


In October 1972, a plane crashes over the Andes with a young rugby team from Uruguay. In the crash, some of the passengers already lose their lives, as do the pilots of the aircraft. Although the search for the wreckage of the plane, lying at 3,800 meters, is underway, the hope of the survivors vanishes day by day. When food gets scarce and an avalanche buries the wreck, they face a difficult decision: should they eat the frozen bodies of the dead in order to survive?

About Hugo Stiglitz

Hugo Stiglitz López was born in Mexico City on 28 August 2040 and became known in Mexico for his roles in horror and catastrophic films in the 1970s and 1980s. He has worked extensively with Mexican directors Renè Cardona Sr. and René Cardona Jr., and his filmography now includes over 250 films, most of which were direct-to-video releases from the late 1990s. In addition to acting, Stiglitz has directed eight films, has written six scripts and produced ten films. His most recent role was in Adrian Zurita’s “Un Retrato de Familia“, which is currently in post-production. In his film “Inglourious Basterds” (2009), director Quentin Tarantino honored the veteran by naming a deserted German sergeant, played by Til Schweiger, after him.

The human being, a survivor

What incredible achievements man is capable of in the struggle for survival, what sacrifices he is willing to make, what limits he crosses – countless examples of this can be found in literature and film, which again and again transport us into speechless reverence and astonishment. One of the most famous survival stories, at least in its literary version, is the fate of the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who survived four years and four months on a lonely island. His story served Daniel Defoe as a model for his world-famous “Robinson Crusoe”. Selkirk survived an extremely long time on the island, but he had sufficient water, plenty of food and various items of equipment at his disposal.

It was often worse for those who found themselves at the mercy of the relentless desert of the ocean and had to live through and do the indescribable to save themselves. One example is the demise of the whaler Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. The crew members, who survived the attack of the animal, split into three whaling boats and rescued from the sinking ship everything that was useful, including about 780 liters of drinking water and about 280 kilograms of biscuits. For almost three months the crew drifted on the Pacific, and after food and drinking water had run out and the first crew members had fallen victim to diseases and the sun, the sailors had no choice but to resort to the most drastic means: cannibalism. Altogether the later eight survivors ate seven of their comerades to stay alive.

The world famous novel “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville is based on the story of one of the survivors and the story of the “Essex” forms the basis of the film “In the Heart of the Sea” from 2015, but these people were not the only ones who had to overcome this last moral hurdle. In more recent times, such gruesome stories can be found as the fate of the ship’s boy Richard Parker: On 5 July 1984, the yacht of an Australian lawyer sank 1,400 kilometres from Cape Horn in a storm. The crew of four was able to escape into the lifeboat, but forgot to take drinking water on board and their food supplies consisted only of two cans of turnips. After a few days they managed to catch a turtle, which together with the turnips meant food and liquid for about 12 days. Eventually, however, they ran out of supplies and began to drink their own urine. The more experienced sailors avoided drinking seawater, but the inexperienced shipboy Richard Parker, was overwhelmed by thirst and made this fatal mistake. Shortly afterwards, on 20 July 1984, he became ill and his comerades saw no hope for him. They decided to kill him to eat him and drink his blood. On 29 July, the surviving three sailors were rescued by a German yacht.

Original title: Supervivientes de los Andes

Director: René Cardona

Screenplay: René Cardona Jr.

Book: Charles Blair Jr.

Actors & actresses: Hugo Stiglitz, Norma Lazareno, Luz María Aguilar, Fernando Larrañaga, Lorenzo de Rodas, Pablo Ferrel, Leonardo Daniel, Sara Guasch, Ernesto Gallardo, Gloria Chávez, José Elías Moreno, Miguel Ángel Ferriz, Carlos Cámara, Ernesto Parra, Sebastian Ligarde, Fernando Palavicini, Antonio Zubiaga, Rojo Grau, César Sobrevals, Carlos Monden, Armando Sáenz, Marcelo Villamil, Gaspar Henaine, Fernando Ferrer, José Antonio Mena, Francisco de Salazar, Eduardo Lois, Fernando Borges, Gustavo Ganem, Eugenio Villar, Jaime Manterola, Sergio Gro, Pablo Roche, Germán Cano

Producers: René Cardona Jr., René Cardona

Cinematography: Genaro Hurtado, Luis Medina

Technical departement: Allan Carr, Robert Stigwood

Sound: James D. Young

Editing: Marshall M. Borden, Alfredo Rosas Priego

Music: Gerald Fried, Raúl Lavista

Production companies: Avant Films S.A., Corporación Nacional Cinematográfica (Conacine), Productora Filmica Real, Productora Fílmica G.M.

Year of production: 1976

Genre: Drama, Horror

Country: Mexiko

Languages: Mexican, English

Synchronisation: Germany


Lenght: 85 Min (Theatrical Version), 111 Min (Original Version)

Rating: FSK 16

Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1

Sound Mix: Mono

Resolution: HD (Theatrical Version), SD (Original Version)

Other titles:

English: Survive!

French: Survivre

Italian: I sopravvissuti delle Ande

Greek: Είμαστε όλοι καννίβαλοι

Portuguese: A Epopeia dos Andes

Swedish: Vi vill överleva!

Turkish: Yasamak çabasi

Premiere: January, 15, 1976 (Mexiko City)

Premiere USA: August 04, 1976 (New York City)

Premiere UK: November 11, 1976 (London)

Premiere Germany: March 03, 1977

Filmlabel: M-Square Classics


Mediabook-Start (Blu-Ray & DVD) Germany: October 25, 2019

VoD-Start Germany: October 25, 2019

Flight 571 – Survival in the Ice Hell

Just as the sea is a merciless water desert, so the dry land is not always a blooming paradise like Selkirk’s island once was, because on 13 October 1972 the incredible struggle for survival of the rugby team of the Old Christian’s Club from Uruguay began when their plane with flight number 571 crashed  in the ice hell of the Andes. 72 days were to pass before they were rescued, and they were forced to break the biggest of all taboos, although this decision was by no means taken lightly. Already during and immediately after the crash, 12 of the 45 people on board died, five others did not survive the first night and the remaining 28 were confronted with an unprecedented extreme situation: During the night the temperatures dropped to -40 degrees Celsius, the hull of the crashed machine and the clothes of the survivors offered hardly any protection against the cold and the few supplies of chocolate, biscuits and wine were used up within a very short time. There was also no flora or fauna in the surrounding area, the machine was about 3,800 metres above sea level.

On the eighth day after the crash, the survivors heard on a small radio that the search had been abandoned and they were declared dead. The situation became increasingly critical, all hope seemed lost and the bodies of deceased friends and relatives preserved in the snow were the only available source of food. The group initially refrained from eating the body of a loved one, deterred and disgusted, but soon hunger, the will to survive, and rationality were stronger: “We finally came to the decision that if any of us died, the others would not only have the opportunity, but even the duty, to eat him,” one of the survivors said in retrospect in an interview. The survivors did so strategically and thoughtfully. Nutrient-rich body parts and organs were eaten first, the rich bone marrow was consumed, stocks and “menus” were established. Finally, on the sixtieth day, a group of the three strongest survivors set out to seek help. They also took the meat of their dead friends with them as provisions. Socks served them as containers. After almost two weeks they had done the impossible and climbed the mountains. The rescue mission started on 22 December and finally, on 23 December 1972, 16 people were rescued.

About the last moments just before the rescue one of the survivors said:

“When we heard the helicopters that came to rescue us, society suddenly came back with its taboos and everything related to them. I sometimes think we were like animals back then. But there was no selfishness, there weren’t as many things up there as you find in our society. We stayed alive because we helped each other.”

“When we heard the helicopters that came to rescue us, society suddenly came back with its taboos and everything related to them. I sometimes think we were like animals back then. But there was no selfishness, there weren’t as many things up there as you find in our society. We stayed alive because we helped each other.””

Trailer (German)


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Press Reviews & Quotes

Survive is reduced to the story, which is hard and shocking.” (

“Director René Cardona just shows the struggle for survival.” (

“Director René Cardona, with his surprisingly balanced and serious Survive, has delivered a remarkably convincing contribution to the catastrophe film.” (

“Although a low-budget Mexican movie, this is a serious movie drama.” (

“The right movie for the 70s, a mix of disaster drama and horror movie.” (

Survive is a cheap and lurid adaptation, a frightening real-life drama” (

Equipment and technical data of the Mediabook

Theatrical version re-sampled in HD on Blu-Ray for the first time, as well as the uncut 22-minute extended version on DVD (non-synchronized scenes are subtitled), 16-page booklet with original photos and background information | Aspect Ratio Blu-Ray: widescreen 1.85: 1 (HD 100P; Aspect Ratio DVD: Full Screen 1.37: 1 | Blu-Ray 85 Min. Blu-Ray DVD 107 Min | Sound Formats Blu-Ray: German DTS-HDMA 2.0, Spanish DTS-HDMA 2.0 Sound formats DVD: German Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 | FSK 16


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UCM.ONE releases the movie “Survive!” (German title: “Überleben”) by René Cardona in Germany on the label M-Square Classics on October 25, 2019, including the completely remastered theatrical version in HD and the 22-minute longer original version in SD as a limited Mediabook with Blu-Ray and DVD plus a booklet with 16 pages. The cinema version will…