Mountain movies come up on forums now and again. and I must confess the ones I like are the ones that have machine guns in them. More specifically Where Eagles Dare (In which Daphne to our left, could easily have featured in a supporting role, being so keen as to have brought her own rope).
Cliffhanger is enjoyable because of Jon Lithgow’s funny arch-villain performance and The Waltons Ralph Waite getting gunned down just because he was in The Waltons and they wanted to tug at the audiences heart strings by gunning him down. The hilarious Vertical Limit sticks in my mind simply for the fact that Scott Glenn was so upset by the earlier mountain shenanigans that he felt he had to start modelling himself on Obi Wan Kenobi.

But there is actual good stuff. The Eiger Sanction features some really badass climbing and Eastwoodness and also some really bad dialogue, but is extremely watchable. The Mountain with Spencer Tracy should be seen. Yes yes, there’s a lot of studio stuff, hush now. There’s some good stuff in The Ascent, in between the love-triangle mince.
But on average it’s a barren wasteland of low budget US TV movies, usually a family trapped on a mountain kinda thing.

I think we should have a proper Culloden aftermath movie and track Chas’s progress across the Highlands (as I once argued on the old Trail forums, the worlds first adventure race, won by a bloke in leather trail shoes…). Or a Dougal Haston movie, with all the controversial stuff intact. A Whillans movie starring Ray Winstone, Boninginton starring Christian Bale? Ah, with a 70’s soundtrack too…
We should get that stuff done while there are still people to talk to and memories to ransack for information. I mean, the life story of these guys modern replacements would look like something you’d find on Sky3 at 0400 set in Ibiza.

35 thoughts on “Clingfilm”

  1. Does touching the void count as a mountain movie?

    or how about k2 from 1991 (very cheesy)

    vertial limit makes me chuckle every time i see it, especially when they use that guys blood with a flare ;o)

  2. Guns of Navarone! Alright!
    I was leaving out Lord of the Rings as well.

    K2 Moggy, aye, with Michael Biehn climbing the ouside of the building to impresss the wummin near the start, then lots of running about the Rockies!

    Touching the Void, proper mountain movie I suppose, too much crawling though. I think there was more crawling in the movie that in the real life incedent :o)

  3. Ah The Waltons – loved them, Sunday mornings at their best.

    What about… The Sound of Music!!
    Fab scenery, great sing-along songs, and who could forget their home-made curtain kit! braw.
    Speaking of which, Tweed on the hills, it’s happenin’.. soon. Awaiting a delivery :o)

    Also, her above is needing one of them X-bionic tops to keep herself ‘encapsulated’ and warm!

  4. The Eiger Sanction’s classic scene:

    “BOWMAN: Want a beer?
    HEMLOCK: You gonna call room service?
    BOWMAN: We got beer.
    HEMLOCK: If you hauled beer up this rock, you’re insane.
    BOWMAN: I may be insane, but I’m not stupid. I didn’t carry it, you did. It’s in your pack.(Pulls a six-pack out of Hemlock’s backpack.)
    HEMLOCK: Jesus Christ, I ought to throw you off this pillar. Besides, it’s warm.
    BOWMAN: I’m sorry, I thought you’d draw the line at hauling ice.

  5. Nothing wrong with hauling beer up a mountain ;o)

    I watched Rob Roy the other day, not a mountain movie as such but the scenery is worth a mention. I even recognised the bridge from the Meall a Dorcha.

  6. ptc*! How can you have forgotten Captain Kirk’s freeclimb of el Capitan in Star Trek V, including what was then a world record-breaking free-fall off it by the stuntman.

  7. Sound of Music, yes, there’s singing though… and dancing…
    Tweed you say?

    Thinkerer, good quote! I’ve got an Eiger Sanction quote as one of my random taglines at the top. There’s as much good patter in the movie as there is bad :o)

    BBF, good lad. I should watch it again and see if I can spot the picnic benches behind Liam Neeson.

    Kate, the campfire singing spoiled it immediately after!

  8. Thats the one. I thought it was pretty good, good enough to not really notice that it was subtitled. It’s dramatised a bit as it’s not a documentary but still ok.

  9. Here’s a question, does anyone remember a film (B/W I think) where they were trying to climb a mountain that looked like the Matterhorn, I think they referred to it as the Citadel?

  10. It’s funny how you can just absorb subtitles without noticing if the movie is good.

    Not sure of the other film though?

    I’ve just remembered another “mountain” one, the first episode of The Champions anyone?

  11. By Jove that’s it!! well done that man. It does mention ‘Citadel’ and was filmed in Zermatt. A bit of (Scrambles in the Alps/Whymper about it.

    Also noticed another one mentioned in the blurb. ‘White Tower’ starring Glenn Ford, wonder what thats about.

  12. If it’s running about the hills you want there’s the classic “Clouded Yellow” with Trevor Howard as the kind of lead man jumping across raging torrents you just wouldn’t get nowadays.

    Or how about the 70’s classic Kidnapped with the very Scottish Michael Caine?

  13. What about 633 squadron?

    Mosquitos in the Lairig Ghru.

    Bomb runs over Loch Avon

    Rothiemurchus doubling as Norway

    and Bergen’s stunt double is… Tomintoul

    (And that’s not even mentioning THAT music)

    Oh ande another vote for North Face. Even the (none mountain) good wife liked it

  14. I have the 633 Squadron theme on my iPod :o)

    Heroes of Telemark, yes! There’s another outstanding Kirk Dougls movie with mountains, Lonely are the Brave.
    Whate abour Fitzcarraldo? Klaus Kinski and Werner Hertzog taking a paddle-steamer over a mountain, brilliant movie.

    I’m going to slip in Breakheart Pass with Charles Bronson too.

  15. Ah, Charles Bronson and Lee marvin in Death Hunt. Madness and shooting in the rockies in the snow, very loosely based on the true story of the mad trapper.

  16. definitely a whillans movie with philip glenister as the great man and sombody posh like stephen fry as bonington

  17. Nice bit of casting with Philip Glenister there.
    If we’re having Stephen Fry, we have to find someone for Hugh Laurie to play so we can get their double act back together.. Doug Scott?
    History be damned, lets stick all the legends on the same expedition.

  18. Let’s have a ‘Carry On Climbing’ version – Johny Vegas or maybe Nick Frost(Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) as Whillans. Julian Clary as Bonnington… :))

  19. best Whillans quote whilst in bivvy with Bonnington
    Don smoking Gauloises profusley
    Bonnington “do you have to smoke in here”
    Whillans “if you don’t like it sleep with your f**king head outside”
    wished I’d met that man

  20. Bruce Willis as Whillans, Kurt Russell as Haston, Swartzenegger as Bonnington, Stallone as Joe Brown.
    They have to come out of retirement (or death) to rescue a newly discovered green power source/ virus antidote/ holy grail/ box of cute puppies from the evil forves of communism in Tibet. Rachel Welch (from the 60’s) will be the love interest. Two major characters die (..again?) and we all leave the cinema feeling better for the experience but with tired eyes from all the explosions/ hand held camera/ bullet time ice axe swinging.

  21. yeah gotta be bruce willis as whillans, he’s the only one left and only got his white vest on but got to get up north face of eiger where the puppies are hanging in a box that will blow up in 31.6 minutes unless raquel can swoop down from a copter wearing a very revealing evening dress cos shes just been picked up from the jungfrau restaurant. come on bruce… i mean don you can do it.
    phew i think i’ve got too much time on my hands

  22. pmsl – ‘Simple’ Heinrich…. who was in fact following in the more accomplished footsteps of Andreas Hinterstoisser played by Alan Rickman :))

  23. Forgot to say, I did meet Whillans once :)
    Or at least I attended a slide-lecture by him at Uni back in 83. He told a grand tail, I think half of it was about ascending Roraima(?) in Venezuela(?), the rest is lost in the fog of my aging memory.

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