The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)
Directed by Larry Peerce
Starring: Marilyn Hassett, Beau Bridges, Belinda Montgomery
This 1975 film is based on the true story of competitive skier Jill Kinmont. The movie stars Marilyn Hassett, Beau Bridges, and Belinda Montgomery. Director Larry Peerce took on this film, as well as a sequel produced in 1978. Peerce had an interesting career that found its pinnacle early with his movie One Potato, Two Potato in 1964.
Jill Kinmont (Hassett) is on her way to becoming the next star in U.S. skiing in 1955. While preparing for the 1956 Olympics she is paralyzed in a fall and left a quadriplegic. While she struggles to deal with this tragedy she befriends a daring young Dick Buek (Bridges), a stunt pilot and fellow skier. As he pushes her to recover and gain back her life she’s forced to deal with other challenges and her new feelings for Dick. With her family’s support she seeks to establish herself and find a career.
This is an incredibly sentimental movie that blends a small amount of fiction with an incredible true story. Sadly the story doesn’t translate onto the screen with much success. The acting of Hassett is great, making her role as a quadriplegic very believable. Sadly, the rest of the acting feels overdone and leaves the movie feeling like a Lifetime original film.
The movie did earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song for “Richard’s Window” which was performed by Olivia Newton-John.
The story is the best part of the movie. It’s a true story that has all the elements of a powerful Hollywood drama. Despite the shortcomings of the movie it’s worth watching if you’d like to see an inspiring true story. I suppose this is a good one to watch if you like movies like A Walk to Remember. I give this one 2.8 out of 5 stars.