Concession Stand Bites: “The Mountain” (1956)

mountain“The Mountain” (1956)
Starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, E.G. Marshall, Claire Trevor, Richard Arlen, William Demerest, Anna Kashfi. Written by Ranald MacDougall from a novel by Henri Troyar. Directed by Edward Dmytryk. When a passenger plane crashes at the top of a mountain in the Swiss Alps, it sets of a long simmering clash of brother against brother in Dmytyk’s leisurely but effectively suspenseful action drama. When a mountaineering party is launched, not to find survivors of which there are presumed to be none, but to gather mails and important documents, mountaineering legend Zachary Teller (Tracy) declines the opportunity, simply saying “I don’t climb anymore.” His hot-tempered sibling Christopher (Wagner) has other notions, expressing grave dissatisfaction with his life and with Zachary (“It used to mean something to be your brother,” he hisses contemptuously at Zachary, as if individual accomplishment would be an alien concept to his callow imagination.) and hatching a scheme to climb the mountain to rob the dead of their money and jewels. Much of the first half of the film is spent reemphasizing Zachary’s reticence to climb the mountain- no matter what the circumstance -partially leading to a foolhardy expedition that results in the death of a close friend. Much is made of Zachary’s expertise and of his simple way of life, but in Tracy’s portrayal Zachary gives not only the impression of being a man of simple tastes, but of just being simple.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in 1950's cinema, Boston, Drive-In Movies, movie reviews, Movies, Spencer Tracy, writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Concession Stand Bites: “The Mountain” (1956)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Haven’t heard of this one, but I wouldn’t watch it. Mountaineering does nothing for me. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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