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
James MacArthur made the film during his summer break from Harvard University where he was studying history. 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 »
It's the end of it, for him. But it needn't be for us.
What do you mean?
Tomorrow the weather will be good, after that, who knows? If we leave at first dawn, we'll be there by eight. The boy will stay with him, he won't be left alone. And it's what he would want us to do.
It isn't a question of what he would want. A guide - at any rate, a guide of Kurtal - does not leave his client on a mountain and go on alone.
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I was eight years old in 1970, when our primary school in Northern Ireland assembled all the students into the gymnasium to see "a film". The film was Third man on the Mountain. A quiet loner who detested the boredom of sports that chased an object around an enclosed playing field, I was captivated by this film, and knew that I wanted to climb. I am 43 years old now, and have spent my life climbing and enjoying the beauty of the mountains. I have just purchased this film on DVD but will wait until Christmas Eve, to see it for the first time in 35 years.
In an age where Hollywood gratifies violence, profanity, and promiscuity, caring parents would do well to, not only let their children see this great adventure story; but to sit with them and watch it as a family. As a teenager, I never once attended a 'house-party', drank, or engaged in the trash that often creates arrogant, ungrateful, and belligerent adolescents. The memory of this film never left my mind, and kept me focused in life. Honour, self discipline, respect for our elders and caring about what others think of us; as well as a great story of personal determination and effort, young people today need to be presented with the values that used to be 'normal' in society.
The real locations used in the filming provide a welcome relief from the slick, computer-animations and green-screen fakery of modern celluloid, and the climbing depictions are far, far superior to anything that has since been passed off by Hollywood, as 'mountaineering'. Having to EARN respect, working and striving for goals, personal sacrifice, and a good story: parents owe this film to their children.
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