The Mountain


1h 45m 1956
The Mountain

Brief Synopsis

Brother mountain climbers clash over how to deal with the survivor of a plane crash.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Nov 1956
Premiere Information
World premiere in New York: 15 Oct 1956
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc,France; La Tour-du-Pin,France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Mountain by Henri Troyat, translated from the French by Constantine Fitz Gibbon (New York, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Caught in a snowstorm, a Calcutta-to-Paris flight crashes in the Swiss Alps. When the aircraft is spotted by an observation plane atop Bald Mountain, the airline organizes a rescue party to search for survivors. The townspeople of the local village advise Rivial, an airline official, to seek the counsel of Zachary Teller, a retired mountain guide who now tends sheep and takes care of his troubled younger brother Chris. Zachary warns Solange, the head of the rescue expedition, that the sheer south side of the mountain is the only possible way to the top of Bald Mountain in winter, though it is a much longer climb than the northern route. Zachary is then asked to lead the rescue party, but declines, as his last expedition up the mountain ended in an English tourist's death. The next day, Zachary's close friend Servoz is killed trying to guide the expedition up the north face. Learning that the airline has abandoned the rescue mission, Chris asks Zachary to lead him up the mountain in order to recover the money, gold and other valuables of the dead passengers. When his older brother refuses, Chris threatens to attempt the dangerous trek alone, so Zachary relents. The next morning, the two brothers begin their assent of Bald Mountain. They soon reach a sheer section of the mountain, the same location where the English tourist was killed. Despite Zachary's trepidation, the two successfully scale the difficult section, but the inexperienced and exhausted Chris later falls while attempting to climb a cliff. Securely held by his rope, Chris is pulled to safety by Zachary. The younger Teller then insists that they quit the climb, but Zachay assures him that the worst is over, as they should reach the mountain's peak by noon. Though Chris still dreams of the riches that await them, Zachary now proudly sees the climb as an accomplishment, for no one has ever successfully ascended Bald Mountain in winter. Reaching the crash site, however, Zachary's pride quickly turns to shame, as Chris gleefully strips the dead of their valuables. Inside the wrecked plane, the brothers find a young Hindu girl, the sole survivor of the crash. While Chris shows little interest in the girl, other than her diamond nose ring, Zachary nurses her throughout the night. Chris insists that they leave the girl behind, so that no one will know the origins of their newfound riches, but Zachary builds a sled in which to take the young Hindu down the mountain. Insane with greed, Chris attempts to strangle the girl, only to be fought off by his older brother. The next morning, Zachary and the Hindu girl head down the mountain, with Chris, weighed down by his ill-gotten booty, struggling behind them. Despite his brother's warnings, Chris attempts to cross an insecure snow bridge and plummets thousands of feet to his death. At his village, a bereaved Zachary claims that it was his idea to rob the plane, stating that he forced Chris to go along with him and that Chris really saved the Hindu girl. Though no one believes him, Zachary insists that Solange write down his version in his report to the airline. As Zachary heads home with Marie, a widow who has proposed to him on numerous occasions, Solange tears up his report. Father Belacchi, the village priest, tells the old mountaineer that he had never heard him lie before and insists that Zachary attend the upcoming Sunday Mass in order to be forgiven for that sin.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Release Date
Nov 1956
Premiere Information
World premiere in New York: 15 Oct 1956
Production Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc,France; La Tour-du-Pin,France
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Mountain by Henri Troyat, translated from the French by Constantine Fitz Gibbon (New York, 1953).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 45m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

The Mountain


Edward Dmytryk's The Mountain (1956) wasn't one of Spencer Tracy's favorite movies: He said so himself, not mincing any words. And yet this story of two brothers who scale a killer Alpine mountain is a small marvel for the way Dmytryk staged and filmed a particularly tense climbing sequence, and for the way he makes it clear that there's plenty at stake for these characters, physically and emotionally. Even the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, who generally disliked the movie, commended Dmytryk for his suspense-building skills. "[He] spares no nerve ends," Crowther wrote, and went on to describe the picture's most gripping sequence: "For straight, unadulterated torment, we grimly commend the sight of Mr. Tracy trying to pull himself to safety by the tips of his bleeding fingers clawing a ledge, while his climbing boots fumble to get a feeble toe-hold in the straight-down wall. This, coupled with the painful business of his driving pitons in the sheer rock and working his climbing rope through them so as to drag himself up the wall, makes for as tense and agonizing a show of mountain climbing as we have seen."

As for the drama simmering between the two brothers, Tracy's Zachary Teller and his much younger sibling Chris (played by Robert Wagner): Perhaps that angle of the story could have used a little work, but Tracy's performance, in particular, shows moments of grace and gruff finesse. The Mountain was based on a novel by Russian-born writer Henri Troyat, which was itself inspired by a real-life event, the 1950 crash of an Air India flight; in the story, a retired mountain guide is forced to climb again when a plane crashes in the French Alps near his home. Zachary hasn't climbed in years; he feels guilt and remorse over the death of another climber, which he believes he should have prevented. When officials (chief among them E.G. Marshall's Solange) try to press him into service to lead a recovery party, he refuses. Young, headstrong Chris, on the other hand, is eager to charge to the top of that craggy, foreboding peak, but not for any altruistic reasons - He believes the plane, which was en route from Calcutta to Paris, was carrying a great deal of gold and cash. Though Chris is clearly a bad egg, Zachary is devoted to him, having raised him single-handedly after the death of their mother. He agrees to accompany Chris up the mountain, even though he finds the younger man's motives abhorrent.

Tracy had become aware of Troyat's novel upon its publication, and passed the idea on to Dmytryk, with whom he had worked just a few years earlier on Broken Lance (1954), also featuring Wagner. Tracy tried to get MGM, which held his contract at the time, to buy the rights, only to learn Paramount had already secured them. He made a deal to appear in The Mountain, with Dmytryk directing, once he could free himself from his MGM contract. Ranald MacDougall would write the script. Tracy, who had enjoyed working with Wagner on Broken Lance, lobbied for him to be cast in the film; MacDougall disagreed strongly, envisioning Charlton Heston in the role. Tracy pressed his case and succeeded, an act of kindness and respect that Wagner never forgot. "It was extraordinary," Wagner has said, "and it made a big difference in my career because it took me out of being homogenized with all these other people."

Wagner's performance in The Mountain is uncharacteristically stiff for this generally charming, charismatic actor - it could be that Wagner is too much of an intrinsically affable presence to play an amoral opportunist like Chris. But during the filming of The Mountain he did all he could to soothe and protect his friend Tracy, who found the task of making this film particularly arduous. For one thing, Tracy hated to fly and dreaded boarding the flight to Europe for the location shooting, even trying - clearly unsuccessfully - to persuade Dmytryk to find someone else for the role. Wagner accompanied him on the flight, and gave him a medal stamped with a figure of St. Bernard, the patron saint of mountaineers. According to Wagner, Tracy wore the medal throughout the trip.

Wagner would later intervene in another, more intense Tracy drama. The Mountain was partially filmed on location on the Aiguille du Midi, in the Mont Blanc massif. Tracy, having acknowledged his alcoholism, had been trying to quit drinking. But near the beginning of filming, an aerial tramway carrying himself and Wagner up the mountain slipped from its cable, leaving the car dangling eleven thousand feet in the air. The car was eventually slipped back onto its track, but both Tracy and Wagner were shaken by the incident, and that night, Wagner found Tracy at the hotel bar, "completely drunk." Wagner, trying to assuage an argument between Tracy and the bartender, held his hand up to prevent Tracy from hurling a glass. The glass shattered, cutting Wagner's hand: He needed special makeup to conceal the stitches.

It's ironic, then, that in one of Tracy's best scenes in the movies, it's his character's hands that are bleeding, as he desperately grabs for a rope that's slipping out of his grasp, with his brother at the other end. Tracy's performance overall was praised by some critics and panned by others. Crowther may have been the most damning, writing, "It is hard to determine how to take him, except as a first-class mountain goat." Tracy himself was disappointed in the film. After seeing it for the first time, he wrote in his journal, "Mountain is failure - [I] think [it] must be [the] ending." He predicted that the critics would pan the picture, as many ultimately did, or at best greet it lukewarmly. (On the other hand, the picture Tracy had completed just prior to The Mountain, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), would feature one of the best performances of his career.)

Even though The Mountain didn't earn much critical acclaim, Dmytryk had strong feelings about Tracy's performance, and watching the film, it's easy to see why. Tracy was in his mid-50s when he made the picture, and his lumbering physicality adds an element of poignancy to the performance - though he was still fairly robust, he was certainly inching toward old age. "Tracy was an actor, not a mountain climber," Dmytryk said, "yet no one, in my opinion, ever made mountain climbing more real, more harrowing, or more perilous than he did." Dmytryk cited the tense climbing sequence that so enthralled Crowther, explaining that at one point, Tracy's character is making his way, with breathless precision, along a ledge of rock about an inch wide, supposedly thousands of feet in the sky. In reality, Dmytryk said, "he was standing on the bottom of an upturned apple box, perhaps eight inches off the ground, but you would have sworn it was a matter of life and death on Everest. That's acting." And it's a prime example of what a great actor can do - even one who can barely bring himself to board a plane.

Producer: Edward Dmytryk
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall; novel by Henri Troyat
Cinematography: Franz Planer
Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof
Film Editing: Frank Bracht
Cast: Spencer Tracy (Zachary Teller), Robert Wagner (Chris Teller), Claire Trevor (Marie), William Demarest (Father Belacchi), E.G. Marshall (Solange).
C-105m.

by Stephanie Zackarek

SOURCES:
The New York Times
James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
IMDB
The Mountain

The Mountain

Edward Dmytryk's The Mountain (1956) wasn't one of Spencer Tracy's favorite movies: He said so himself, not mincing any words. And yet this story of two brothers who scale a killer Alpine mountain is a small marvel for the way Dmytryk staged and filmed a particularly tense climbing sequence, and for the way he makes it clear that there's plenty at stake for these characters, physically and emotionally. Even the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, who generally disliked the movie, commended Dmytryk for his suspense-building skills. "[He] spares no nerve ends," Crowther wrote, and went on to describe the picture's most gripping sequence: "For straight, unadulterated torment, we grimly commend the sight of Mr. Tracy trying to pull himself to safety by the tips of his bleeding fingers clawing a ledge, while his climbing boots fumble to get a feeble toe-hold in the straight-down wall. This, coupled with the painful business of his driving pitons in the sheer rock and working his climbing rope through them so as to drag himself up the wall, makes for as tense and agonizing a show of mountain climbing as we have seen." As for the drama simmering between the two brothers, Tracy's Zachary Teller and his much younger sibling Chris (played by Robert Wagner): Perhaps that angle of the story could have used a little work, but Tracy's performance, in particular, shows moments of grace and gruff finesse. The Mountain was based on a novel by Russian-born writer Henri Troyat, which was itself inspired by a real-life event, the 1950 crash of an Air India flight; in the story, a retired mountain guide is forced to climb again when a plane crashes in the French Alps near his home. Zachary hasn't climbed in years; he feels guilt and remorse over the death of another climber, which he believes he should have prevented. When officials (chief among them E.G. Marshall's Solange) try to press him into service to lead a recovery party, he refuses. Young, headstrong Chris, on the other hand, is eager to charge to the top of that craggy, foreboding peak, but not for any altruistic reasons - He believes the plane, which was en route from Calcutta to Paris, was carrying a great deal of gold and cash. Though Chris is clearly a bad egg, Zachary is devoted to him, having raised him single-handedly after the death of their mother. He agrees to accompany Chris up the mountain, even though he finds the younger man's motives abhorrent. Tracy had become aware of Troyat's novel upon its publication, and passed the idea on to Dmytryk, with whom he had worked just a few years earlier on Broken Lance (1954), also featuring Wagner. Tracy tried to get MGM, which held his contract at the time, to buy the rights, only to learn Paramount had already secured them. He made a deal to appear in The Mountain, with Dmytryk directing, once he could free himself from his MGM contract. Ranald MacDougall would write the script. Tracy, who had enjoyed working with Wagner on Broken Lance, lobbied for him to be cast in the film; MacDougall disagreed strongly, envisioning Charlton Heston in the role. Tracy pressed his case and succeeded, an act of kindness and respect that Wagner never forgot. "It was extraordinary," Wagner has said, "and it made a big difference in my career because it took me out of being homogenized with all these other people." Wagner's performance in The Mountain is uncharacteristically stiff for this generally charming, charismatic actor - it could be that Wagner is too much of an intrinsically affable presence to play an amoral opportunist like Chris. But during the filming of The Mountain he did all he could to soothe and protect his friend Tracy, who found the task of making this film particularly arduous. For one thing, Tracy hated to fly and dreaded boarding the flight to Europe for the location shooting, even trying - clearly unsuccessfully - to persuade Dmytryk to find someone else for the role. Wagner accompanied him on the flight, and gave him a medal stamped with a figure of St. Bernard, the patron saint of mountaineers. According to Wagner, Tracy wore the medal throughout the trip. Wagner would later intervene in another, more intense Tracy drama. The Mountain was partially filmed on location on the Aiguille du Midi, in the Mont Blanc massif. Tracy, having acknowledged his alcoholism, had been trying to quit drinking. But near the beginning of filming, an aerial tramway carrying himself and Wagner up the mountain slipped from its cable, leaving the car dangling eleven thousand feet in the air. The car was eventually slipped back onto its track, but both Tracy and Wagner were shaken by the incident, and that night, Wagner found Tracy at the hotel bar, "completely drunk." Wagner, trying to assuage an argument between Tracy and the bartender, held his hand up to prevent Tracy from hurling a glass. The glass shattered, cutting Wagner's hand: He needed special makeup to conceal the stitches. It's ironic, then, that in one of Tracy's best scenes in the movies, it's his character's hands that are bleeding, as he desperately grabs for a rope that's slipping out of his grasp, with his brother at the other end. Tracy's performance overall was praised by some critics and panned by others. Crowther may have been the most damning, writing, "It is hard to determine how to take him, except as a first-class mountain goat." Tracy himself was disappointed in the film. After seeing it for the first time, he wrote in his journal, "Mountain is failure - [I] think [it] must be [the] ending." He predicted that the critics would pan the picture, as many ultimately did, or at best greet it lukewarmly. (On the other hand, the picture Tracy had completed just prior to The Mountain, Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), would feature one of the best performances of his career.) Even though The Mountain didn't earn much critical acclaim, Dmytryk had strong feelings about Tracy's performance, and watching the film, it's easy to see why. Tracy was in his mid-50s when he made the picture, and his lumbering physicality adds an element of poignancy to the performance - though he was still fairly robust, he was certainly inching toward old age. "Tracy was an actor, not a mountain climber," Dmytryk said, "yet no one, in my opinion, ever made mountain climbing more real, more harrowing, or more perilous than he did." Dmytryk cited the tense climbing sequence that so enthralled Crowther, explaining that at one point, Tracy's character is making his way, with breathless precision, along a ledge of rock about an inch wide, supposedly thousands of feet in the sky. In reality, Dmytryk said, "he was standing on the bottom of an upturned apple box, perhaps eight inches off the ground, but you would have sworn it was a matter of life and death on Everest. That's acting." And it's a prime example of what a great actor can do - even one who can barely bring himself to board a plane. Producer: Edward Dmytryk Director: Edward Dmytryk Screenplay: Ranald MacDougall; novel by Henri Troyat Cinematography: Franz Planer Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof Film Editing: Frank Bracht Cast: Spencer Tracy (Zachary Teller), Robert Wagner (Chris Teller), Claire Trevor (Marie), William Demarest (Father Belacchi), E.G. Marshall (Solange). C-105m. by Stephanie Zackarek SOURCES: The New York Times James Curtis, Spencer Tracy: A Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, 2011 IMDB

The Mountain - Spencer Tracy & Robert Wagner in THE MOUNTAIN on DVD


If you can buy Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner as brothers, Edward Dmytryk's The Mountain (1956) is a helluva climb. The two actors, born thirty years apart, had played father and son in Dmytryk's Broken Lance (1954) but are cast in this Paramount production as siblings on opposite ends of life's journey. While Tracy's elderly Zachary Teller, a French shepherd and former mountain guide who quit the game after the death of an English climber in his care, is humble and satisfied with life's simple pleasures, kid brother Chris (Wagner) is a small town playboy whose affairs with the wives of visiting tourists has given him a taste for finer things beyond the snow-capped confines of his alpine village. When an Indian jetliner crashes atop the summit of a nearby mountain, the avaricious Chris goads Zachary into making the climb to retrieve a rumored shipment of gold, knowing that his emotionally damaged guardian will not let him go it alone.

In adapting Henri Troyat's 1952 novel La neige en Deuil (which was inspired by the 1950 crash of Air India Flight 245 into Mount Blanc in November of 1950), screenwriter Ranald MacDougall torques the tensions between the protagonists, stripping away the excess weight of empathy for the younger brother; MacDougall also borrows a few tricks from Mildred Pierce (1946), which he had adapted from the James L. Cain novel at Warner Brothers. Wagner had just played a collegiate sociopath in A Kiss Before Dying (1956) and ports that same slit-eyed venality to his interpretation of the avaricious Chris Teller. Looking considerably older than his 55 years, Spencer Tracy had quit drinking prior to production of The Mountain but an injury during filming knocked him off the wagon.

The physically strenuous shoot on location at Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France (and on studio soundstages, where Tracy is clearly doing his share of the heavy lifting) took its toll on the father-son relationship between Tracy and Wagner. Nevertheless, when The Mountain was in the can, the older actor insisted on giving his young costar equal billing.

Directed by Dmytryk after his HUAC troubles and self-imposed exile abroad, The Mountain is one of the long-time Paramount employee's more interesting A-list projects, following the fairly impersonal The Caine Mutiny (1954) and the Humphrey Bogart misfire The Left Hand of God (1955). The film's midsection, nearly 48 minutes long, is devoted exclusively to the arduous mountain summit, which Dmytryk treats as a meditation in patience, where progress is measured by inches and success can pay off only in survival. Dmytryk wisely dials down Daniele Amfitheatrof's overbearingly celestial score during these scenes, which remain remarkably tense despite being staged in a studio mountain mock-up, while Franz Planer's widescreen Technicolor cinematography keeps The Mountain a strikingly beautiful production from end to end. Despite the importation to Mont Blanc of a handful of American actors (among them Claire Trevor, E. G. Marshall, Richard Arlen, Harry Townes and William Demarest, as the village priest), Dmytryk sidesteps the kitsch factor by refusing to condescend to Mittel European accents as a bid for authenticity. Keeping incongruity at bay is Ranald MacDougall's sharp ear for the plain talk and colloquial repetition of provincial people unaccustomed to speaking at length; characters routinely repeat themselves and speak in a circular argot ("I don't climb anymore. The mountain gave me its warning--it doesn't want me... The mountain warned me. I don't climb anymore.") that seems to serve them as a bulwark against uncertainty.

The Mountain is another winner from Olive Films, whose catalogue also includes the once-rare Crack in the World (1965) and Escape from Zahrain (1962). As is their custom, Olive Films' DVD of The Mountain is as bare-bones (lacking supplements and encoded for only 8 chapter stops) as it is gorgeously authored. The transfer is framed at 1.85:1 and gin clear. Primary colors pop, contrasts are extraordinary and skin tones are more than lifelike, with a wealth of physical particularities (from facial moles to faint blond hairs) easy to appreciate. The monaural soundtrack is surprisingly robust. The disc is not close captioned and there are no subtitle options. Olive Films' keepcase illustrations leave a little something to be desired and spoil a (perhaps not unexpected) third act reveal. One quibble aside, this long overdue widescreen DVD of The Mountain is the tops.

For more information about The Mountain, visit Olive Films. To order The Mountain, go to TCM Shopping.

by Richard Harland Smith

The Mountain - Spencer Tracy & Robert Wagner in THE MOUNTAIN on DVD

If you can buy Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner as brothers, Edward Dmytryk's The Mountain (1956) is a helluva climb. The two actors, born thirty years apart, had played father and son in Dmytryk's Broken Lance (1954) but are cast in this Paramount production as siblings on opposite ends of life's journey. While Tracy's elderly Zachary Teller, a French shepherd and former mountain guide who quit the game after the death of an English climber in his care, is humble and satisfied with life's simple pleasures, kid brother Chris (Wagner) is a small town playboy whose affairs with the wives of visiting tourists has given him a taste for finer things beyond the snow-capped confines of his alpine village. When an Indian jetliner crashes atop the summit of a nearby mountain, the avaricious Chris goads Zachary into making the climb to retrieve a rumored shipment of gold, knowing that his emotionally damaged guardian will not let him go it alone. In adapting Henri Troyat's 1952 novel La neige en Deuil (which was inspired by the 1950 crash of Air India Flight 245 into Mount Blanc in November of 1950), screenwriter Ranald MacDougall torques the tensions between the protagonists, stripping away the excess weight of empathy for the younger brother; MacDougall also borrows a few tricks from Mildred Pierce (1946), which he had adapted from the James L. Cain novel at Warner Brothers. Wagner had just played a collegiate sociopath in A Kiss Before Dying (1956) and ports that same slit-eyed venality to his interpretation of the avaricious Chris Teller. Looking considerably older than his 55 years, Spencer Tracy had quit drinking prior to production of The Mountain but an injury during filming knocked him off the wagon. The physically strenuous shoot on location at Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France (and on studio soundstages, where Tracy is clearly doing his share of the heavy lifting) took its toll on the father-son relationship between Tracy and Wagner. Nevertheless, when The Mountain was in the can, the older actor insisted on giving his young costar equal billing. Directed by Dmytryk after his HUAC troubles and self-imposed exile abroad, The Mountain is one of the long-time Paramount employee's more interesting A-list projects, following the fairly impersonal The Caine Mutiny (1954) and the Humphrey Bogart misfire The Left Hand of God (1955). The film's midsection, nearly 48 minutes long, is devoted exclusively to the arduous mountain summit, which Dmytryk treats as a meditation in patience, where progress is measured by inches and success can pay off only in survival. Dmytryk wisely dials down Daniele Amfitheatrof's overbearingly celestial score during these scenes, which remain remarkably tense despite being staged in a studio mountain mock-up, while Franz Planer's widescreen Technicolor cinematography keeps The Mountain a strikingly beautiful production from end to end. Despite the importation to Mont Blanc of a handful of American actors (among them Claire Trevor, E. G. Marshall, Richard Arlen, Harry Townes and William Demarest, as the village priest), Dmytryk sidesteps the kitsch factor by refusing to condescend to Mittel European accents as a bid for authenticity. Keeping incongruity at bay is Ranald MacDougall's sharp ear for the plain talk and colloquial repetition of provincial people unaccustomed to speaking at length; characters routinely repeat themselves and speak in a circular argot ("I don't climb anymore. The mountain gave me its warning--it doesn't want me... The mountain warned me. I don't climb anymore.") that seems to serve them as a bulwark against uncertainty. The Mountain is another winner from Olive Films, whose catalogue also includes the once-rare Crack in the World (1965) and Escape from Zahrain (1962). As is their custom, Olive Films' DVD of The Mountain is as bare-bones (lacking supplements and encoded for only 8 chapter stops) as it is gorgeously authored. The transfer is framed at 1.85:1 and gin clear. Primary colors pop, contrasts are extraordinary and skin tones are more than lifelike, with a wealth of physical particularities (from facial moles to faint blond hairs) easy to appreciate. The monaural soundtrack is surprisingly robust. The disc is not close captioned and there are no subtitle options. Olive Films' keepcase illustrations leave a little something to be desired and spoil a (perhaps not unexpected) third act reveal. One quibble aside, this long overdue widescreen DVD of The Mountain is the tops. For more information about The Mountain, visit Olive Films. To order The Mountain, go to TCM Shopping. by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

In November 1953, Daily Variety reported that Paramount had bought the film rights to Henri Troyat's novel for producer Mel Epstein. It has not been determined, however, if Epstein actually worked on the project. The Mountain marked actor Spencer Tracy's first film after the termination of his contract with M-G-M, for which he had worked for over two decades, though Hollywood Reporter news items mistakenly state that the actor was obtained on loanout by Paramount from M-G-M. (For more information on the events which led to Tracy's break with M-G-M, see the entry for Tribute to a Bad Man below.)
       According to Los Angeles Times, portions of the film were shot on location in the French Alps, including the resort area of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc. Hollywood Reporter news items report that the entire population of La Tour-du-Pin was hired to appear in The Mountain, in exchange for an unspecified payment by Paramount to the village's school and church funds. Hollywood Reporter news items and production charts include Onslow Stevens and Camille Guerni in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The Mountain marked the feature film debut of actress Anna Kashfi.
       According to modern sources, Tracy had asked M-G-M to purchase the Troyat novel in the early 1950s, but was turned down by the studio's executives, who told him that the story would be too expensive to film. Modern sources also claim that Tracy insisted that Robert Wagner be cast in the role of his brother, "Chris Teller," despite a difference of thirty years in the two actors' ages. The two had previously worked together on the 1954 Twentieth Century-Fox production Broken Lance, which was also directed by Edward Dmytryk. Modern sources also reported that Tracy and Wagner were nearly killed while on location in the French Alps when the funicular cable car they were riding to the top of Aiguille du Midi slipped off its cable.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 1956

Released in United States on Video October 12, 1988

Re-released in United States on Video April 18, 1995

VistaVision

Re-released in United States on Video April 18, 1995

Released in United States on Video October 12, 1988

Released in United States Fall November 1956