Selfish Chris Teller pressures his older brother, a retired climber, to accompany him on a treacherous Alpine climb to loot the bodies of plane crash victims.


Edward Dmytryk


Henri Troyat (novel), Ranald MacDougall (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Zachary Teller
Robert Wagner ... Christopher 'Chris' Teller
Claire Trevor ... Marie
William Demarest ... Father Belacchi
Barbara Darrow ... Simone
Richard Arlen ... C.W. Rivial
E.G. Marshall ... Solange
Anna Kashfi ... Hindu Girl
Richard Garrick ... Coloz
Harry Townes ... Joseph
Stacy Harris ... Nicholas Servoz
Yves Brainville Yves Brainville ... Andre


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. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


IT FILLS THE SCREEN with Excitement and Suspense! See more »


Adventure | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film was based on the 1952 novel "La neige en deuil" written by Henri Troyat. The novel itself was inspired by the Air India Flight 245 crash into Mont-Blanc, France, on November 3, 1950. The flight, a Lockheed L-749A Constellation Malabar Princess, carried forty passengers and eight crew on the Bombay-Cairo-Geneva-London route. It hit the face of the Rochers De la Tournette 4,677 meters (15,344 feet) on the French side of Mont Blanc, killing all on board. In 1966 Air India Flight 101 crashed in the same approximate area. In 2013, a climber found a cache of jewelry that is speculated to have been aboard one of these two flights. See more »


When Zachary exits the artificial climb section (the one where he uses pitons), in the shot where we see him frontally, the mountain far in the background is the same "Bald Mountain" he is supposed to be climbing. See more »


Zachary Teller: You're sweating! Thinking of the dead men's money is making you sweat! I blame myself. It's my fault for you being like this. Somewhere I must have done something wrong for you to be like this.
Christopher 'Chris' Teller: You're not going to take me up there?
Zachary Teller: [Shakes his head] I haven't climbed in ten tears. That in itself would be enough if a man gets old... and besides, my hands are not as strong as they once were... and the mountain is aginst me. But all that there is, there's one thing more, the most important thing. It ...
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Referenced in Pickup Alley (1957) See more »

User Reviews

I love the director and the story had potential, but it's slow and a bit obvious
21 October 2011 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Mountain (1956)

A brightly colored movie with old school Spencer Tracy and new style Robert Wagner in a drama about getting something that doesn't belong to you. The scenery is stunning, clear, high altitude stuff, shot on location in the French Alps. Edward Dmytryk is a Hollywood steady with a good sense of drama, and the movie has good bones.

Loosely based on a true story (a 1950 crash of an Indian airplane), the catchy facts are dwarfed by the stereotypes of the two main characters, and by the general drama and landscapes. The plane wreck is high up in the mountains and a rescue party is waiting to go up in the morning. But then these two brothers (far enough apart in years to be father and son) go up first, the evening before. The acting is first rate all around, which keeps even the slow acts held together decently.

Overall, though, this is a plodding plot. Roughly a third of the time (yes) is pure mountain climbing, which can be fun for a minute but it follows the two men up and then down the mountain in great detail. All well done, yes, but what you really want is some intensity, a greater clash of two moralities, each representing a different generation.

The crash site is really quite believable (if a little concentrated in one spot--I think these high speed crashes get pretty scattered in truth). And the general idea works pretty well, not only the difference in motives of the two brothers but the ability of one brother to look the other way for the other. There is a surprise turn of events at the top, and then another on the way down, when the drama builds at last. And then there is a final little confessional speech that Tracy gives (like he does in many of his roles). He is meant to be the great self-sacrificing, humble man as "good example." It really is, as others write, overly sentimental and frankly unbelievable. And unnecessary, too. Even an unwillingness to talk about the events would have had the same moral effect without the townspeople basically winking in the final scenes.

Alas. Not a classic. If you like technical mountain climbing (with ropes) you might enjoy a lot of it. And some great scenery.

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Release Date:

November 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mountain See more »


Box Office


$2,119,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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