In “The Mountain,” one of Edward Dmytryk's less impressive directorial efforts, Spencer Tracy plays Zachary Teller, a simple, kind, conscientious mountain guide, who retired years ago to raise his brother Chris (Robert Wagner), a spoiled and unscrupulous youth.
A disaster puts the two brothers and their opposing personalities to test. When a plane crashes on one of the mountains' top, Chris insists on climbing up to it to plunder the wreckage. Repelled by the idea, Zacahry later agrees to go rather than let his brother climb alone.
After a long and difficult struggle up the mountain, the two siblings reach the plane and find one passenger, a Hindu girl (Anna Kashfi), still alive. Chris wants to kill her, but Zachary fights him off and makes a sled to take her back.
While Chris is taking money and jewelry from the dead passengers, Zachary starts down the mountain with the Hindu girl. Chris follows, but gets killed in a fall, obeying the Production Code rules that a negative character needs to be punished in some way, and allowing for a happy ending with Zachary returns to the village with the girl.
Unfortunately, there is not much chemistry between Tracy and Wagner, who looks and behaves like his son rather than brother. Dmytryk does what he can with a psychological adventure that's as literal and simple as its title, and end result is a routine film that Tracy must have done for the workand the money.
Even so, “The Monutain” offers a glimpse at the young and exotic Anna Kashfi, an Indian with British blood, at her screen debut. Kashfi, who would continue to play “exotic” women in Hollywood melodrama of the 1950s, became a celeb when she married actor Marlon Brando. Though the marriage didn't last long, it offered gossipy material for Kashfi's memoir, “Breakfast with Brando,” which brought her extra-publicity due to unflattering account of the star.
Zachary Teller (Spencer Tracy)
Chris Teller (Robert Wagner)
Marie (Claire Trevor)
Father Belacchi (William Demarest)
Simone (Barbara Darrow)
Solange (E.G. Marshall)
Hindu Girl (Anna Kashfi)
Release Date: November 1956
Running time: 105 Minutes.
Produced and directed by Edward Dmytryk
Screenplay: Ronald MacDougall, based on the novel by Henri Troyat
Camera: Franz F. Planer
Editor: Frank Bracht
Music: Daniele Amfitheatrof
Art Directors: Hal Pereira and John Goodman
Set Decoration: Sam Comer and Grace Gregory
Costumes: Edith Head
Special Effects: John Fulton