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Sunday, February 1, 2015

The White Tower (1950)

A young woman (Alida Valli) is determined to achieve her father's dream to climb the White Tower, a mountain in the Swiss Alps that killed her father when he attempted to climb it several years before. The expedition includes an ex-pilot (Glenn Ford), a disillusioned novelist (Claude Rains), a geologist (Cedric Hardwicke), a guide (Oscar Homolka) and a German ex-soldier (Lloyd Bridges) who still holds with the beliefs of Aryan superiority. Directed by Ted Tetzlaff (THE WINDOW) from the novel by James Ramsey Ullman, this is a competent mountain climbing movie about on a par with THE EIGER SANCTION but lacking any real excitement. It's a bit more symbolic than your average RKO actioner, the mountain obviously representing the obstacles in our life that we must overcome if we are to conquer our fears and move forward. The acting is decent though I wish the script had spent more time fleshing out Rains' character which might have made his motives clearer. The Technicolor cinematography by Ray Rennahan (DUEL IN THE SUN) does the French Alps location justice. With June Clayworth and Lotte Stein.

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