I first saw The White Tower (1950) a couple years ago on Turner Classic Movies as part of a marathon of films about mountain climbing (God bless TCM and their wonderfully random-subject marathons!). This movie has so much working in its favor that it‘s just hard not to like it. Beautiful location, great mountain climbing scenes that are almost seamlessly blended with the sets and actors, a terrific cast all of whom give great performances and a plot that has a surprising amount of depth to it.
|Valli and Ford in The White Tower|
|Do I really have to put a caption for Claude Rains? The Master!|
|Bridges, Valli and Ford climb The White Tower|
As Ford gets higher, his belief in himself becomes stronger and his cynical "take it or leave it" attitude regarding who and what Bridges is and represents makes him angrier. There's a great scene where Bridges, dedicated to his own beliefs, confronts Ford with his own lack of belief in anything. Ford tells Bridges that they are going to finish together or not at all. Before the movie is over, we lose several climbers but not in the way we might expect and it’s that element of surprise along with a level of suspense built not just on the event of the climb but on how these characters will confront their demons and meet their destinies.
|Just hanging out at the lodge, talking Nietzsche. No big whoop.|
Turner Classic Movies will be showing The White Tower this Tuesday, April 30, at 12:00 noon eastern time. Don’t miss it!