Third Man on the Mountain

Synopsis: In 1865 Switzerland, a country mostly covered by high mountains, the main hobby is mountain-climbing. For some locals it's a personal passion and for others it's a lucrative business. Many tourists, mostly rich foreigners and explorers, come to Switzerland to attempt world records by climbing mountain peaks that have never been climbed or seldom been climbed before. Of course, some of these brave explorers lose their lives in their dangerous quests. The local Swiss villages provide experienced mountain guides and porters to the mountain climbers willing to pay the price, in coins or lives. Kurtal is such a small Swiss village located at the base of the famous Citadel mountain. The Citadel is the highest and the most dangerous peak in the region. Many have died trying to climb it but for the past 16 years no one has ventured on it. The last man to lose his life on the Citadel was the famous local mountain guide Josef Matt who died sacrificing himself in order to save the lives of his cl
Director(s): Ken Annakin
Production: Walt Disney Productions
107 min


Dreaming again?

That's four plates, three cups

and a platter so far this week.

You're breaking your own record, boy.

If it didn't make it too dark,

I'd put a blind up over that window.

And hurry up over those dishes,

or the water'll be cold

and the dishes covered in grease.

Every day it's the same thing.

Never any time to do anything properly.

This is your job, you know.

You should be doing this.

Oh, no! You'll have me

doing the washing-up next.

Almost time for the tourists

to be back from their morning climb,

hungry as wolves and harder to please.

If only their climbing

were as good as their appetites,

the Citadel would've been climbed

100 times by now.

No. All they do

is to come out here to eat.

I wonder if they're as particular at home?

This one wants no garlic,

this one wants something else.

The rest of them

want whatever we haven't got.

Rudi! You'll have to go and get me

a bag of carrots.

Huh? Where is he?

- Rudi!

- Mmm, something smells good.

Something smells.

Where is he?

He's just passing

Frau Gertz's back garden.

Her dog always barks at Rudi.

I felt he'd go today. I felt it

from the moment I woke up this morning.

- Then why didn't you stop him?

- Stop him? Oh, Teo!

- Would you try and bottle up the wind?

- Now, what kind of crazy talk is that?

Is that what I'm to tell your father

when he finds out the boy's gone again?

No, but you'll think of something.

Yes. The truth!

You wait. This time, you'll see.

Bottle the wind!

I'll bottle the wind for him.

I thought so. I saw him from the window.

What if you did?

The boy's gone home. His mother's sick.

- Don't bite my head off.

- Are the tables set? Sugar bowls filled?

- Have you time to waste?

- Well, I...


Oh, Teo, practice shows.

You're such a beautiful liar.

I would have stammered and stuttered.

I was saving my own skin. I'm supposed

to be in charge of the young rascal.

Now, leave me alone. I've got work to do.

- He must be almost at the high meadow.

- Will you kindly go someplace else?

It isn't fitting for the proprietor's daughter

always to be hanging round the kitchen.

Do you remember when the three of us

would go to the Felsberg on your day off?

We'd take lunches and you'd teach Rudi.

Yes, well, those days

are over and finished.

I promised never to mention the mountains

to Rudi again.

And I'm a man of my word.

Monte D'Oro.


And you.

And you!


And you!










Hold on. I'll get you out.

Is that all the rope you've got?

Yes, but I'll think of something.


Keep moving. You must keep moving.

Get on your feet.

I'll be all right.

Just let me get my breath.

- Why, you're only a boy!

- Don't try to talk, sir.

- How did you get up here at all?

- I come up here all the time. It's nothing.

Nothing? You only saved my life.

- There must be a mistake.

- Why?

I couldn't have saved your life.

You're Captain Winter.

That's right. There's no mistake.

But how could you

have fallen down a crevasse?

Because I was too busy looking up at a

mountain to see what was at my own feet.

- That mountain?

- Yes.

That mountain.

Tell me, why are you so interested

in that mountain?

My father was killed on it.

Your father? What's your name?

- Rudi Matt.

- Son of Josef Matt!

- Yes, sir.

- I might have known.

What do you think, Rudi?

Can it be climbed?

- The Citadel?

- Your father thought so.

Of all the guides in Switzerland,

he was the only one who thought so.

So do I.

Is that why you're in Kurtal?

You're going to try to climb the Citadel?

It's not as simple as that.

There isn't a guide in the whole

of Kurtal would go with me.

- I could talk to my uncle, Franz Lerner?

- I spoke to him. He wants no part of it.

Any other peak, any other venture.

But not the Citadel.

Perhaps I'll go over to the next valley,

over to Broli.

- There's a guide there named Saxo.

- Emil Saxo?

Yes. But first I mean to reconnoiter

some more, pick a route.

If there is a route.

There is a route.

What makes you think so?

No one else does.

Because I want to.

I believe the story Old Teo tells.

- Old Teo?

- The other guide who was with my father.

What does Old Teo say?

On that last day,

Sir Edward and Teo waited on a ledge,

while my father went on by himself.

When he came back, there was

a strange, excited look on his face.

But before he could tell them

what he'd found,

the avalanche swept them

down the mountain.

Sir Edward was injured and my father

stayed with him while Teo went for help.

I know the rest, Rudi.

Your father took his jacket and sweater

and wrapped them around Sir Edward.

And at the last, his shirt, sir.

He covered him with his red shirt.

I'd like to have known him, Rudi.

Good evening, ladies.

- Have you had a good time, gentlemen?

- Very exciting. Magnificent view.

It gives you a wonderful appetite.

- A fine dinner awaits you.

- Thank you.

Americans, Lizbeth!

The world is coming to my hotel.

Oh, I mistook them for English.

They would happily have paid 20 Francs

instead of 10.

Now, can you assure us

that we have everything we need?

Oh, yes, ma'am. But perhaps

you could use a good porter?

Well, then, meet us at the hotel at 10:30.

Certainly, ma'am.

Certainly, ma'am.

- Who are you looking for? I'm back.

- Were you away?

Say, choral group tonight.

I'd be pleased to take you.

But thank you.

You'd be better off with me

than that plate scraper.

Oh, you worry about me too much, Klaus.

Rudi hasn't invited me yet.

But if he should...

Hey, Lizbeth, wait.

Good evening, Herr Lerner.

I hear the great Captain Winter's in Kurtal,

asking questions about the Citadel.

- Every man has his weakness.

- Yes, and it's usually in his head.

Franz is coming this way.

What are you going to tell him?

You need practice. You tell him something.

- Evening, Lizbeth.

- Evening, Herr Lerner.

Teo. Where's the boy? Evening, Gretchen.

- You mean Rudi?

- Who else?

Well, as you can see, he isn't here.

I sent him on an errand.

Everything all right, then?

Behaving himself?

Oh, well enough.

I just thought I'd drop in.

Herr Lerner, will you tell your sister

I'm sorry she's sick?

- Who said my sister was sick?

- Didn't you say so?

- Isn't that why Rudi...

- You interfering little...!

So, it's that again!

And you, Teo,

encouraging and defending him.

- One lie piled on top of another.

- I always lie to nosy women.

- You lied to me.

- Who are you to expect privileges?

Oh, Teo, Herr Lerner, so much bother

about a few unwashed dishes.

It's a question of principle.

This is where the boy works.

Why do you always call him "the boy"

as if he were a piece of furniture?

Because he is a boy

and this is where he belongs.

- Because you say so?

- You agreed to keep out of this.

I have, and I intend to.

But it'll all be the same in the end.

It isn't in the Matt blood

to be locked up in a kitchen.

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Eleanore Griffin

Eleanore Griffin (1904–1995) was an American screenwriter who worked in Hollywood. She is best known for co-writing the film Boys Town, which she won an Oscar for in 1938. Griffin worked on and wrote for over 20 different Hollywood films between 1937 and 1964. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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