Spencer's Mountain, anyone?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DeeF, Jul 15, 2003.

  1. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I haven't seen this movie since I was a kid, but I picked it up yesterday and watched it on my 50" plasma.

    The movie was adapted from Earl Hamner's novel about his upbringing in West Virginia, but the location was changed to Wyoming. It's basically about self-sacrificing parents who slave at menial jobs in a quarry to help their kids (in this case, Clayboy, played by James Macarthur) get to college and improve their lot. The story is pleasant, not riveting, and it was the basis for the later series, The Waltons. But all the performances are first rate, particularly Henry Fonda, as Clay Spencer, and Maureen O'Hara, as his wife and mother of 9 kids.

    What a surprise! It isn't a kids movie at all, although it does have a sentimental streak, properly camouflaged. I found the dialogue surprisingly sharp for a family picture, filled with innuendos and liberal moralizing -- sex is fine, if it doesn't interrupt your education.

    The DVD is wonderful. I had no idea that this was a Panavision movie, filmed on location in Wyoming, at the Grand Tetons. The cinematography is breathtaking, and beautifully rendered on the DVD. I could live without the Max Steiner score -- in fact, I think the score contributes the sentimental quality, unfortunately -- but the score is minimized by a mono soundtrack.

    The extras are wonderfully preserved, two documentaries made after the film at its premiere in Jackson Hole, with people in the town interviewed, and Henry Fonda submitting to a long interview.

    I recommend this movie, and disk, for families and singles (like me) everywhere.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    It's funny how I always loved this film, but refused to watch "The Waltons". Anyhow, I watched the dvd last Friday and thought the video presentation was excellent. I wonder how much property values have increased there since 1963?[​IMG]




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    I was thinking the same thing! It seemed like Jackson Hole was in the market for big development, along the tourist lines, and that's exactly what happened. I wonder if this film was the trigger.

    I have heard that waiters and maids for the condos and hotels in Jackson Hole can't afford to live there, and end up living in trailers and shacks outside the town. Development has an interesting irony, eh?

    I refused to watch the Waltons, as well. I guess the emphasis was different. The Waltons emphasized the kids, and John Boy, and I felt the emphasis in this movie was on the parents, partly because they were the movie stars. But who remembers that Donald Crisp is in the movie too?
     
  4. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Where has anyone found this disc? I've looked in every local B&M for it! If bought on-line, just say that and don't bother to mention where...I know what e-tailer I'm gonna use if I have to. I just want it locally if possible.
     
  5. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Another really nice movie, glad to see it made it to dvd. I remember seeing this one as a kid too at the theater.Something about those movies back then always looked so colorful, and this one has some great scenery.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    David,
    Like most of my catelogue dvds I bought it online.





    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I got this from DVD Empire. I readily agree that the video presentation is excellent. I looked for it at my local BB & did not see it, as is usual. Personally I can hardly wait for the "Waltons" to come out on DVD. It will join my copies of "Little House on the Prairie" on the bookshelf.
     
  8. Howard Glenn

    Howard Glenn Stunt Coordinator

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    David,

    I saw it on sale in Tower today...I believe it was $14.99.

    H
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Tower is all but unavailable to me...about as far away as you can get and still be in this city, plus requires you to pay a $5+ parking fee since its downtown...rather get it online.
     

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