Bone Print Press

Askew Review 15

 Movie Reviews
 CD Reviews
 Book Reviews
 Past Writings
 Zine Info/Contact
 Review Policy
 Back Issues

Back to the Video Reviews Page

FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN; The Story of the 10th Mountain Division
(First Run Features) 1996. Documentary. 72 minutes. Color/black and white. Not Rated. As the United States prepared for World War II, the American Ski Patrol organization petitioned President Roosevelt offering their abilities and services to the US government. Soon thereafter, the Army accepted their offer and called upon them and other men with similar abilities (this was the first time a civilian organization was involved in the formation of military organization). Made up of expert skiers, mountaineers, and outdoorsman, the 10th Mountain Division endured years of extreme outdoor training atop Colorado Mountains before being called to fight. When they were finally called to serve their country, the 10th packed their bags for the mountains of Italy. While there, the well trained and determined men defeated the Nazis and captured Italy’s Riva Ridge.  After making their mark in the War, the surviving members of the 10th continued to make an impact on society. 
                Having never heard of this elite fighting division, I was completely captivated by this documentary. In fact, I am still captivated by the 10th Mountain Division as I seek out more information on this group. The doc starts with a brief history of skiing and its growing popularity among the American public, which leads to how the 10th actually started. The extensive training is then wonderfully detailed and makes me believe that these guys are, in reality, the “extreme” ones and not those baggy pants wearing snowboarding turds you see on Mtv, ESPN, and Mountain Dew commercials. Although the shortest aspect of this documentary, the 10th’s battles against the Nazis in Italy is brought to the forefront and shows how well trained the men where for mountainous fighting. Closing out Fire on the Mountain is a classy look at what some of the 10th’s surviving members did after so successfully serving their country in a time of war. I know you’ll be fairly surprised at what some of these men ended up doing. This documentary is made up of old black and white footage of skiers, photographs of the men in training, archival war footage, and interviews with a bunch of the men who made up the 10th Mountain Division. As you may have noticed, I thoroughly enjoyed Fire on the Mountain as it is a great documentary on a great subject. – Denis Sheehan



Website created and maintained by Denis Sheehan. Copyright©1999-2011. As long as you give credit where credit is due (and a link if on the web), feel free to reprint anything you wish. If you don’t give full credit and I find out, well, I don't know, really.