Spencer's Mountain (1963)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This sentimental dramatic comedy finds three generations of the Spencer family trying to make a living in their Wyoming mountain home. Clay Spencer (Henry Fonda) is the poor, hard working father who struggles to support his parents, his wife and their nine children. A homespun philosopher, Clay is a firm believer in God, but has no use at all for organized religion. He and his wife Olivia (Maureen O'Hara) long to give their children the education they could never afford for themselves. His oldest child is about to do something never before done by a Spencer by graduating from high school. With the arrival of a new preacher in town, Clay gets Preacher Goodson (Wally Cox) drunk. He searches for ways to pay for his son's college tuition while planning for twenty years to build his family a dreamhouse. Clay is vexed when the only available scholarship seeks someone for the seminary. When his son is deficient in his mastery of Latin, Preacher Goodson offers to tutor the boy to increase his chances for the coveted scholarship. When Clay's father is killed by a falling tree, he decides to sell a parcel of the family's land to help pay for college. Produced and directed by Delmer Daves, he also wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Earl Hammer, Jr. Hammer's original setting for the story was in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and his writing was the basis for the television show "The Waltons."
Classics , Comedy , Drama
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Henry Fonda
as Clay Spencer
Maureen O'Hara
as Olivia Spencer
James MacArthur
as Clayboy Spencer
Wally Cox
as Preacher Goodman
Donald Crisp
as Grandpa Spencer
Mimsy Farmer
as Claris Coleman
Virginia Gregg
as Miss Parker
Lillian Bronson
as Grandma Spencer
Whit Bissell
as Dr. Campbell
Hayden Rorke
as Col. Coleman
Kathy Bennett
as Minnie-Cora Cook
Dub Taylor
as Percy Cook
Hope Summers
as Mother Ida
Ken Mayer
as Mr. John
Bronwyn Fitzsimmons
as College Secretary
Barbara McNair
as Graduation Singer
Larry D. Mann
as Spencer Brother
Buzz Henry
as Spencer Brother
James O'Hara
as Spencer Brother
Victor French
as Spencer Brother
Michael Greene
as Spencer Brother
Med Flory
as Spencer Brother
Ray Savage
as Spencer Brother
Mike Henry (I)
as Spencer Brother
Gary Young
as Mat Spencer
Michael Young
as Mark Spencer
Veronica Cartwright
as Becky Spencer
Ricky Young
as Luke Spencer
Susan Young
as Shirley Spencer
Rocky Young
as John Spencer
Kym Karath
as Pattie-Cake Spencer
Michelle Daves
as Donnie Spencer
Charles William Breen
as Mountain Man
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Critic Reviews for Spencer's Mountain

All Critics (3)

Basis for "Waltons" TV series with great scenery, family drama and comedy...and Henry Fonda.

March 2, 2008

Quote not available.

July 27, 2005

Quote not available.

October 7, 2003
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Audience Reviews for Spencer's Mountain

I was very young when I watched this movie. We were on a family vacation. To this day it's still one of my favorite movies of all time.

Mark mcdonald
Mark mcdonald

This is the movie that inspired the TV series 'The Waltons.' I always thought The Walton's was OK but never was a huge fan of the show. I thought the movie had heart, a great story, and Henry Fonda is superb in the starring role. Interestingly, Fonda's character is very different than the pious, God-fearing patriarch of the family that Ralph Waite portrayed on the TV show. I do wonder why they changed the location from the Blue Ridge mountains to the Tetons. I guess they thought the Tetons were more picturesque.

Mara Barker
Mara Barker

It's hard to look at this movie and not compare it to the Walton's TV show. After all, Earl Hamner was involved in both, and based (loosely) on his own life. Still, it works well.

Radio Nowhere
Radio Nowhere

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