In these days when the natural wonders of the world can be so easily synthesized on film by computers, it's a little tough to look upon studio sets of mountain exteriors as anything but unsatisfactory. But that's the situation with Edward Dmytryk's 1956 drama The Mountain
, starring Spencer Tracy as a retired mountain guide who accompanies his brash young brother (Robert Wagner) on the ascent of a rugged slope to the site of a plane crash. Essentially, Tracy goes along to keep his venal sibling from getting killed, but once at the crash location his attention shifts toward helping a Hindu survivor (Anna Kashfi) reach safety. Not so the agenda of Wagner's character, whose real mission is looting valuables from the dead. The strains and dangers of the climb up and down perfectly mirror the tense dynamics between the two men, and on this score Dmytryk (The Caine Mutiny
) does a splendid job. Less compelling, however, is the action, which requires far too much suspension of disbelief even for the late '50s. --Tom Keogh
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.