A story about one of the less important frontlines of World War 1, the one in the Dolomites between Austria and Italy - one of the crazier battlefields in human history, allegedly more men died there by natural causes (weather, rockfall, avalanches ...) than by enemy hands. Many of the trenches, military roads and fortifications are still there - monuments to the insanity of war, as this production tries to be.
If you're shooting a war movie, there's no shortage of examples. The best comparison here, I think, would be "Das Boot" - a group of men, none of them really interested in politics, most of them simply drafted - fighting against a mostly unseen enemy and the forces of nature and modern warfare. While "The Silent Mountain" manages to stand its ground, it loses every single point to "Das Boot". Instead of focusing on the young men (William Moseley's performance leaves nothing to be desired, most other actors do a fine job, too), the writer decided to include some family drama (nice cameo by Claudia Cardinale) including a hopeless love story, as well as a subplot with a villain down in the valley and an over-the-top Italian commander - not badly written, but those distract very much from the main theme, and take away some impact.
Apart from those script problems, everything works, and the production values are OK despite some serious problems the crew ran into because of the harsh outdoor conditions - some members were hit by lightning, and their main battlefield set was washed away in a landslide before they could use it. As a result, there's less battlefield scenes than planned, but those that remain still give a good impression.
Not the best war movie, but far from a bad one.
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