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The Ascent
Feature - Released: 1994
Actor- Played the Role of Franco Distassi

High altitude filming requires specific skills not readily taught, but The Ascent had the advantage of a top-flight camera crew that validated the claim that it was the highest altitude narrative feature ever produced, although several documentaries had recorded activity at greater elevations. Based upon a well-crafted novel, "No Picnic on Mt. Kenya", by Felice Benuzzi, this film dazzles and satisfies while it relates of events that occurred in a prisoner of war camp located in British East Africa, at what is now Mount Kenya National Park. The camp contains Axis troops (mostly Italian), under penal control of Major Farrell (Ben Cross) and he is being continually exacerbated by prisoner Franco Distassi (Vincent Spano), who is constantly trying to escape. Farrell’s passion and obsession lies in scaling the forbidding south face of nearby Mount Kenya, but consistently fails to conquer it. Enzo (Tony LoBianco), the dynamic commanding officer of the Italian inmates, is determined to champion the proficient climber Franco to plant the national flag of Italy atop 16,300 foot Point Lenana, and to then sneak back into the camp in order to accomplish a coup of honor over the British major. An intriguing personal dispute between the British commandant and Distassi is heightened by Patricia (Rachel Ward), an attractive English widow, who engages the two men in an ancillary struggle, but their conflict becomes solely centered upon their race to the summit. Will they be successful in their attempt, which requires first crossing the wild African jungle of the 1940’s?

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