Spencer's Mountain

Spencer's Mountain

5.0 3
Director: Delmer Daves

Cast: Delmer Daves, Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, James MacArthur

     
 

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Somebody at Warner Home Video must have liked this movie. That's the only way to explain why or how Delmer Daves' Spencer's Mountain -- which used to get dumped into edited afternoon time slots on television, in panned-and-scanned form -- has arrived on DVD in a handsome edition like this. Starting with the movie itself, the 2.35-to-1 aspect ratio beautifullySee more details below

Overview

Somebody at Warner Home Video must have liked this movie. That's the only way to explain why or how Delmer Daves' Spencer's Mountain -- which used to get dumped into edited afternoon time slots on television, in panned-and-scanned form -- has arrived on DVD in a handsome edition like this. Starting with the movie itself, the 2.35-to-1 aspect ratio beautifully captures the original movie's Panavision aspect ratio, which means that those of us who weren't around to see it in 1963 can, at last, appreciate the time and expense that Daves went to, shooting on location in the Grand Tetons of Wyoming. The backgrounds and setting are intoxicating in their beauty, and help overcome some of the movie's periodic awkwardness in dealing with such diverse matters as poor folks and sex. And backing up the presentation of the film are a featurette showing the movie's premiere in the Wyoming town where it was filmed -- including interviews with local townspeople and officials -- and period interviews with Henry Fonda. Additionally, the producers have included a good onscreen biographical portrait of author Earl Hamner as well as of the production of Spencer's Mountain, and its evolution into The Waltons. All of these features are accessible through an easy-to-use menu, and the movie has been further respected with the programming of 31 chapter markers, which is just right for the 118 minute feature.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although watered down from the novel that is its source (not to mention fortified with an extra teaspoon or two of sugar), Spencer's Mountain is an entertaining "big brood" family film that offers a number of pleasures to make up for its failings. It's a toss-up as to whether the biggest assets are its two stars or its gorgeous, breathtaking Grand Teton scenery. There's an awful lot of both of these assets, and if the scenery may finally get the edge, it's only because it doesn't have to utter some of the overly-folksy dialogue that Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara sometimes are asked to. It's a shame that too much of the screenplay has been "Hollywood-ized," as it reduces the characters from the living and breathing people of the novel to the cardboard characters that often crop up when Hollywood tries to present poor-but-decent country folk that are not hicks. The actors portraying the younger generation have a particularly hard time of it, especially Mimsy Farmer. Fortunately, Fonda and O'Hara are old hands at this game, and their work transcends the screenplay, as does the wonderfully understated work of Donald Crisp. Spencer's Mountain is by no means a bad film, and many viewers will find it touching and warm; but for others, it will seem a trifle too manipulative.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/08/2003
UPC:
0085392752621
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:58:00
Sales rank:
2,585

Special Features

Closed Caption; Vintage documentary featurette: "Spencer's Mountain: Grand Teton Premiere"; Vintage interviews with Henry Fonda; "Spencer's Mountain and The Waltons" essay; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; English, French, and Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Clay Spencer
Maureen O'Hara Olivia Spencer
James MacArthur Clayboy Spencer
Donald Crisp Grandpa Spencer
Wally Cox Preacher Goodman
Mimsy Farmer Claris Coleman
Virginia Gregg Miss Parker
Lillian Bronson Grandma Spencer
Whit Bissell Dr. Campbell
Dub Taylor Percy Cook
Ken Mayer Mr. John
Veronica Cartwright Becky Spencer
Bronwyn Fitzsimmons College Secretary
Med Flory Spencer Brother
Victor French Spencer Brother
Michael Greene Spencer Brother
Buzz Henry Spencer Brother
Mike Henry Spencer Brother
Kym Karath Pattie-Cake Spencer
Rory Mallinson Actor
Larry D. Mann Spencer Brother
Barbara McNair Graduation Singer
Hayden Rorke Col. Coleman
Hope Summers Mother Ida
Gary Young Mat Spencer
Susan Young Shirley Spencer

Technical Credits
Delmer Daves Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Carl Anderson Art Director
James Barker Makeup
Gordon Bau Makeup
Marjorie Best Costumes/Costume Designer
Wellington Honn Special Effects
Ralph S. Hurst Set Decoration/Design
Charles Lawton Cinematographer
M.A. Merrick Sound/Sound Designer
Max Steiner Score Composer
David Wages Editor

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits; Spencer Love.
2. A Fine Day Begins.
3. Building A Dream House.
4. When you Get the Urge.
5. Heaven Right Here.
6. Fishing Tripped.
7. Empty Church, Full Church.
8. Graduation Day.
9. Words to Live By.
10. College.
11. Tired of Being Oldest.
12. Company.
13. To the World Outside.
14. New Library.
15. Kiss Me Hello.
16. Naughty Words.
17. Shut Window.
18. Visiting the Dean.
19. Deal With the Preacher.
20. Conjugate "to Love."
21. Felled Tree.
22. Rescue.
23. Farewell to Grandpa.
24. Final Bequest.
25. Picnic Planner.
26. Helluva First Love.
27. Accepted for College.
28. Begging for A Loan.
29. Matriculated Together.
30. A Dream in Flames.
31. Right Far.

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