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Spencer's Mountain (1963)

 -  Drama | Family  -  16 May 1963 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,627 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 7 critic

Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even ... See full summary »

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Title: Spencer's Mountain (1963)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Preacher Clyde Goodman
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Claris Coleman
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Miss Parker
Lillian Bronson ...
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Dr. Campbell
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Colonel Coleman
Kathy Bennett ...
Minnie-Cora Cook
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Percy Cook
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Mother Ida
Ken Mayer ...
Mr. John
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Storyline

Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even helps a newly arrived local minister regain his flock after he and Clay get into a bit of trouble. If he has one dream in life it's to build his wife Olivia a beautiful house on a piece of land he inherited on Spender's mountain. When his eldest son, Clayboy, graduates at the top of his high school class and has the opportunity to go to college, Clay has only one option left to him. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Clayboy's schoolteacher impresses upon Clayboy the following phrase, "The world steps aside to let a man pass, if he knows where he is going"

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

16 May 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Nove Irmãos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In their book "How Underdog Was Born...", W. Watts Biggers and Chad Strover reveal that seeing Wally Cox's performance in this movie inspired them to ask him to voice their newly created character, Underdog. See more »

Goofs

When clay is talking church with Mother Ida at about 22 min. into the movie. You can clearly see traffic traveling down a highway behind Ida. See more »

Quotes

Olivia Spencer: Must you, we got company!
Clay Spencer: [drunk] Come open your arms because I'm going to kiss those ruby lips right off you
[attempting to kiss her]
Olivia Spencer: Oh Clay Stop it! Behave yourself the minister and Ms Parker are in there
Clay Spencer: Oh good for Ms Parker
[continues to kiss and grab his wife]
Olivia Spencer: Clay Stop Clay!
Clay Spencer: I love you woman
See more »

Connections

Followed by A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Now the Day is Over
(uncredited)
Words by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1865
Music by Joseph Barnby, 1868
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User Reviews

 
Spencer Family Values
23 January 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda throughout his career showed a great flair for playing rustic characters and endowing them with dignity. In fact that was his introduction to film when he did the movie version of the play that made him a star, The Farmer Takes A Wife. Of course as Fonda started playing more of a variety of roles he was less and less in rustic settings.

His last role of this type was as Clay Spencer in Spencer's Mountain a feel good family type picture with a rather interesting take on the facts of life. Country folks like the Spencers who deal a lot in livestock are familiar with the breeding process so it's not a huge big deal with them. At least it's not in this film as Mimsy Farmer is ready to finish James MacArthur's eduction in that regard. One of the best scenes in the film is Henry Fonda bringing over his bull to mate with one of Dub Taylor's cows with everybody looking on. I guess they're starved for entertainment in that part of the country.

In fact MacArthur's further education is what drives the film. He's the oldest of Fonda's and Maureen O'Hara's nine children and the first to graduate high school. His teacher Virginia Gregg wants to see him get ahead and go to the university. But the financial and other obstacles are considerable. Even the new minister Wally Cox tutors MacArthur in a needed Latin course.

If the Spencers bear no small resemblance to the Walton family that's because Earl Hammer who created the Waltons also wrote the novel this film was based on. Spencer's Mountain is beautifully photographed in the Grand Teton mountains of Wyoming, just as pretty and more majestic than the Walton's Appalachians. Delmer Daves who directed Spencer's Mountain also directed Jubal a few years earlier, a western also set in the Grand Tetons. The cinematography is just as good, but the resemblance stops there because Jubal is quite the adult western.

Spencer's Mountain marked the farewell performance of Donald Crisp who was 81 years old when he filmed this and had a career going back to the earliest silent films. He was a grand character actor who played an awesome variety of parts. Here he's in his family patriarch persona as Fonda's father married to Lillian Bronson in the film. Crisp won his Oscar as the family patriarch in John Ford's How Green Was My Valley.

Spencer's Mountain did good box office and it's a nice family film. But Henry Fonda's new agent passed on a Broadway play called Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and signed his client for this. Fonda never forgave the agent, I can't really blame him.


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