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Third Man on the Mountain (1959)

Michael Rennie , James MacArthur , Ken Annakin  |  G |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Rennie, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, James Donald, Herbert Lom
  • Directors: Ken Annakin
  • Writers: Screenplay By Eleanore Griffin, Based On The Book "Banner In The Sky" By James Ram
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001Z51LC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,080 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Third Man on the Mountain" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Based on a true story, here is the thrilling, critically acclaimed account of Rudi Matt (James MacArthur), a young kitchen worker who is determined to conquer the Citadel -- the jagged, snowcapped peak that claimed his father's life. Encouraged by both a famed English climber (Michael Rennie) and the youth's devoted girlfriend (Janet Munro), Rudi goes through a grueling training period before he is ready to face the incredible dangers of the killer mountain. Shot on location in Zermatt, Switzerland, and featuring spectacular scenery and an outstanding cast, THIRD MAN ON THE MOUNTAIN is one of the finest adventure films of all time!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
103 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
THE STORY : Basically, young Rudi is the son of the best climbing guide in his village, who died tragically climbing the yet unconquered Matterhorn, or as they call it "the Citadel". Rudi's mother refuses to let her son climb, and he is going crazy for it if it were not for the love and understanding of Lizbeth. He strongly believes his father had discovered a secret path to the mountaintop that has so far eluded all other climbers. Rudi is always in trouble for sneaking away to climb on his own, when he is supposed to be washing dishes at the hotel. But the village is concerned over losing their reputation with the other villages, since their guides have been afraid to climb the mountain in the 16 years since the tragedy. When a famous British climber arrives with a guide from a rival village to climb the Citadel and also wants to hire local guides, Rudi and the village get their big chance at redeeming their reputation. There is a good moral lesson about thinking of others first. A very enjoyable dramatic story, it is true Disney wholesome family fare.

BEHIND THE SCENES TRIVIA: The movie was filmed entirely on location in Switzerland. Helicopters and mule trains were used to get the gear to the filming spots. Disney arranged for the actors to actually learn to climb in order to make the scenes that involved the actors more realistic. The long shots were usually filmed with doubles, and close range shots involved the real actors. In the case of the close-up shots the crew used movie magic to make the actors to appear high off the ground when they were not. James MacArthur really enjoyed the climbing and disappeared without authorization from the set in order to do some real climbing, which panicked the crew as an accident would delay filming.
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gret Old Classics/Poor Video Transfers October 2, 2004
Format:DVD
I love this movie and was delighted to see it appear at last on DVD. That is until I watched it. I was going to comment on the picture quality of this new DVD, but someone in New York beat me to it. All I can do is agree with that individual.

I worked at the Disney Studios in the 1970's in 16mm film distribution (just prior to the coming of home video). I distributed 16mm prints of this title. A new 16mm print struck at that time had a much better picture quality than the element used to make this current DVD transfer. The main problem is negative dirt. It's like watching a film in a snow storm. The N.Y. reviewer also correctly observed that the color correction was uneven.

Some audiences do not notice these technical flaws. Yet those in the industry have spent decades trying to improve the quality of how to present film product. DVDs are marketed on this very point. After all, what else do studios have to offer but their inventories? If all the Hollywood studios can agree to spend millions of dollars over the years investing in the latest technology, then they must care how to present their work in the best possible light. Or not, apparently.

For over three decades, video equipment has existed that can electronically "clean up" much of the dirt and some of the scratches that show up on video from a poor original source. The best way is to strike a new interpositive from the camera original negative (the original should first be chemically "washed"). You color correct when you make the digital transfer. I have overseen this process many times during my years in the video trarnsfer business. In this way, you will create the absolute best transfer possible. Otherwise, why bother?
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing Disney January 29, 2005
Format:DVD
Having read the cautionary reviews of my colleagues, regarding the quality of the dvd, I decided to purchase "Third Man On The Mountain" anyway. I, too, became enthralled with the story in grade school when I read Banner In The Sky and eagerly ran to the theater to see the story brought to life on film. You all know the tale, so I won't bore the reader by repeating it. The DVD transfer is a disgrace! Grainy, poor color correction; very painful to watch. I had hoped that the other reviewers were just being too technically critical, but they were spot on! If Disney is going to bring a film to DVD, it owes the consumer AND the filmmakers the courtesy of presenting the movie in the best possible manner! Disney failed us all miserably, and - because TMOTM is not a Disney "classic" it is likely we will never again see the pristine cinematography so lovingly shot back in the 50's. One other thing - could not determine if the film was ever shot in 'scope; was it just 1.33:1 aspect ratio originally?

My advice -don't buy the DVD unless you have no concern for quality. I returned mine and instead watch my old laserdisc (which was, in fact, a better transfer).
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, not the best DVD.... September 16, 2004
Format:DVD
First, the good news: this is one of my favorite of all the live action Disney movies and it is wonderful to finally see it again. If you enjoy beautiful scenery, the mountain climbing sequences in here display some of the best (though admittedly, some scenes are clearly matte paintings - but who cares? They're still beautiful!). The story is essentially predictable, but that doesn't distract for the wonderful atmosphere created in this film. It is well worth watching.

Now, the bad news...and the reason I could not give this DVD a full five stars: the DVD transfer is poor. The film print they used is fine considering it's age and generally looks rather good. However, and I don't know this as fact, I strongly suspect that they did not do a new film transfer for this DVD release. I think they used an old 3/4" tape - very likely the same source tape used when they released this film on VHS tape and laserdisc way back when. On the DVD, you can see very slight and subtle analog hits in the tape - the type that don't occur on digital source tapes. Not to mention, the color correction and brightness which someone did an atrocious job with - again, probably when trying to remaster the 3/4" tape rather than a new pristine film transfer which is what should have been done. The color correction is not SO bad (though some of the skin tones look awful), but there are portions of peoples faces that are washed out in certain scenes due to someone incompetent being behind the brightness/contrast controls - did Disney use a summer intern to prepare this DVD release?

I think that someone just threw an old 3/4" tape of this movie into a deck and badly tweaked the colors and brightness/contrast while it was running to DVD - that's it. Easy and cheap and a very sub-standard result.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Great movie...family loved it. Good classic Disney fun and safe for every age. We watched it twice in one weekend.
Published 13 days ago by Steve Audish
5.0 out of 5 stars Third Man on the Mountain
I always wanted to own this movie but it was quite expensive at the time. It is now affordable for me. Great acting and story line.
Published 16 days ago by L. Castro
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie!
Also read the book, Banner in the Sky. My son wanted to be a mountain climber after we watched this movie.
Published 29 days ago by sig5
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Clean Disney
Great family movie with adventure, romance, and wholesomeness. Enjoyable for children and adults. One of my families favorite Disney movies.
Published 1 month ago by Gary Adrian
5.0 out of 5 stars Third Man on the Mountain
At a time in America’s history when wholesome moral family movies without all the sex and violence for the most part are out of vogue and are not being produced, The Third Man on... Read more
Published 1 month ago by William Haymin
3.0 out of 5 stars OK movie
I did not think that this was a movie that I would watch several times. I was not very good.
Published 1 month ago by Rachel's Fire
2.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE---poor quality DVD
I saw the movie as a youth and LOVED it. I was dying to see it again, so I purchased it here in January 2014. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R Werstler
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting adventure story.
I very much enjoyed this movie. The scenery was breathtaking, as well. Lots of excitement and no garbage language or sex like so much of our contemporary junk.
Published 2 months ago by Arthur L. Manning
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
Watched this movie when I was younger @ loved it - when I found it in Amazon was excited to see it again. Like James MacArthur
Published 2 months ago by Peg Golightly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great old Disney film!
We loved this movie! It is very true to the book "Banner in the Sky," with the exception of the character Elizabeth. In my opinion, however, she only adds to the story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. MCNEELY
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