Spencer's Mountain (1963) 720p

Movie Poster
Spencer's Mountain (1963) bluray - Movie Poster
Drama | Family
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
118 min
IMDB Rating:
7 / 10 
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Directors: Delmer Daves [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even helps a newly arrived local minister regain his flock after he and Clay get into a bit of trouble. If he has one dream in life it's to build his wife Olivia a beautiful house on a piece of land he inherited on Spencer's mountain. When his eldest son, Clayboy, graduates at the top of his high school class and has the opportunity to go to college, Clay has only one option left to him. —garykmcd


  • Spencer's Mountain (1963) bluray - Movie Scene 1
  • Spencer's Mountain (1963) bluray - Movie Scene 2
  • Spencer's Mountain (1963) bluray - Movie Scene 1

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A beautiful fantasy marred

A beautiful fantasy of what Hollywood thought rural America should be. Beautiful scenery. Great score. At times a tearjerker. Well acted given the script. Marred by pretty blatant misogyny with the exception of the saintly wife.

One of Fonda's Best

In playing the good guy. The Red Pony wasn't so good but this was. Emotional as well... Very well thought out plot. Although there is some odd phrases here and there like something like Gosh I've grown a bosom o_O okay. How young are you...... So minor attempts at humor including bra sizes etc. But it was rather well acted all around. I prefer this over the tv series that the book this is based on also inspired.

Quality: 9/10Entertainment: 9/10Re-Playable: 6/10

Walton's Mountain in Wyoming

"Spencer's Mountain" is an enjoyable family drama with touches of humor throughout. The outdoor scenery is spectacular. The film was shot in Grand Teton National Park, around Jackson Hole, WY, and in California. The movie is based on a 1961 novel of the same title, by Earl Hamner Jr. Some of the characters and experiences in the film are from his background, growing up near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression.

Hamner would write another novel in 1970 that further expands on his boyhood growing up as the oldest child in a large family. That book, "The Homecoming: A Novel About Spencer's Mountain," led to the 1971 movie by the same title that in turn spawned the nine-year TV series, "The Waltons."

I don't know why this film was set in Wyoming instead of Virginia, but the expansive shots of the scenery could be one reason. By the middle 20th century, it would have been hard to find shots like that in Virginia that didn't show much more modern development. "The Homecoming" was also shot in Wyoming in 1971, although the story was clearly set in Virginia.

Many people who watched the later film and then the Waltons on TV (1972- 81) didn't know that this movie was part of Hamner's story of Walton's Mountain as well.

The cast of "Spencer's Mountain' is very good. Henry Fonda excelled as Clay Spencer. Another reviewer commented about the types of role he played, and I agree that Fonda was best with this type of role. He also was good with dramatic roles, but he didn't have the stuff for comedy. He was mildly OK in a couple that he made, but not too good in the others. That's probably why he made so few comedies. His forte in Westerns was as the bad guy.

Maureen O'Hara is wonderful as Olivia Spencer and James MacArthur plays Clayboy. That's the role that Richard Thomas had in the later film and the series as John-Boy. The rest of the cast are all quite good.

This is a somewhat different story than what Hamner writes for the Waltons. The special home that Clay starts to build for Olivia, and then the fire that destroys it. It's an interesting and entertaining movie that most should enjoy.
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