Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

Maureen O’Hara Stars

The movie that inspired the Waltons! Clay Spencer is a hard-working man with big dreams. He wants to build his wife a better home and send his eldest son to college…but will life, and obligations, get in his way?

Spencer’s Mountain

Maureen O’Hara, Henry Fonda, and James MacArthur star in this movie that celebrates the indomitable American spirit—and served as the inspiration for the beloved television series, The Waltons!

Clay Spencer is a poor, hardworking man who struggles to support his family. He’s well respected by his neighbors because he’s always there to help when needed. He’s not a big fan of organized religion, but he does believe in God and loves his wife, Olivia, and his nine children. For years now, he has been promising to build a dream home for his wife on the land his owns high in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.

Despite Clay’s best intentions, it’s slow going on the new house. There are always bills to pay and money is tight. Even though it might not seem like he’s trying, he is slowly building the house whenever he can.

Now that his eldest son, Clay (everybody calls him “Clayboy”) is about to graduate high school, there’s a new set of worries added to the list. Clayboy is in the top of his class and longs to get a college degree. Clay and Olivia want to make this happen, but they aren’t quite sure where the money will come from.

There are many obstacles to overcome: money, for starters, and girls, which keep turning Clayboy’s head from his college goal. The only scholarship Clayboy can get is for studying theology—and he must learn Latin to get it. When Clay finds out, he’s none too pleased.

Most people would think the odds are stacked against Clayboy. But then, most people aren’t Clay Spencer, who will stop at nothing to make this dream come true….