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The Mortal Storm

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
ii just saw an interesting bit of American film history, called
The Mortal Storm

This was made in 1940, and takes place at a university in a small German village.

What is not mentioned in the synopsis, is that the hero and heroine attempt to escape into Austria, overnight, on skis, while being chased by the Nazis! There were obviously no chair lifts, so they had to do a bit of climbing.

The ski sequences, although short, were fun to watch. Long skis, thong bindings, lots of torso rotation. They were filmed at Sun Valley.

I've been searching, to no avail, for information as to who the stunt doubles were for Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan in the ski sequences.

Anybody have a clue?
post #2 of 14
no idea... but I'm interested in how to use a thong for a binding. It would certainly be much lighter to carry a thong for a spare binding. I'll need to see pictures.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I still have trouble saying that with a straight face! [img]tongue.gif[/img]
post #4 of 14
Might be easier to say with a straight face if you used the terminology of that time: Longthong.
post #5 of 14
Originally posted by Kneale Brownson:
Might be easier to say with a straight face if you used the terminology of that time: Longthong.
Which simply conjures up other strange images...


post #6 of 14
Guess I'm too old to have your kind of images, Bob :~). I always thought longthongs were great until I tried rewinding them at the top of Ajax my first time there. All I saw were stars when I finally stood up again.
post #7 of 14
Since I have no clue...I guess Otto Lang...since he was the defacto Hollywood ski wonk of the time...and did a lot in Sun Valley.
post #8 of 14
I remember my father had these on some of his skis when I was a kid. I think the skis had metal bits attached to the sides with holes, and the thonging was threaded through. My first skis were ordered from Germany and had the latest metal cable bindings with things at the front you could turn to tighten or loosen them. Technology!

the thong bindings were a pain, you sometimes had to do them several times to get the tension right. Coupled with the same rigmarole with your boots, getting your gear on was a drawn-out process.
post #9 of 14
Otto Lang would be my first thought.

I liked the longthongs. They were particularly nice to have when putting on your skis on a steep ledge since you had ahold of the thong while you were getting your binding on. Your skis couldn't slip away. With most bindings they were used simply to get more support from the boots and enhance the boot-binding interface. The bindings would work without them. With some heel turntables, though, the thong was a necessary part of the binding. With these you wrapped the thong and then closed the rear spring catch. This tightened the thong further. Trouble was in warm spring conditions these would loosen as the leather became wet. The rawhide thongs tended to stretch when wet. Most were about 7 or 8 feet long. They would really close the leather boots around your feet. Most leather boots had laces only, no buckles. The longthongs really gave you good support. I find it humorous that something once commonplace and well known to all expert skiers has become utterly forgotten. I got rid of mine with my first plastic Lange boots in '71 or'72.
post #10 of 14
We in the mountain west called them Arlberg straps. In those days what we now call a thong was called a loincloth. If the actors were wearing loincloths, I'm guessing Maureeen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weismuller were doing the stunts.

Should we all giggle a bit about ski "poles"? Pole swing, pole plant, hee hee. (The real reason the pole usage is so difficult to teach is we all keep collapsing into titillation.)
post #11 of 14
Hey Butthead, she said tit-illation. Ha ha ha ha.
post #12 of 14
What we called Arlberg Straps were shorter straps, basically safety straps. What we call civilization has been a bit slow in reaching the western mountains, I guess, hence their great attraction for us all.

Wouldn't touch the other matter with a ten foot......thing.
post #13 of 14
post #14 of 14
Hey Lisa, That`s exactly what I used , 72 inch longthongs with a swivel toepiece. This was a step up from the longthongs with a bearclaw toe, on 210-215 skis. Somehow or other we survived. The rotatation technique was necessary due to the equip we used. technique follows technology, creating efficiency of movement via new technology. Thanks for the new tech. or I wouldn`t be skiing today and still teaching, after 2 new knees. Kneale, I share that experience with you, however at anothwer Area. Lisa, you may remember me as "skier2", from a few years ago.
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