Third Man on the Mountain is a 1959 American Walt Disney Productions movie set during the golden age of alpinism about a young Swiss man who conquers the mountain that killed his father. It is based on Banner in the Sky, a James Ramsey Ullman novel about the first ascent of the Matterhorn, and was televised under this name. The movie inspired the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland Park.


Rudi is the son of the best climbing guide in his village, who died tragically climbing the yet unconquered Matterhorn, or as they call it "the Citadel". Rudi's mother refuses to let her son climb, and he is going crazy for it if it were not for the love and understanding of Lizbeth. He strongly believes his father had discovered a secret path to the mountaintop that has so far eluded all other climbers. Rudi is always in trouble for sneaking away to climb on his own, when he is supposed to be washing dishes at the hotel. But the village is concerned over losing their reputation with the other villages, since their guides have been afraid to climb the mountain in the 16 years since the tragedy. When a famous British climber arrives with a guide from a rival village to climb the Citadel and also wants to hire local guides, Rudi and the village get their big chance at redeeming their reputation. There is a good moral lesson about thinking of others first.


The film was made on location in Switzerland with Gaston Rebuffat as the head of the mountain second unit photography. The film was shot in the summer of 1958 in Zermatt, that Disney had known from his ski trips. The studio portions of the film were done in London.


  • Michael Rennie as Captain John Winter

  • James MacArthur as Rudi Matt

  • Janet Munro as Lizbeth Hempel

  • James Donald as Franz Lerner

  • Herbert Lom as Emil Saxo

  • Laurence Naismith as Teo Zurbriggen

  • Lee Patterson as Klaus Wesselhoft

  • Walter Fitzgerald as Herr Hempel

  • Nora Swinburne as Frau Matt

  • Ferdy Mayne as Andreas

  • Helen Hayes as a tourist (uncredited)

  • Kenneth Brannan as a tourist (uncredited)


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.