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The White Tower (1950)

Approved | | Adventure | 24 June 1950 (USA)
A group of people come together in the Swiss Alps to climb a previously unconquered mountain, revealing their inner selves in the process.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
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Carla Alton (as Valli)
...
Paul Delambre
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Andreas (as Oscar Homolka)
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Dr. Nicholas Radcliffe (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
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Mr. Hein
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Mme. Astrid Delambre
Lotte Stein ...
Frau Andreas
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Storyline

The White Tower, a Matterhorn-like mountain in the Swiss Alps, has never been climbed. Carla Alten's father, a famous mountaineer, died in a long-ago attempt. Now, Carla, determined to fulfill her father's dream, has assembled an unusual climbing party to tackle the nearly-impossible ascent. Written by hypercritical

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Every gasping thrill in color by Technicolor!

Genres:

Adventure

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hölle am weißen Turm  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening credits: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »

Goofs

When scaling the last bit of the peak near the end, it's obvious that studio lights were being used as there are multiple shadows going in multiple directions of Glenn Ford. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Hein: [Admonishing his fellow climbers for resting too frequently] To rest is not to conquer.
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User Reviews

 
Good Premise, but Slack Screenplay and Direction
17 October 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

It's a suspenseful premise—scaling a killer peak. The trouble is that the suspense doesn't really gel until the final few minutes. In the meantime, Valli and Ford get romantically acquainted in several over-long scenes that sap the pace. Technically, the movie combines real mountains (French Alps) with sound stage mountains in pretty effective fashion, certainly better than most process shots of the period. And that location photography of the French Alps produces some stunning shots of gorgeous alpine valleys, which, I suspect, is the real star of the movie.

The plot motivation has Valli paying tribute to her dead father by scaling the White Tower. Unfortunately, she takes along a mixed bag of male support that's none too persuasive, including a 61-year old Claude Rains and a 56-year old Cedric Hardwicke, along with a youthful Ford who nevertheless treats the project like a walk-in-the-park. Remember, this is supposed to be a peak never before climbed, and she's a girl with a mission. Nonetheless, some of the dangling-from-rocks scenes amount to good cinema. I just wish someone had told Ford or the director that you don't mountaineer without gloves, especially in snow.

The story itself shifts gears abruptly in the final few minutes when WWII is refought on a tense snow bank. Actually, Ford should have suspected Bridges' politics when he first saw that Afrika Korps campaign cap. Instead, he has to prove the advantages of a cooperative ethic (democracy) over Bridges' superman ethic; at the same time, I like the movie's surprisingly unconventional climax, which manages to reinforce Ford's ethic. Anyway, the film is spotty, at best, but those scenic shots do compensate for a lot.


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