Third Man on the Mountain (1959) Movie Script

Dreaming again?
That's four plates, three cups
and a platter so far this week.
You're breaking your own record, boy.
If it didn't make it too dark,
I'd put a blind up over that window.
And hurry up over those dishes,
or the water'll be cold
and the dishes covered in grease.
Every day it's the same thing.
Never any time to do anything properly.
This is your job, you know.
You should be doing this.
Oh, no! You'll have me
doing the washing-up next.
Almost time for the tourists
to be back from their morning climb,
hungry as wolves and harder to please.
If only their climbing
were as good as their appetites,
the Citadel would've been climbed
100 times by now.
No. All they do
is to come out here to eat.
I wonder if they're as particular at home?
This one wants no garlic,
this one wants something else.
The rest of them
want whatever we haven't got.
Rudi! You'll have to go and get me
a bag of carrots.
Huh? Where is he?
- Rudi!
- Mmm, something smells good.
Something smells.
Where is he?
He's just passing
Frau Gertz's back garden.
Her dog always barks at Rudi.
I felt he'd go today. I felt it
from the moment I woke up this morning.
- Then why didn't you stop him?
- Stop him? Oh, Teo!
- Would you try and bottle up the wind?
- Now, what kind of crazy talk is that?
Is that what I'm to tell your father
when he finds out the boy's gone again?
No, but you'll think of something.
Yes. The truth!
You wait. This time, you'll see.
Bottle the wind!
I'll bottle the wind for him.
I thought so. I saw him from the window.
What if you did?
The boy's gone home. His mother's sick.
- Don't bite my head off.
- Are the tables set? Sugar bowls filled?
- Have you time to waste?
- Well, I...
Oh, Teo, practice shows.
You're such a beautiful liar.
I would have stammered and stuttered.
I was saving my own skin. I'm supposed
to be in charge of the young rascal.
Now, leave me alone. I've got work to do.
- He must be almost at the high meadow.
- Will you kindly go someplace else?
It isn't fitting for the proprietor's daughter
always to be hanging round the kitchen.
Do you remember when the three of us
would go to the Felsberg on your day off?
We'd take lunches and you'd teach Rudi.
Yes, well, those days
are over and finished.
I promised never to mention the mountains
to Rudi again.
And I'm a man of my word.
Monte D'Oro.
And you.
And you!
And you!
Hold on. I'll get you out.
Is that all the rope you've got?
Yes, but I'll think of something.
Keep moving. You must keep moving.
Get on your feet.
I'll be all right.
Just let me get my breath.
- Why, you're only a boy!
- Don't try to talk, sir.
- How did you get up here at all?
- I come up here all the time. It's nothing.
Nothing? You only saved my life.
- There must be a mistake.
- Why?
I couldn't have saved your life.
You're Captain Winter.
That's right. There's no mistake.
But how could you
have fallen down a crevasse?
Because I was too busy looking up at a
mountain to see what was at my own feet.
- That mountain?
- Yes.
That mountain.
Tell me, why are you so interested
in that mountain?
My father was killed on it.
Your father? What's your name?
- Rudi Matt.
- Son of Josef Matt!
- Yes, sir.
- I might have known.
What do you think, Rudi?
Can it be climbed?
- The Citadel?
- Your father thought so.
Of all the guides in Switzerland,
he was the only one who thought so.
So do I.
Is that why you're in Kurtal?
You're going to try to climb the Citadel?
It's not as simple as that.
There isn't a guide in the whole
of Kurtal would go with me.
- I could talk to my uncle, Franz Lerner?
- I spoke to him. He wants no part of it.
Any other peak, any other venture.
But not the Citadel.
Perhaps I'll go over to the next valley,
over to Broli.
- There's a guide there named Saxo.
- Emil Saxo?
Yes. But first I mean to reconnoiter
some more, pick a route.
If there is a route.
There is a route.
What makes you think so?
No one else does.
Because I want to.
I believe the story Old Teo tells.
- Old Teo?
- The other guide who was with my father.
What does Old Teo say?
On that last day,
Sir Edward and Teo waited on a ledge,
while my father went on by himself.
When he came back, there was
a strange, excited look on his face.
But before he could tell them
what he'd found,
the avalanche swept them
down the mountain.
Sir Edward was injured and my father
stayed with him while Teo went for help.
I know the rest, Rudi.
Your father took his jacket and sweater
and wrapped them around Sir Edward.
And at the last, his shirt, sir.
He covered him with his red shirt.
I'd like to have known him, Rudi.
Good evening, ladies.
- Have you had a good time, gentlemen?
- Very exciting. Magnificent view.
It gives you a wonderful appetite.
- A fine dinner awaits you.
- Thank you.
Americans, Lizbeth!
The world is coming to my hotel.
Oh, I mistook them for English.
They would happily have paid 20 Francs
instead of 10.
Now, can you assure us
that we have everything we need?
Oh, yes, ma'am. But perhaps
you could use a good porter?
Well, then, meet us at the hotel at 10:30.
Certainly, ma'am.
Certainly, ma'am.
- Who are you looking for? I'm back.
- Were you away?
Say, choral group tonight.
I'd be pleased to take you.
But thank you.
You'd be better off with me
than that plate scraper.
Oh, you worry about me too much, Klaus.
Rudi hasn't invited me yet.
But if he should...
Hey, Lizbeth, wait.
Good evening, Herr Lerner.
I hear the great Captain Winter's in Kurtal,
asking questions about the Citadel.
- Every man has his weakness.
- Yes, and it's usually in his head.
Franz is coming this way.
What are you going to tell him?
You need practice. You tell him something.
- Evening, Lizbeth.
- Evening, Herr Lerner.
Teo. Where's the boy? Evening, Gretchen.
- You mean Rudi?
- Who else?
Well, as you can see, he isn't here.
I sent him on an errand.
Everything all right, then?
Behaving himself?
Oh, well enough.
I just thought I'd drop in.
Herr Lerner, will you tell your sister
I'm sorry she's sick?
- Who said my sister was sick?
- Didn't you say so?
- Isn't that why Rudi...
- You interfering little...!
So, it's that again!
And you, Teo,
encouraging and defending him.
- One lie piled on top of another.
- I always lie to nosy women.
- You lied to me.
- Who are you to expect privileges?
Oh, Teo, Herr Lerner, so much bother
about a few unwashed dishes.
It's a question of principle.
This is where the boy works.
Why do you always call him "the boy"
as if he were a piece of furniture?
Because he is a boy
and this is where he belongs.
- Because you say so?
- You agreed to keep out of this.
I have, and I intend to.
But it'll all be the same in the end.
It isn't in the Matt blood
to be locked up in a kitchen.
One day that blood's going to boil up,
and you won't be able to stop it any more
than you can... How did you say it?
Any more than you can bottle up the wind.
Bottle up the wind? There's something
going on behind my back.
Now, stop roaring! Do you want Herr
Hempel to think I'm stewing a live bull?
Tell me, what are you in the village, Rudi?
An apprentice guide?
- No, sir.
- What, then?
- I'm a dishwasher.
- The son of Josef Matt?
I take the path, sir,
but first I must ask you a favor.
Will you not tell anyone you saw me?
Not tell anyone? After what happened
today? Why, you're too modest, Rudi.
Please, sir. If my mother and uncle knew,
I would be in great trouble.
- All right, I'll see you don't get into trouble.
- Thank you.
You know, Franz,
perhaps if you spoke to Herr Hempel,
Rudi could work in another part
of the hotel, away from Old Teo.
What's the good? There'd still be Lizbeth.
Mm. It's been on my mind
to speak to Lizbeth.
And risk offending Herr Hempel? No, llse.
Leave her out of it.
Summer will come, the boy will go to
Zrich for his training in the business.
There he'll learn there's another world
beyond the mountains,
forget this stubborn dream
of being a guide.
It's like a disease. A curse.
As if that wicked mountain wanted him, too.
Stop thinking like that, llse.
It'll all work out.
Let me handle him.
I guess I'm late.
It was very busy at the hotel... today.
There were a lot of dishes.
Yes. I saw them.
I also listened to a lot of lies.
Enough for one day.
I don't want to hear any more.
After giving your word, Rudi. Why?
I don't know.
- You don't know?
- I mean I didn't plan it that way.
But from the kitchen,
I could see the sun on the mountains.
The sun on the mountains, but not
the future you can have with Herr Hempel.
- He's so interested in you.
- But I didn't ask him to be interested in me.
No, it was handed to you
on a silver platter.
And not because of you,
but because of who you are.
Your father brought tourists to Kurtal,
climbers from all over the world.
- To him Herr Hempel owes his hotel.
- Don't you see, Rudi?
You have a chance to go farther
than any boy in the village.
Some day you might even be the proprietor
of the Monte D'Oro Hotel.
Can't you see how much better your life
will be than climbing on rocks and ice?
- No.
- Look at me, Rudi.
For 20 years I've been a guide.
One of the best.
Where's it got me?
I haven't saved enough money
to buy a dozen cows.
And look what being a guide
did for Old Teo.
Crippled. Touched in the head.
No matter what you say, he's still
climbed higher than any man in Kurtal.
- He's the only man alive who...
- Rudi.
That's right. Stop and think for a moment
of somebody else.
You could make up to your mother
for a little of what she's suffered.
- Where are you going, Rudi?
- Back to the hotel to finish the dishes.
Captain Winter!
My apologies, Franz.
I looked for you in the village.
Apologies, Captain?
It's an honor for me and my sister.
The honor is mine
to meet the widow of Josef Matt.
- And this is her son, Rudi.
- Hello.
Won't you be seated, Captain?
I just wanted to see if you'd be
available for a climb in the morning.
Of course.
That is, if you don't mean...
No, not the Citadel. I was thinking of
the Wunderhorn. I hear it's a good climb.
- That's true, and it's a fine view.
- It's the view that interests me.
We'd leave about noon, spend the night
at the hut and go up the next morning.
That would mean food and blankets
and probably a porter.
By all means a porter.
What about Rudi here?
The boy works elsewhere,
but I'll find a good man.
Please, Uncle. Just this once?
- Have you forgotten already?
- But this is different.
- To go with Captain Winter.
- Enough!
Rudi, what foolishness is this?
Even if I said yes, you couldn't do it.
But I could. Captain Winter knows
I could. That's why he asked for me.
When did Captain Winter
set eyes on you before?
It seems our secret is out, Rudi.
Rudi and I met on the glacier
this afternoon.
- And he told you he was a porter?
- No, no.
But it's my pleasure to tell you that
this afternoon, this boy saved my life.
Woof, woof, woof, yourself!
What's the matter with you?
Have you lost what little mind you had?
Yes. I mean, no. Wait till you hear.
Tomorrow, I go to the Wunderhorn.
- Rudi!
- He must have hit his head.
- As porter to the great Captain Winter.
- He has hit his head.
I told you they couldn't stop him.
He's running away.
Not this time. My mother and uncle
have given permission.
I've talked to Tony Bassler.
He'll do the dishes for me.
So they've finally given in.
He's going to be a guide after all.
Well, just for tomorrow,
and only because of Captain Winter.
But it'd be worth it
if it was the last day of my life.
It may very well be. Now, you calm down.
you've never climbed with a party before.
Who was it used to go
to the practice mountain with us?
Some grumpy old man. I can just hear him.
One foot slowly, then the other.
- Up we go.
- Stay off my cupboard.
Feel for your hold.
A three-legged cow
could do better than you.
All right, break your necks.
Lean back, stop hugging the rock.
Lizbeth, where are you?
- What goes on here?
- We just fell off the Wunderhorn.
In your night clothes?
Get back to your room, Lizbeth.
From Captain Winter. For you.
- Important, he says.
- He's changed his mind.
What does he say?
Read the last part. I want Teo to hear it.
"Only a small token
of admiration and gratitude
of your friend and fellow climber,
John Winter. "
- What can I do for you, boy?
- I have a note, sir.
Oh, good day, miss.
Herr Burgener hasn't got his spectacles
and we're in a great hurry.
This is what it says.
"Dear Rudi, if you will go
to Alex Burgener's shop,
you will find ordered for you
some things that may be useful. "
"They are only a small token
of admiration and gratitude
of your friend and fellow climber,
John Winter. "
There you are.
But are you sure, sir?
These boots, they're the best.
The very best. Captain Winter himself
has been in. They're what he ordered.
Now, I suggest you try 'em on, tramp
around for an hour or so, break 'em in.
Why was there never a rich Englishman
waiting for me in a crevasse?
But for a guide,
he's not too strongly built.
Neither was his father. It's good to see
another Matt going into the mountains.
Morning, Klaus. Nice day for a walk.
- Good day to you, Franz.
- Captain.
To keep you safe.
Come on, Rudi.
Well, Rudi, this is a bit different from
roaming the hills like a mountain goat.
Well done, Rudi.
It seems we're not alone.
No, Johann Fieniger
brought up a party this morning.
Some of your countrymen.
Also a Frenchman and an Italian.
Well, the evening won't be dull.
My friend, if you really want some sport,
you should come to my country.
- All the best climbs are in Italy.
- How many times have I got to tell you?
That's all for you tonight.
Forever back in history, Frenchmen
have been climbing mountains.
Long before history told of Frenchmen,
my ancestors, the Romans,
they were at home in the Alps.
Why dwell on past glory
when we have with us the present?
Gentlemen, I give you John Winter,
conqueror of 50 mountains.
And by coincidence, an Englishman.
John Winter.
John Winter.
Thank you. Yes, by coincidence,
I am an Englishman.
But aren't all of us who climb mountains
considered a breed apart?
- Yes.
- It's true.
May I pay tribute to one who is already
a legend, yet not so far from our time?
I speak, of course,
of the great guide, Josef Matt.
- Hear, hear!
- There was a mountain man.
- There was a man.
- And may his son keep alive his name.
- Thank you.
- Now to bed.
But I'm not tired.
I could stay up all night.
Up you go, or I'll put you there.
Go on, Rudi.
You need all the sleep you can get.
Good night, Rudi.
Good night, Rudi.
Johann, where are you taking
your party tomorrow?
We're going to make a traverse along
the east face, and try to scale that chimney.
It's not been climbed before, but
I've always had the idea that if we could...
Good boy.
- No bundle of firewood here!
- So far, so good.
One moment, Franz.
This is when I'm sorry for anyone
who's never climbed a mountain.
I am, too.
That this should happen every day
and tens of millions of people never know.
Come on, Captain.
We've still got this face to climb.
Look, you can see the hut, sir,
where my father stayed that last night.
Nobody's been there since.
Come on, Rudi.
That's not what we came to see.
- That's what I came to see, Franz.
- Aren't you going to the top, Captain?
- No.
- In that case, we might as well eat.
Well, there it is. The Fortress.
That's what always stood in my way.
Tell me, friends. On Josef Matt's
attempt, did he get above the Fortress?
- No, only to the base.
- Yes, but I'm sure...
I heard that he found a route. If he did,
it must have been around the east face.
- Well...
- What do you think, Franz?
I don't think about it.
I know nothing of the Citadel.
- Wouldn't you like to know?
- No, I would not.
It's an evil mountain. A killer mountain.
It's been left alone now for 16 years.
And it's best to be left alone forever.
What is it?
Rudi! Stay where you are.
No, Captain! I'm coming for him.
I'm taller than you are.
It's easier for me to get back.
He's my nephew and my responsibility.
Wait, Franz.
Franz! It won't hold.
Right, I can hold you now.
I'm sorry, Uncle.
What happened, Rudi?
I thought I'd found a better route.
Hold it there.
Can you see them?
Well, yes. They're coming down
the mountain, but...
But what?
When the porter walks between the client
and the guide, does it mean something?
Yes, Lizbeth. I'm afraid it does.
Don't worry about it, son.
We all make mistakes.
What about the other day
when I walked straight into a crevasse?
Good night, Captain.
I have business in Geneva, so I thought
I'd take advantage of the bad weather.
But you are coming back?
You know I'm coming back.
Franz, you know we could climb
the Citadel together.
And you know I'd rather have you with me
than any man in the world.
Yes, I like to climb with you, too.
But not the Citadel.
Will you make this much
of a bargain with me?
Think about it while I'm gone.
When I return, we'll talk once again.
One thing more. About the boy.
Don't be too hard on him.
The boy's all right.
He's back where he belongs.
Get along there. Come on.
Good boy, Rudi.
No bundle of firewood here.
May his son
keep alive his name.
But you,
you just couldn't keep it that way!
- You had to go and...
- Rudi. It's time you were at the hotel.
Don't forget to put on a clean shirt.
- Mother! Where are they?
- Your uncle took them.
- But he had no right. They were mine.
- The ax and the knapsack he can use.
The boots he will try and sell
to another guide in the village.
The money, of course, will be yours.
Couldn't he leave me just my boots?
A clean sweep is always best, Rudi.
It would be a waste for them to lie in a
cupboard when you have no use for them.
- Good morning, Rudi.
- Where did you get them?
From your Uncle Franz.
- Why did he give them to you?
- Because he's a businessman.
And I was in a position to pay him
10 Francs more than Klaus.
Klaus? Wearing my boots!
Excuse me, they are now my boots.
Excuse me. Your boots, Fraulein Hempel.
- We saw you come down the mountain.
- Like a bundle of firewood.
- Do you know what happened?
- Not exactly. What did?
The worst. The very worst
that could happen to a guide.
I made other people risk their lives.
I shamed my uncle. Worst of all,
I lost Captain Winter's faith in me.
Well, you can change that.
After all, he's coming back.
- He is? Are you sure?
- Mm-hm.
No, I'll never climb again.
I'd make even a worse guide
than I would a dishwasher.
You talk like Klaus Wesselhoft.
Only he brags that he's the best.
You just snivel that you're the worst.
- Rudi!
- Have you something else to say?
Well, it's not very important. But should
you ever want to borrow my boots...
No, thank you.
I won't want to borrow your boots.'ll find them in Old Teo's wood box.
A wood box?
Do you want the rats to get them?
The wood box is where the cat has her
kittens. And I'll wrap them up carefully.
- First, see you oil them. And don't forget.
- I won't forget.
- Your day off tomorrow, isn't it?
- Yes.
Hm. Think I'll have a day off, too.
Gretchen can give them hash.
- Meet me at my house at eight o'clock.
- What do you mean? Where're we going?
The Felsberg.
You're going back to school.
- The loan of your boots, Fraulein Hempel.
- In exchange for your bundle, Herr Matt.
- Be careful, those are my good ones.
- You look how you treat my boots.
Come on, this isn't a picnic.
Ah! Now we'll see once and for all
whether you're to be a climber
or a dishwasher.
We will. Which face shall I climb?
That little thing?
It won't be so easy carrying this.
But you can't expect me to...
Let me help you, Teo.
That's going to throw me off balance.
On a real mountain,
which would you sooner be?
A little off balance or dead
from cold and starvation?
Now, go on, right up to the top.
Come on.
I'll race you to the first ledge.
A three-legged cow
could go faster than you.
That's as far as you go, Lizbeth!
No nonsense now!
Rudi! You're carrying a load, a burden.
A real guide carries his pack
as if it were part of his body.
There's a difference, you know.
Come on! Don't build a nest up there.
I'll have something else for you to do
when you come down.
Teo, I've been up and down the mountain
and I did everything you asked.
Why don't you say something?
What do you want me to say?
Did I do well on the climb?
Oh, well enough.
But it didn't really count.
Didn't count? Why not?
Because you climbed alone.
A guide doesn't climb alone.
Everybody knows that.
But did you ever stop to think
what the word "guide" means?
It doesn't mean to climb to
a high place and not fall off.
It means to lead others, to help others,
to think of others before yourself.
The other day, that foolishness
on the Wunderhorn, how did it happen?
I told you.
I was looking for a better way down.
I think you were looking for a way to
impress Captain Winter and your uncle.
Captain Winter was my only chance.
He's still my only chance.
Then you did a thing to be ashamed of.
You were looking for praise and for gain.
Two things your father never sought, and
he was the greatest climber of them all.
He could go places
other men could only dream of.
He didn't die because a mountain
was too high, nor for conquest or glory.
He gave his life because he thought
only of the man in his charge.
Well, there's one thing more.
- Why are you doing that?
- I'm going to climb to the top.
If a teacher can't trust his own pupil,
why should anyone else?
- Where do you think you're going?
- I'm coming, too.
No, you're not.
Do you prefer to go barefoot,
or wearing my boots?
All right, come on.
And now for our bundle of firewood!
- Are you ready?
- Yes, I'm ready.
Hold tight.
- Are you all right down there?
- Don't worry about me.
Do you feel like going on?
Not bad, boy. Not bad at all.
We might make a guide out of him yet.
Then you'll have to find yourself
another dishwasher.
When Captain Winter comes back...
Captain Winter, Captain Winter!
Don't you ever think of anyone else?
Yes, you.
What about me?
I don't know.
I guess I never stopped to think.
Come on, come on!
You might ask me if I'm going to be
your partner for the festival tomorrow night.
- Well, you are, aren't you?
- Oh, you!
I merely wanted to know your plans since
Klaus Wesselhoft has asked me already.
Klaus Wesselhoft?
First my boots, then my girl.
I'll punch him in the nose!
Rudi! You should climb a mountain
every day.
Scorched. Every last one of them.
Well, I certainly hope
you enjoyed yourselves.
Which is more than I can hope
for the guests, you lazy little hussy.
As I said to Herr Hempel,
I wasn't hired to cook.
Oh, and while I remember it,
that Captain Winter was here again.
- Teo, did you hear?
- He'd be deaf if he didn't.
- He wanted to tell you goodbye.
- Goodbye?
He came over to make some plans
with your uncle, which didn't work out.
Anyway, he's left.
Left? You mean he's left Kurtal for good?
You had better
get something started for dinner.
- Go on, go on, go on!
- That's right. For good.
Twice the usual fee,
if I'd climb the Citadel with him!
A sum like that
would have been enough to buy a horse.
And a foolish man
might have been tempted.
But what's the use of a horse
to a dead man?
- You did right, Franz.
- Of course I did right.
Any other guide in his right mind
would have done the same.
You uncle's in good form tonight.
Laying down the law in there.
Can you hear him?
Now listen, boy.
You can't let the Englishman, or anyone,
be the end of the world.
In climbing, if you can't get the
handholds you want, you take second best.
And second best is your uncle.
Why don't you go over there now,
catch him in this mood?
Tell him tomorrow you're ready
to go out again as his porter.
- Oh, it wouldn't work.
- How do you know?
You didn't know you could take us to
the top of the Felsberg until you tried.
- Go on, try.
- Yes, go on.
I know every other guide
in the village feels the same as I do.
We're not fools. We know
when something's impossible.
Go on.
"Captain, you've made me an offer,
and now I'll make you one just as good. "
I said, "I'll climb with you for not
twice the usual fee, but for half. "
"Any mountain you like, any peak
from the Weisshorn to the Dom. "
He doesn't want that.
All he wants is that cursed mountain.
- The man's obsessed. He's crazy.
- He is not crazy.
I would pay Captain Winter if he would
take me when he climbs the Citadel.
You? You would have to pay.
But where in Switzerland
is there all that money?
Get back to your dishes
before I lose my temper.
What are you doing here, anyway?
I've come to tell you that no matter what,
I've decided to be a guide.
- What did you say?
- Captain Winter came to see me.
If he still believes in me, why can't you?
Captain Winter is famous
for believing in the impossible,
but I doubt if even he would go that far.
Be careful, boy. I warned you.
Please, Uncle. Won't you try me?
Let me be your porter tomorrow.
- No.
- Why not?
Because I have two hands,
two legs, one head.
I need those for my clients
and to look after myself.
Now, get back where you belong.
We leave early, do we not, Herr Lerner?
I think I'll go too, and get to sleep.
You heard? So did all the village.
Now everyone knows that I'm no good.
My own uncle wouldn't have me.
Let him go, Teo.
There's nothing we could say.
Well, afraid you lost that partner
for the festival tomorrow, but I...
Good night, Teo.
The shadows dance and play
Gone are the cares of the day
Night is here
A bird on the hill
Sings a haunting lullaby
- The bright stars are jewels...
- Psst! Psst!
In the dark's velvet cloak...
I must now get ready
to announce the dancing.
And the gentle breezes sigh
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
ooh-ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh
Good night, Valais
Good night
And now, everybody,
I want you all to enjoy yourselves.
We start the waltz.
Where have you been?
The dancing's started already.
- I'm not coming. Not after last night.
- Rudi, forget about last night.
Look at me.
It's the first year I was able to wear
my grandmother's dress.
Her wedding dress.
You look nice.
I guess... even pretty.
Do I?
Then you must come. If for no other
reason than somebody said you wouldn't.
Who said?
Well, what difference,
so long as it isn't true?
Well, it is true.
How could I go out there?
Will you stop feeling sorry for yourself?
It's as though you enjoy being unhappy.
Well, I don't. I want to dance.
Thank you, Klaus.
Why would you want to dance with me
if you could have Klaus Wesselhoft?
He says he's the best dancer in Kurtal.
You've grown up
to your grandmother's wedding dress.
Don't you think you should stop
wasting your time on a kitchen boy?
Yes, I think I should.
Rudi. Rudi.
And now the polka!
You expect us to believe that?
It's true, I'm telling you.
Someone's on the Citadel tonight.
Nobody's been up there for years.
We saw it from the Blue Glacier
when we were lighting the beacon fires.
Ah, you're dreaming.
Peter, tell them
what you saw this afternoon.
Smoke, coming from the old hut
on the southeast ridge.
- Who'd be up there?
- You don't get smoke from an empty hut.
I tell you, there must be someone up there.
It's no one from Kurtal, I'm sure of that.
There's someone outside, Emil.
- There couldn't be.
- But there is.
- What on earth are you doing here?
- I've come to join you, sir.
Join me?
Yes, to climb the Citadel.
I know what you're thinking,
but I've learned since last time.
Oh, Emil Saxo of Broli,
meet Rudi Matt of Kurtal.
- Kurtal?
- Son of the great Josef Matt.
Come and have some breakfast, Rudi.
We'll talk this over.
Sit down, Rudi.
When did you leave Kurtal?
Late last night, sir.
And what did your mother and Franz say
about you coming?
Oh, they said it was all right.
- You mean they gave their permission?
- Mmm.
Why would Franz let you come
if he wouldn't come himself?
The sun is up. We'd better get going.
- You're starting today?
- No, today we're just looking around.
Perhaps we'll follow the ridge
as far as the Fortress. If we can make it.
I think we can make it. I think we...
We? You mean this boy is coming?
Well, why not? He can climb, and well.
Still no reason to drag a boy
up 6,000 feet to the top of the Citadel,
no matter whose son he is.
It's not the Citadel
we're climbing today, Emil.
You are the master.
Now, listen to me, Rudi.
One thing must be understood.
There'll be no experimenting,
no individual climbing
and no route finding of your own.
You'll be an apprentice porter,
and that's all.
That's enough.
I told you, I've learned my lesson.
All right, let's make a start.
All I could find out was
there's only two of them.
- Did they have equipment, porters?
- Nothing.
No one's been near that mountain for 15...
- What's the matter?
- Haven't you heard the news?
- What news?
- The Englishman is climbing the Citadel.
It's not possible.
Maybe it's not possible, but he's trying.
He may be crazy, but he's not so crazy
as to try and climb the Citadel alone.
- Who said he was alone?
- You mean he has a guide?
- What guide went with him?
- He's with Emil Saxo.
- Who told you that?
- Today I went to Broli on business.
But no one cared about business.
All they would talk about
was this Captain Winter and Emil Saxo.
How they left yesterday for the Citadel.
All afternoon we've been watching through
the telescope, but we couldn't see them.
And we won't, because the mountain
will strike, throw them down.
Saxo... Emil Saxo. I might have known it.
Can you see them?
Yes, I think so.
And, unless there are
spots before my eyes...
You look, Lizbeth.
I don't want to make a fool of myself.
No, Teo, there are
no spots before your eyes,
any more than there were a pair of boots
in the wood box this morning.
- There are three of them.
- Yes!
They are waiting for me, over in the tavern.
I mustn't keep them in suspense.
Then go, but don't blurt it out.
Make them suffer.
- Have you seen them, Teo?
- I have.
Oh, yes. Yes. They're up there all right.
- I think he means it.
- Let's have a look.
It's no good looking now.
I watched all the time they were in sight
until they moved in behind the ridge.
Are you sure of this?
You swear that you saw them?
Marie, a beer.
Yes, of course I can swear.
For almost five minutes I watched
as they moved up in a row.
One... two... three.
Three? Did you say three?
That's right.
Thank you, Marie.
- Three. How could there be three?
- You didn't hear that in Broli?
No, they said nothing about a third one.
Let's drink to him.
To the third man on the mountain.
To Rudi Matt!
The only true mountaineer in Kurtal.
Angel face? A mountaineer?
What are you talking about?
Rudi would be the last...
It is Rudi. It's my fool of a nephew
who's on the Citadel.
His bed was empty
when his mother went to wake him.
An ax and a pack the Englishman gave
him vanished from my house in the night.
And he hasn't been at work all day.
We thought he was sulking,
roaming the hills.
- Instead of saving your foolish faces.
- Watch what you say, old man.
I will. And what I say is this.
You call yourselves guides.
I call you a herd of sheep.
Every day you go out and climb peaks
that have been climbed 100 times before.
Peaks your grandmothers could climb.
Then you come back
and tell yourselves how good you are.
Well, maybe now you'll find out
you're not so good.
Three climbers are on the Citadel tonight.
An Englishman, a man from Broli,
and from Kurtal, who? A man?
No. A boy.
An 18-year-old boy,
who alone among you is not afraid.
- Who's afraid?
- You are, bigmouth. You all are.
Since Josef Matt died 16 years ago,
not one of you has dared
set foot on the Citadel.
All right, sit in the tavern.
Swill your beer.
Do you care if the world no longer knows
the Citadel as the mountain of Kurtal,
but as the mountain of Broli?
You heard what he said,
and he's lucky he's standing on his feet.
I'm not a coward,
nor is any guide of Kurtal.
We are not fools
who want to throw away our lives.
Too many men have died on the Citadel.
It has not been climbed.
Nor will it ever be.
This I will do. Tomorrow morning,
I will go to the Citadel.
I will go on
until I find the three who are up there.
And when I find them,
I shall talk Captain Winter out of his
foolishness and bring down my nephew.
I'll go with you.
- And me.
- Count me in.
- Also my brother.
- With myself, that makes five.
- Six.
- You?
I won't hold you up.
This is something I don't intend to miss.
All right.
Oh, Teo, you were wonderful.
You were beautiful. I wish somebody
had written it down for my grandchildren.
Look out!
Captain Winter!
Captain Winter?
It's nothing. It just grazed me.
Out of the way, boy.
It was stupid, letting you try
such a slope in this weather.
Do you think it was the mountain
warning us?
No, sir. I agree with Herr Saxo.
We didn't even reach
the base of the Fortress.
Don't worry about that. I've been
thinking of a way past the Fortress.
It's either straight up, or round
the other side towards the east face.
No. My father and Sir Edward
tried both of those ways.
- Teo says there was no route.
- Perhaps they didn't try hard enough.
There's no use arguing.
Let's try and get back to the hut.
- You were starting without me.
- Not for the Citadel, Rudi.
We're going down to Broli for tents and
supplies. We'll be back in the morning.
Next day, if the weather's good...
Am I going to Broli with you,
or am I going to stay here?
- Neither. You're going back to Kurtal.
- What did I do this time?
Nothing. Even Emil had no complaints.
I want you to take a message to your uncle.
Tell him it's not too late.
Tell him I want him with us.
What was that?
- Who you want with us?
- The boy's uncle, Franz Lerner.
- Not with me.
- What do you mean?
A guide from Broli
does not climb with a guide from Kurtal.
That's petty and ridiculous.
Franz Lerner is one of the great guides
of Switzerland.
I've climbed with him on the Weisshorn,
the Dom, the Donnelberg.
But not the Citadel.
When you asked him to climb the Citadel,
he shook in his boots, didn't he?
So you had to come to Broli
to find yourself a guide.
A guide who did not shake in his boots.
I know all about that, Emil. You weren't
afraid and I appreciate the fact...
Then, please, let me climb
the Citadel with you alone.
For the honor of my village.
Alone with you,
not with some coward of a Kurtaler.
But why worry? He won't come, anyway.
All right, Rudi.
Get your breakfast and be on your way.
Please don't send me back, sir.
Herr Saxo was right. My uncle
wouldn't come, and when he sees me...
Don't argue, Rudi. Just tell your uncle
if he lets you come, he can come himself.
We'll meet here around noon tomorrow.
Yes, sir.
My father's route!
- I wonder if we'll find them here yet.
- We'll find no boy and no uncle.
It seems you were wrong, Emil.
Two men didn't carry all this.
- Franz, I'm so pleased...
- Where's the boy?
- Isn't he with you?
- How could he be with us?
Why do you pretend
when we know he's here?
Of course he was here.
He left yesterday for Kurtal.
Why would he go to Kurtal when
three nights ago he ran away to join you?
Surely he had your permission?
- Is that what he told you?
- Yes.
He had nobody's permission.
- Have you searched for him?
- Yes, since we got here yesterday.
Up and down the rock face
as far as the ice fall.
Franz, we'd better start all over again.
Search every crevasse.
- You're the one to answer for this.
- I? What have I to do with it?
Everything. Only a guide from Broli
would stand by and let a boy be lost.
- That's enough. Franz! Saxo!
- Mother of God!
I've found it.
- I've found it.
- Found what, Rudi?
The way past the Fortress.
My father's route to the top.
All alone, you got as far as the Fortress?
I've been up there all night.
Teo, it's a chimney. It leads to the top.
- You climbed it?
- No. There was a storm.
So, we weren't crazy after all, were we?
No. We knew.
- Uncle, are you angry?
- What would be the use?
- And my mother?
- So you remembered you had a mother?
- Every minute I remembered.
- That I doubt.
But if you don't think of her, I do.
I told her that if you were still alive,
I'd find you.
All right, I found you.
Now I'll take you home.
Come along, it'll be dark
before we reach the trail.
The boy isn't going.
You stay out of this, Teo.
It's none of your business.
It is my business.
I climbed with Josef Matt on the Citadel
and with his son on the Felsberg.
I know what he can do.
Give the boy a chance and he might be
even a greater guide than his father was.
He's right, Franz.
The boy deserves his chance.
And from me of all people he deserves it.
You know why.
Franz, why did you come up here today?
You know why I came.
I came to take back my nephew.
No, you didn't.
You came because Saxo and I were here.
And you knew
we were going to climb the Citadel.
It is true. It was also because of Saxo.
He has no right here.
Not even to step inside this hut.
This hut belongs to us.
And so does the Citadel.
The whole world knows it
as the mountain of Kurtal.
- That will soon be changed.
- By whom is it to be changed?
You listen to me.
I have listened to you talking and talking.
Now you listen to me.
For ten years I have circled the Citadel
and explored the routes to it.
Did I ever see you, or any other Kurtaler?
How many years has it been
since you slept in your hut?
Stood on your mountain?
And why did you stir up your stomachs
to come today?
I'll tell you why. Because you are
jealous, because you are cowards.
Because you do not want to see
Emil Saxo of Broli
do what you are afraid to do yourselves.
Wait! You think I am a coward?
You think I am afraid of a mountain?
- Well, aren't you?
- No, I am not.
I've come here to climb the Citadel.
I knew you'd join us, Franz.
I never doubted it.
- In that case, you go without me.
- No, Emil.
I need you, too. We need the strongest
team that ever climbed the Alps.
The weather is clearing.
We leave in the morning. The four of us.
That's right, isn't it? Four to go.
Now, listen. This is how it'll be.
Somebody must go down to Kurtal.
I think you, Teo.
- Do you? Then you think again.
- You have a job.
I'm also 65 years. I don't intend
to miss this. Besides, you'll need a cook.
How about Paul? He's got to go back
anyhow. His wife's expecting a child.
But I've six children already.
Believe me, it's nothing.
All right, Paul, you go.
My sister, before anybody, go to her.
Tell her only that we've found the boy,
he's here at the hut and all right.
Don't, on any account, tell her
that he'll be on the mountain.
For you, Captain,
I'm doing strange things.
God grant I shan't live to regret them.
No, wait, Emil.
Let Rudi take the lead.
He's the one who knows the way.
Shall I go?
- Is that the place, Rudi?
- Yes, sir.
How do you know it goes all the way, boy?
You didn't climb it.
- I told you. There was a storm.
- Then what do you really know about it?
What do any of us know
until we've examined it?
- I'll take a look at it.
- If you don't mind, I'm still first guide.
Or am I?
Yes, Emil, you're still first guide.
I could have told you. It tapers off.
It goes nowhere, and even if it did go
anywhere, it's too small for a man to climb.
- Are you sure?
- You come and try it.
All right, Emil, we'll go back
and try your way.
Oh, it's nothing.
Let us go.
May I try? I still know it's the way.
Remember that first day?
Not what happened, what we talked about.
That day you believed.
There's some things you just know.
All right, Rudi. I'll give you a hand.
Rudi? Are you all right?
I'll tell you what it is. He's stuck.
He could be stuck there
till the end of his days.
I've done it again.
Rudi, if you can hear me, answer.
I've done it!
- Hello.
- Well done, Rudi. Send down a rope.
Well, there it is.
And also, the way between,
we don't know what we'll find.
Difficulties, yes, but no major obstacles.
Two hours will do it.
Is your head hurting again, sir?
- No, it's nothing. Let's go on.
- No, Captain. This is no good.
At the end of the snow,
we'll stop for the night.
In the morning, when you're rested,
we'll go on to the top.
But the weather might change.
We may lose our chance.
He's right, Franz.
The weather could change.
A risk we will take.
- Franz Lerner.
- Mm?
Franz Lerner!
What is it?
Come out here a minute.
I want to talk to you.
What's the matter?
- Is he worse?
- He is not worse, but he is not better.
He won't be able to go tomorrow.
It's the end of it for him.
- But it needn't be for us.
- What do you mean?
Tomorrow the weather will be good.
After that, who knows?
If we leave at first dawn,
we could be there by eight.
The boy will stay with him.
He won't be left alone.
- And it's what he would want us to do.
- It's not a question of what he would want.
A guide, at any rate a guide of Kurtal,
does not leave his client on a mountain
and go on alone.
- Do you think he will go on alone?
- Even of Saxo I wouldn't believe it.
Go to sleep, boy.
Let me have a look.
- I see someone.
- Where?
- High above the Fortress.
- Only one?
- Wait. Now I see two people.
- No others?
- No. Just two black specks.
- Didn't you say there were four?
There were four yesterday.
They may have changed places higher up.
Captain Winter with Saxo, probably.
Franz with Rudi.
- I mean that...
- You mean my son is on the Citadel.
You've lied to me.
You've all lied to me.
Frau Matt!
Well, Lizbeth, I hope you're satisfied.
Yes. Rudi's doing
what he was meant to do.
What right have you to say what he was
meant to do? How could you know?
You've never been a wife, a mother.
You've never lost a man.
But don't you see,
we both nearly lost a man?
- Why couldn't you have left him alone?
- But it was Rudi himself.
It wasn't me.
Nor was it Old Teo.
That's what makes it so right.
So wonderful.
Would you want to be the wife of a guide?
Yes. Or a dishwasher.
Or a hotel proprietor.
But never the wife of a hotel proprietor
who wanted to climb mountains.
Because a man must do what he feels
he must do, or he isn't a man.
And no one, wife, mother or sweetheart,
has the right to make him
into something he wasn't meant to be.
I'm sorry you didn't know.
I'm sorry they lied to you.
There's nothing to do now, is there?
He'll never be anything but a guide.
No, Frau Matt.
Where are the others, Franz?
What happened?
Gone, the two of them.
It's what Saxo threatened last night
when he said you were too sick to try,
and that crazy boy's gone after him.
- All right, I'm ready.
- Ready for what?
- To go after them.
- No. Captain, you're too weak.
I'm much better. The pain's gone.
Then, if you don't mind staying here
for a few hours, I'll go up and...
I mind very much. We're going together.
Don't worry,
I won't be a bundle of firewood.
Herr Saxo! Don't move!
Herr Saxo, you're hurt.
Badly hurt.
I'll make you a sling.
Let me alone!
I don't need help from you.
Go on back. You've won.
Climb to the top and crow like a cock.
Herr Saxo, there must be some way
I can hold you.
Go on, boy. Go on, kitchen boy.
You've won, I'm telling you.
And I've lost. Claim your victory.
Leave me.
You've left the others, why not me?
I'm nothing to you.
Not even a friend. Go on.
That's it. You are no fool.
Take it. You'll be a hero.
Conqueror of the Citadel.
Your father's son.
I'm making you a sling.
Since we can't go up, we'll go down.
It's Rudi's pack.
- He must have fallen.
- His pack would still be on his back.
We'd better push on.
We can pick those things up
on the way down.
He brought these
all the way up from Kurtal.
I think he'd like them at the top.
Herr Saxo.
- I'm done. Finished.
- You can't stop now.
The tents are just below.
No, boy. You leave me here.
- You'll never get me down.
- I will get you down.
Now, just try! Try!
Thanks, boy.
- Come, Lizbeth.
- No, it should only be you.
My turn will come.
I'm sorry if I made you worry again.
You're not angry? You're happy!
Yes, Rudi, and very proud.
You, the conquerors of the Citadel,
which stands above our valley,
there it will stand forever,
and all men will know it by your names,
as your mountain.
Forgive me, Herr Hempel,
but you're wrong. It's not our mountain.
It's Rudi's mountain.
Rudi? Rudi, come up here.
- I didn't even get to the top, sir.
- Look.
- You carried it up. You put it there.
- No, Rudi. You put it there.
You and your father.
That is true.
- He could have been the first.
- And so could his father.
Long live our dishwasher! Bravo!
Say something, Rudi. Don't just stand
there like a lump. Invite them up to see.
- Where's Lizbeth?
- There she is.
Here I am, Rudi.