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Spencers Mountain [Import]

Henry Fonda , Maureen O'Hara , Delmer Daves    Unrated   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Frequently Bought Together

Spencers Mountain [Import] + Homecoming: A Christmas Story + The Waltons: The Complete Eighth Season
Price For All Three: CDN$ 30.13

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Product Description


Long before Henry Fonda played an irascible patriarch in On Golden Pond, he played an equally crusty family man in this warmly rustic, 1963 drama Spencer's Mountain, based on an Earl Hamner Jr. novel that later inspired the television series The Waltons. Fonda plays Clay Spencer, a fiercely independent, hard-drinking, foul-mouthed Wyoming laborer who believes in God but rejects (to his tiny community's consternation) organized religion. Scraping together enough money to build a new house for his wife (Maureen O'Hara) and nine children, Spencer runs into an obstacle to both his plans and family pride when his college-bound son (James MacArthur) romances the daughter of Spencer's boss. Director Delmer Daves whips up a kind of morose schmaltz out of the earnest material, but it's Fonda's grit and heartland integrity that carry the day and establish some self-effacing wit. Some nice features here, including interviews with Fonda and a short documentary, "Spencer's Mountain: Grand Teton Premiere." --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Before THE WALTONS, Earl Hamner Jr. wrote a novel called
SPENCER'S MOUNTAIN, a fictionalized version of his childhood
in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The film version of
his novel is in general excellent--Henry Fonda is a standout
as tough-but-loving Clay Spencer--but I always thought
James MacArthur was too old to be playing Clay-Boy, and he's
certainly NOT the charming but gawky red-headed kid described
in the novel! Richard Thomas was also older than the John-Boy
character he portrayed on the television series, but he
was made to look like a gawky teenager where MacArthur never
does. (Incidentally, the family on TV is known as the Waltons
rather than the Spencers because after the movie was made
the studio owned the rights to the name "Spencer" so Hamner
had to change it for TV.)
My big quibble with this movie, and the reason I won't rate
it higher, is the character of Claris. In the novel she's a
bold, precocious, but ultimately nice girl--in the movie she
just comes off as a slut. The actress slithers and oozes like
some sort of Lolita-clone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a funny, heartwrenching movie March 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is such a beautifully made film. It made me laugh (really hard), then had me on the verge of tears. This is a true look at rual America in the 40's (or was it the 30's). And for a movie made 40 years ago, it has some pretty smart dialogue. Spencer's son has this "loose" girlfreind who's always getting the poor guy in trouble. "Wannna get the dictionary and look up all the dirty words?" she asks the son while she tries (unsuccessfully) to seduce him in the town library. Don't get me wrong there is nothing vulgar about this film. It really is a family classic. Hnery Fonda is in peak form here. A REAL look at family life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Delmer Daves production Aug. 29 1999
Format:VHS Tape
"Spencer's Mountain" , written by Earl Hamner, Jr. of "The Walton's" wrote this script in the 1950s and it shows. Like many of the Delmer Daves movies of this era, this film combines a Max Steiner score, great cinematography and a heart-tugging story from a more innocent America. This is a great movie to get lost in, enjoy, and have a good cry. I sit back and re-live this film at least once a year.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great family video June 25 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I loved this movie--Henry Fonda is wonderful as the hard-working, loving, commonsense father of nine children. Maureen O'Hara plays his wife and does a great job as a woman of faith who is constantly being challenged by the struggles of raising a large family with little income. It gives a beautiful portrait of a close-knit family whose members sacrifice freely for one another. A great family movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Feb. 28 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Watched this movie with great interest, and enjoyed it immensely, especially watching, and hearing, Henry Fonda sing! What a voice that man had!
Just two things puzzled me and my neighbor who borrowed it to watch...did they really have electricity as well as chain saws back then??
So this is what inspired the Waltons. Well done!
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