Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

Spencer’s Mountain
Directed by Delmer Daves
Written by Earl Hamner Jr and Delmer Daves
Warner Bros.
First viewing/Netflix rental


Miss Parker: The world steps aside to let any man pass if he knows where he is going.

This pleasant family film has the same homespun wisdom of The Waltons TV series which it spawned.

Granpa (Donald Crisp) and Grandma Spencer beget a brood of nine sons.  They all work in a quarry in the Snake River Valley.  Eldest son Clay (Henry Fonda) and wife Olivia (Maureen O’Hara) also have nine children, this time a mixed brood.  Clay’s dream is to build Livvie a dream house atop Spencer’s mountain.  The couple have the grander dream of seeing their children better off than they are.  Clayboy (James MacArthur) manages to graduate high school.  The family must overcome various adversity to send him to college.In the meantime, Claris Coleman relentlessly pursues the somewhat obtuse Clayboy in a bid for the altar.  With Wally Cox as a preacher.

This is a sweet movie with some beautiful mountain scenery.  It was hard to imagine Henry Fonda or Maureen O’Hara as hillbillies but they do pretty well at it.  I doubt if this will stay in my memory long.



2 thoughts on “Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

    • I didn’t know it was the Waltons until I was well into the film. Now I wonder why they moved it myself. Maybe just for the snowcapped mountains?

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