HIGH TOR (1956)
Article 2111 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-26-2006
Posting Date: 5-24-2007
Directed by James Neilson and Franklin J. Schaffner
Featuring Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Nancy Olson
The owner of a mountain called High Tor wiles away his time hunting and fishing, much to the chagrin of the woman who loves him. He finds himself fending off the advances of two men who want to buy the mountain while dealing with the ghosts of sailors waiting for the arrival of Henry Hudson’s boat.
There are some definite charms to this musical version of the Maxwell Anderson play. Bing Crosby and a young Julie Andrews singing are two of them, and a likable cast (including Hans Conried and Everett Sloane) is another. The story itself is rather unique; it’s an odd little fantasy that is very unlike any other ghost story out there, with the ghosts not scary or malevolent but simply as part of the action of the story. However, time hasn’t really been too kind to this episode of “Ford Star Jubilee” (which is considered in some quarters to be the first TV movie); the modest production values and the self-conscious poetry of the dialogue really start to wear on me after a while; it’s one of those movies where the actors talk endlessly about how they feel rather than showing us how they feel by their actions. Still, take the limitations in stride and there are some pleasures to be had here.