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Spencer's Mountain: Additional Information from the Warner Bros. Pressbook

Meandering Moose Spices Noon Hike by Spencer Stars

The exuberant enthusiasm of the two young stars of Spencer’s Mountain provided them with an unexpected -- and nerve-wracking encounter -- during the location-filming of the Warner Bros. production in Grand Teton National Park.

James MacArthur, who stars with Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara in the Delmer Daves production, and Mimsy Farmer, who is introduced as his romantic interest in the film, were determined to take a noon-hour hike away from the set and into the fringes of the Park’s wilderness. Two forest rangers insisted on accompanying them.Midway on their expedition there were crashing sounds of animals approaching through the underbrush. The rangers silently ordered the youngsters to freeze where they were and not make a sound.No director ever got a quicker or more absolute response from his actors. A huge moose eyed the quartet suspiciously for some minutes and made a couple of belligerent approaches before finally lumbering off with her calf.

“I’d sooner meet a mad Grizzly than a mother moose protecting her calf,” confessed one ranger as the foursome relaxed. “Moose are dangerous killers when aroused. By standing stock still we convinced her we weren’t out to harm her or her calf, but take my word for it -- it was touch and go there for a while.”

James MacArthur Stars as Ambitious Lad In Heartwarming Spencer’s Mountain Drama

That’s Harvard man James MacArthur playing the teen-age boy with a hunger for education and the dream of being the first of his family to escape from “the Valley” in Spencer’s Mountain, the glowing Warner Bros. family drama.

MacArthur, the son of Helen Hayes and the late newspaperman-playwright Charles MacArthur, stars as the son of Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara in the moving Delmer Daves production dealing with the travails and triumphs of a simple but resourceful rural family. Daves filmed his drama in Technicolor against the spectacular backdrop of Wyoming’s Teton Mountains.

It is an absorbing emotional assignment for MacArthur, humorous as well as touching -- and certain to enhance his blossoming screen career.

Brought up in an artistic environment among creative people, MacArthur, born in Los Angeles in 1937, has been exposed to the theatre all his life. “I made my acting debut at the age of eight,” he recalls, “as a Welsh boy in a summer stock production in Maryland of The Corn is Green.

MacArthur grew up in Nyack, New York, and attended top private schools before entering Harvard as a history major. But he had already chalked up extensive summer stock experience. He left Harvard his sophomore year to devote full time to acting, branching into television where he scored an outstanding triumph in Strike a Blow [sic] under John Frankenheimer’s direction.

His re-creation of the same role in the movie version (The Young Stranger) won him immediate popularity. Walt Disney promptly signed the handsome young actor and starred him in Kidnapped, Third Man on the Mountain, and Swiss Family Robinson. Most recently he has appeared in The Interns with time out for a Broadway appearance in Invitation to a March.

An all-around athlete at school, MacArthur played football for three years at Solebury, captained the basketball team and played second base on the baseball team.

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