The casting decisions in "The Mountain" was insane--even by Hollywood
standards of the 1950s. After all, Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner are
cast as brothers--and their age difference is 30 years! And, frankly,
at this point in his life, Tracy looked significantly older than
56--probably due, in part, to his heavy drinking. On top of that, the
film is based in the Alps--yet no one sounds French, German or
Italian--just American. For me, all this really took me out of the
experience and overwhelmed everything else in the film--both the good
and the bad.
"The Mountain" begins with a plane crashing into a mountain in Europe. A group of mountain climbers have volunteered to climb to the summit to look for survivors, but the job looks almost impossible. After all, it's getting late in the year and the mountain has claimed lives over the years. One climber who isn't about to climb is a guy played by Tracy. He is a VERY experienced climber but has given up the sport because he KNOWS he'll die if he keeps climbing--as he nearly lost his life the last time he climbed this mountain. Soon, the rescue party returns--their leader is dead and they don't believe it's possible to make it. So far, so good. However, inexplicably, Wagner insists he'll go up the mountain alone (even though he's NOT an experienced climber) because he wants to rob the dead. Even more inexplicable is that Tracy agrees to go along--even though he's horrified by his brother's callousness. His intention is just to keep the younger sibling from getting himself killed. What happens next? See the film.
I thought as I watched the film that although Spencer Tracy looked way too old for the part that he did a nice job. As for Wagner, however, he didn't have much chance in this film. First, he was acting against one of the ages best actors. Second, his character was about as one-dimensional as Snidely Whiplash or Simon Legree!! He was ridiculously written--and his character sure went to a lot of trouble just to steel. He could have easily committed crimes at sea level, instead! When the film began, I was very impressed. The camera-work was great--with incredibly vivid colors and a scope that was just lovely. And, many times during the film, I marveled at the way the director and his crew were able to make it appear as if Wagner and Tracy really were climbing in the mountains. Too bad, then, that the writing and casting was so dumb that all the great looks of the film were in vain. Overall, a time-passer that should have been much better.
FYI--Something you might want to look for if you like spotting goofs is Tracy's hands. In a VERY shocking and exciting scene, his hands are horribly torn apart by a rope. His brother falls and Tracy's only recourse is to grab the rope and hold on for dear life--as you see blood pouring off his torn hands. It's a VERY effective scene. Yet, shortly after, his hands are perfect--not a trace of a wound that should have taken weeks to heal. And, looking at the accident, you'd assume he'd always be seriously scarred by this!! However, at the very end, his hands are all bandaged! Talk about lousy continuity.
Action / Adventure / Drama
Action / Adventure / Drama
When a plane crashes on a mountaintop Chris wants to plunder the wreckage. His older brother Zachary has given up mountain guide work but goes along rather than letting his brother risk it alone. The only survivor is a Hindu girl who Chris wants to kill. Zachary fights him off. While Chris steals from the dead passengers, Zachary prepares a sled to take the girl down the mountain.
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October 15, 2015 at 04:54 AM