The Mountain (1956)

The Mountain (1956)I was unsure about this The Mountain (1956) passing up in The Devil at 4 O’clock (1961). I think it comes down to being used to a faster pace of action in these kind of films when a lot is at stake. Which contradicts the films I have seen before. It did however involve a volcano which made the plot a little thin to even watch.

I decided in the end this time to watch The Mountain (1956) which sees Zachary Teller (Spencer Tracy putting his fears and past to one side to look after his much, much younger brother Chris Teller (Robert Wagner) who wants to climb a dangerous mountain after a horrific plane crash that presumably killed everyone. The two brothers facing desperate times, both very different in outlook. After a failed rescue team return with a dead friend, things seem to change for Zach who had not faced the mountain that seemed to not want him around, every expedition ending disaster for him.

When the younger brother, Chris sees an opportunity to solve their financial woes, knowing that there will be wealth that has no use to the dead, he sees it for the taking. His older brother wants nothing to do with this immoral get-rich-quick scheme. He has no choice in helping him when he knows Chris is determined to go.

For a film of it’s age to still have an audience on the edge of their feet is something, even as terrible the special effects may work. Shouting at the actors, “wear more layers” (which they do…sort of later on). Enough tension is created as they scale this mountain, which feels too quick for me, yet satisfies the plot when they finally reach the peak to found one sole survivor known simply as Hindu Girl (Anna Kashfi) who in her small international role brings another layer, however flimsy it maybe, of looking out for your fellow man, wherever they come from. No doubt the film has aged, but the tension and moral fibre remain and that’s what makes this film a classic.





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