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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.

Director:

Ken Annakin

Writers:

Eleanore Griffin (screenplay by), James Ramsey Ullman (book)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Rennie ... Captain John Winter
James MacArthur ... Rudi Matt
Janet Munro ... Lizbeth Hempel
James Donald ... Franz Lerner
Herbert Lom ... Emil Saxo
Laurence Naismith ... Teo Zurbriggen
Lee Patterson ... Klaus Wesselhoft
Walter Fitzgerald ... Herr Hempel
Nora Swinburne ... Frau Matt
Ferdy Mayne ... Andreas
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

FROM WALT DISNEY A NEW HIGH IN THRILLING ACTION, SUSPENSE AND EXCITEMENT! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Disney's Official Site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Banner in the Sky See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four years later, James MacArthur would make another film set in a mountainous range. Spencer's Mountain (1963) was set in Wyoming and would actually form the basis of the long-running TV series _The Waltons_. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Magical World of Disney: Perilous Assignment (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Climb the Mountain
Written by Franklyn Marks and 'By' Dunham
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The "Rocky" of Mountain-Climbing Movies -- One of Walt's Finest
5 September 2005 | by ErnestRisterSee all my reviews

Third Man on the Mountain ranks among the very best live-action films ever produced by Walt Disney. Period mountain-climbing film works as both a white-knuckle adventure thriller and compelling coming-of-age story. Highlights include sensational location photography and stunt work, strong character performances, terrific period detail, and a fine screenplay by Eleanore Griffin. Film takes its time establishing its characters, before building towards unusually gripping second half, where the human drama becomes as suspenseful as the high-altitude acrobatics.

Current DVD uses badly-worn elements for its source, with swarms of dirt, scratches, and ugly grain. It might, in fact, be the exact same transfer used in the 90's for the laserdisc release. Modern DVD resolution and large-screen televisions make the result unacceptable, especially for a film of this caliber. Disney Home Video needs to revisit this title and give it the respect it deserves.

Trivia: The Matterhorn ride at California's Disneyland theme park is based on the killer mountain seen in this film.


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