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on January 22, 2012
I was drawn to this movie because I recalled my two older sisters seeing it at the time of it's theatrical release and saying how great it was. I might have been twelve then and I was more inclined to see "Jaws" for a fourth time than waste my time on a girly flick. Regardless, this recalled to me a film from 1956 called "Interrupted Melody" that starred the incomparable Eleanor Parker as a rising opera singer who was felled by polio at the heighth of her fame. The distinction between these two films is that Parker's character's illness did not silence her voice but the result of Jill Kinmont's(Marilyn Hassett) skiing accident means she cannot renew a semblance of the life she once knew. Prior to her accident the world was Kinmont's oyster. She was at the top of her game and headed to the 1956 Winter Olympics. Like many athletes her drive and determination belied some narcissism and arrogance. When the reality of permanent paralysis hits her Jill has new obstacles to overcome. Not only does she have to tackle her physical shortcomings but she has to rebuild herself as a person. Jill's journey is both grueling and touching. Hassett, an actress who inexplicably fell off the map after starring in an adaptation of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" in 1979, does monumental work assaying the transitions that Kinmont has to go through to realize her true worth as a person. The physical demands of the role as well as the emotional ones are handled seamlessly by Hassett. There's a side story involving a relationship with a daredevil skier played by Beau Bridges that could scuttle the movie but that's not the case. Instead of being a time capsule curio "The Other Side of the Mountain" is relevant today because it's themes are universal.
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on March 2, 2012
I remember seeing this as a kid, and how much it resonated with me at the time. It is a tragic story, to be sure, and this movie is definitely one of those tearjerkers that plays on your emotions to get the point across. The music swells in just the right places--at all the perfect pivotal moments--thus pushing all the right emotional buttons to great effect. It's all very obvious, and undoubtedly designed to wrench every tear from your heart as the story unfolds. That's why it was the blockbuster hit that it was back in the day. Still...it is very effectively done, and beautifully acted by everyone in the cast--Marilyn Hassett in particular. Yes, it could have been more subtly rendered, but, still, it really does the job well if you can abide such sappiness. I sat through it again tonight, with a more astute eye for its interpretation of the story, and still felt that proverbial lump in my throat over and over, once again, even with the benefit of hindsight and clarity that age sometimes brings to one's esthetic.

I would still recommend this to anyone with a soft heart, and the capacity for imagining what could have been, under different circumstances. The Olivia Newton-John song, "Richard's Window"--a reference to the late Dick Buek--at the end of the movie--is the proverbial nail in the coffin. Watch it and weep. Is the emotion one feels for this tragic character who rises from the ashes any less meaningful in spite of all of the intended shmaltz? In my estimation, no. Sometimes this kind of movie is just a balm for the soul. It was like visiting an old friend seeing it again last night. I had some reservations about purchasing the On Demand dvr offered here, but aside from two hiccups in the movie toward the end, it played beautifully on my 31" television--in letterbox, as it should be seen.
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on June 10, 2012
Don't get me wrong, this is an enjoyable movie, inspiring and romantic. But it seems a little too much in places, unrealistic. Marilyn Hassett and Beau Bridges both put in what seem like heartfelt performances. Bridges is both romantic and sad in his portrayal of Dick Buek, champion ski racer and daredevil boyfriend of Jill Kinmont (Hassett). You get the impression there is more to his story, and we never find out what that is. This left me wanting to know more. Hassett though seems over the top at times in her emotional expressions. This may be one reason why she never really went that far as an actress in her own right. She may have been just about perfect for this role, but she obviously was rather limited in her general acting talent. But again, the movie is a heartwarming one, and one to see and own, to watch again and again.
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on March 31, 2011
This film is so beautifully crafted that it deserves to be recognized as one of the most inspiring and uplifting films ever made. You cannot watch THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN and possibly feel sorry for yourself. The film demands the viewer to find his or her own strength within no matter what his circumstances are. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN was a surprise hit for Universal back in 1975. With no advanced publicity, the studio hurried it into movie theaters after a private screening at Universal that left all it's top executives in tears. I remember it as "the film that would not go away". Word of mouth spread about how effective and moving it was keeping The Other Side of the Mountain playing in various movie houses off and on for years. This new DVD transfer under the VAULT SERIES collection is GORGEOUS. The sound crisp and the widescreen colors intact. I think the film holds up better today than it did in 1975. It may not be a critics picture but The Other Side of the Mountain works in the way THE SOUND OF MUSIC works or TITANIC or even Douglas Sirk's IMITATION OF LIFE. Yes, it's glossy, but the story touches on all the elements that a person going through this experience would face in reality. Only the hardest of heart will not be moved. Without giving too much of the plot away, the main character is forced to deal with a new reality. There's the ineffective parents who can only give her love and little else. The best friend that reminds her of how bad everything is. The boyfriend who dumps her because he cannot come to terms with her "new reality" and then the man who re-enters her life to reconnect her with the spirit she thought she had lost. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN is a movie about the individual, a loner on her own path and the struggles she must endure and overcome in order to find her true spirit. This film contains Beau Bridges best performance. The entire film rests on the shoulders of Marilyn Hassett who holds the film together triumphantly. It's a stirring performance that inspires hope, not pity. Alot of top notch supporting work her also, Dabney Coleman, Nan Martin, Belinda Montgomery and the wonderfully funny Dori Brenner. The effervescent score by Charles Fox is one of his best and enhances the beauty of David Walsh's stunning cinematography and the emotion of Larry Peerce's sensitive direction. This film should be in the library of every veterans hospital in this country, that's how important it is. Definitely deserves to be reevaluated.
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on March 14, 2017
I just purchased part one and two. I already have the DVD and the clarity and quality on this is not near as nice. Parts are faded out or not clear while on the DVD copies I have for both are very clear and never fuzzy. I wish I had not spent my money on this.
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on January 27, 2016
A Must Watch heartbreaking true story, with a powerful ending that shows how one can triumph in the face of utter despair. This epic story, based around the hard reality of life, can help people to overcome their shortcomings and to muster up the inner strength to realize their real potential and to achieve success against all odds. You will come away a better and stronger willed person, and you will be so thankful for what so may take for granted in this life. 5 Stars all the way!
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on August 18, 2013
I first saw this movie when I was 9 year old. At that age, I looked through or past the romance, and felt deeply inspired by Jill Kinmont's story. She made me set two goals in my life: 1; To make it to the Olympic Games, and 2: that ANYTHING can be overcome. Perseverance and tenacity will get one through all obstacles in life.
Well, I reached that goal of making it to the Olympic Games (twice), as well as persevering through every obstacle, and there were many. However, I never had the physical obstacles that she overcame. She was my hero then and for a long long time. I bought this movie on dvd in order to show my children and hopefully to inspire them also. I still can look past the reviewers' and critics' ire at the "cheesy romance", and I do still feel inspired by Jill Kinmont's amazing story. We are short on true heros these days, and she truly is one. The world lost the real Jill Kinmont in 2012, but she went on to fight the status quo and to fight for disabled rights through her entire life. A beautiful soul she was and is.
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on May 20, 2012
I was 16 years old when I first saw this movie.That day it became my favorite movie of all time.It was beautful and tragic at the same time. Marylin Hassetts portral of Jill should have earned her an award of some kind.However,After this movie and part 2, I never heard of her again.Dramatic licenseing was taken between the relationship of Jill and Dick. In reality they were very good freinds and he did help her to learn to live again.The sking is about one third of the movie and it gives you a great look of how the early skiers had it. From their equipment to being pulled with tow ropes gives you an idea of what it was like in the fiftys.Charles fox, who wrote the soundtrack,did an incredible job.I had the album soundtrack for years.If I knew how to get it on CD,I would.Marylins narration gives you a look into Jills thoughts.She should have won some kind of award for her work in both films.I've never heard her name again.Jill was 10 years older than Marilyn but she pulled it off well. I started thinking about Jill kinmont in March for some reason.To my amazement,I discovered Jill had died in Feb.2012 at age 75.Marilyn Hassett if you see this, contact me.
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on April 11, 2018
A great story and true tear jerker for those cold days!
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on July 15, 2016
This movie I saw years ago when I was a kid. I was very mesmerized by the facts. And today with MS in my life it has helped me to see the things that ones body can do or not when the nerves are affected. Helped me out a lot.
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