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Third Man on the Mountain (1959)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Family | 10 November 1959 (USA)
A boy attempts to realize his father's dream of climbing an alpine peak known as the Citadel.



(screenplay), (book)

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Complete credited cast:
Captain John Winter
Rudi Matt
Franz Lerner
Emil Saxo
Teo Zurbriggen
Lee Patterson ...
Klaus Wesselhoft
Walter Fitzgerald ...
Herr Hempel
Nora Swinburne ...
Frau Matt


In 1865 Switzerland, a country mostly covered by high mountains, the main hobby is mountain-climbing. For some locals it's a personal passion and for others it's a lucrative business. Many tourists, mostly rich foreigners and explorers, come to Switzerland to attempt world records by climbing mountain peaks that have never been climbed or seldom been climbed before. Of course, some of these brave explorers lose their lives in their dangerous quests. The local Swiss villages provide experienced mountain guides and porters to the mountain climbers willing to pay the price, in coins or lives. Kurtal is such a small Swiss village located at the base of the famous Citadel mountain. The Citadel is the highest and the most dangerous peak in the region. Many have died trying to climb it but for the past 16 years no one has ventured on it. The last man to lose his life on the Citadel was the famous local mountain guide Josef Matt who died sacrificing himself in order to save the lives of his ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 November 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Banner in the Sky  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Matterhorn was an actual set location and actors and crew were required to climb the summit for filming. See more »


The amount of blood on Captain Winter's bandage keeps changing from scene to scene at the end of the movie. See more »


Frau Matt: Would you want to be the wife of a guide?
Lizbeth Hempel: Yes. Or of a dishwasher, or a hotel proprietor. But never the wife of a hotel proprietor who wanted to climb mountains! Because a man must do what he feels he must do; or he isn't a man. And no one, wife mother or sweetheart, has the right to make him into something that he wasn't meant to be.
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Climb the Mountain
Written by Franklyn Marks and 'By' Dunham
See more »

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User Reviews

In my heart: Third Man on the Mountain
4 November 2013 | by (Brazil) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie around 1962 and never forgot it. At that time I lived in a small country town and the cinema was practically our only entertainment. One weekend, Saturday, I went to see "Third Man on the Mountain" and I was completely entranced with the movie. The story touched me deeply impressed me and landscapes. It was as if, somehow, I always had that picture in mind, then, suddenly, I saw on the screen. It was an amazing experience. Back then, in my small town, the film screened on Saturday was repeated on Sunday afternoon and there I was again. In the following years I tried a lot but could not find it. Time passed. Only now fifty years later could see him again and the feeling was the same. It's a film that I bring in my heart forever.

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