“Third Man on the Mountain” represents the first successful effort to capture the mystical quality of James Ramsey Ullman’s stories about man’s struggle to master the heights. Also, it is a pleasure to see again a straight-line narrative, uncluttered by psychological soul searching or multiple-motivated characters.
The “third man” in this film is really a boy, James MacArthur, and his dream is to conquer the Citadel, the Alpine peak that took the life of his father, a famous climber. The boy’s literal failure but spiritual triumph is thrilling as depicted by MacArthur, Janet Munro, Michael Rennie, and James Donald.
Photographed in exquisite color on Switzerland’s Matterhorn. (Walt Disney; Buena Vista)