The Mountain (1956) Brotherly Love

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy robert wagner film poster movie artwork

The Mountain has a quality to it that makes you want to simultaneously grab one character, Christopher Teller (Robert Wagner) and slowly but repeatedly punch him in head while on the other hand you want to grab Zachary Teller (Spencer Tracy) and give the guy a big bear hug and a warm smile.

The Mountain (1956) robert wagner moody smoking

Chris Teller aka Dr Evils Number Two in Austin Powers spends all his time strutting around the small village with his 50’s quiff, moaning and sulking and getting drunk whilst throwing his toys out of his pram. Desperate to escape the quiet life he has been brought into, he takes his frustration out on his only family, his much older brother. Mild mannered Zachary is more of a father figure to Chris after bringing him up since he was born.

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy advice to climb the mountian

On the other hand, content and happy with his life as a shepherd, a proud Zachary lives in the family home which has housed the Tellers for a many generations. A well loved man within the small community, he is at one with nature, god and even has a lady admirer who wants to look after him.

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy the mountain peaks dangerous

They live at the foot of a colossal mountain which Zachary only knows too well. He has been climbing the mountain since a young boy, no one has the experience he has but after an unexpected accident he has come to terms that the mountain doesn’t want him to climb it anymore and is at one with this decision.

Tagline – IT FILLS THE SCREEN with Excitement and Suspense!

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy robert wagner ready to climb

Unfortunately a passenger plane crashes at the top mountain. A first rescue mission is sent to see if there are survivors but quickly gets into trouble just as Zachary had said. It was just too difficult a climb, not to mention the ever changing weather.

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy robert wagner climbing the rock faceThe Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy clinging to the rock face

The conniving little sod Chris wants to pillage the bodies for their riches to be able to escape the village and forces Zachary out of retirement through guilt to help him climb. Zachary only knows too well that if he didn’t his brother would be sure to die.  But maybe somewhere deep inside the old man there was one last climb to close the bond between man and mountain.

The Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy scenery snow mountains rocksThe Mountain (1956) Spencer Tracy the mountain peaks dangerous rope pulling

The colour print is gorgeous and I liked the slow pacing and build up to the climb. Only recently I had the chance to watch Bad Day at Black Rock and Spencer Tracey stole the show as he does in this. To be honest I haven’t seen many of his films but I do have Adam’s Rib to watch soon. Heard there’s much love for that film.

The Mountain is available at the time of posting on Netflix UK.

Further Reading Links

The Mountain (1956) IMDB

Bosley Crowther 1956 review for The Mountain The New York Times


One thought on “The Mountain (1956) Brotherly Love

  1. Not a bad film and one of my first with Spencer. He’s quite possibly the greatest actor from the studio era. Just try to catch him acting. He underplays most every scene and character. His performance in Black Rock, Inherit the Wind and Judgement at Nuremburg are dynamic. It’s a Mad World probably my favorite of all comedies if forced to pick one and he underplays the whole thing while every stand up comic in Hollywood dances about him. Apparently on this film Mountain his drunken behavior resulted in a nasty hand injury for Wagner. Yes, Spence was a mean drinker when he went off the wagon.


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