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Third Man on the Mountain

A movie directed by Ken Annakin

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Idyllic scenery and a sweet story

  • Jan 15, 2010
  • by

The story opens in the mid-19th century in a picturesque Swiss village under the towering Citadel. Young Rudi Matt (James MacArthur) wants desperately to be a famous climbing guide like his late father and finally gets the chance to accompany an English climber (Michael Rennie) on a trek up the never-before-scaled mountain.

If you like mountain climbing, you'll love this movie which was beautifully filmed on location in Zermatt and the Matterhorn. The story is pure Disney with an idealist hero, his spunky girl friend (Janet Munroe), and lot of loveable villagers looking after them. MacArthur is sweet and boyish and contrasts well with Rennie's sophisticated gentleman. The first half of the movie was more interesting for me than the final anti-climatic ascent (wtih Herbert Lom as a grumpy villain), but it's a feel-good movie all the same.

An interesting note: Walt Disney loved the location so much that he built the Matterhorn bobsled ride at Disneyland after filming this movie.

Idyllic scenery and a sweet story Idyllic scenery and a sweet story Idyllic scenery and a sweet story

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About this movie


In this fine Disney adventure based on a true story, Rudi Matt (James MacArthur), employed as a kitchen worker, decides to climb to the top of the Citadel, the same treacherous climb that had taken the life of his father. With the support of a renowned English mountain climber (Michael Rennie) and his loving girlfriend (Janet Munro), Rudi vigorously trains for, and then conquers, this dangerous quest. This film was shot on location in Zermat, Switzerland, and features breathtaking views of the mountain scenery.
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Director: Ken Annakin
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Release Date: 10 November 1959 (USA)
Runtime: 105 min
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