|Directed by||Christopher Leitch|
|Produced by||Stephen Ujlaki|
|Written by||Fred Brogger
|Music by||Sylvester Levay|
|Edited by||Martin Walsh|
|Distributed by||Triumph Films
|Release dates||February 16, 1990|
|Running time||98 min.|
|Box office||$1,393,610 (USA)|
Courage Mountain (or Courage Mountain: Heidi's New Adventure) is a 1990 independent drama film sequel to Johanna Spyri's novel Heidi. It was directed by Christopher Leitch and stars Charlie Sheen, Leslie Caron, Juliette Caton and Jan Rubes.
The film is set in 1915, during World War I.
Heidi (Juliette Caton), now 15 years old, still lives on the Swiss Alps with her Grandfather. She receives an invitation from Madame Jane Hillary (Leslie Caron), the headmistress of Brookings School for Girls in Italy, to join her school. Heidi has the means to go, as she has just received an inheritance from her friend Klara's grandmother. Grandfather (Jan Rubes) wants Heidi to make the most of the opportunity so she will be able to take care of herself when he's gone. Heidi is at first reluctant to leave, but when she learns that her sweetheart Peter (Charlie Sheen) has joined the army, she decides to accept the invitation.
Heidi is at first unable to adapt to modern life at the school, often clashing with her more sophisticated classmate Ursula (Joanna Clarke). Heidi's only friend is Ilsa (Nicola Stapleton), and she also has the kind support of Madame Hillary.
The Italian troops arrive at the school with a letter from the Governor, declaring that they have to give up the building to be used as a military post. All the girls are fetched by their families, except for four: Heidi, Ursula, Ilsa and Gudrun (Kathryn Ludlow). Hillary is happy to care for the four girls, but the unscrupulous owner of the town orphanage, Signor Bonelli (Yorgo Voyagis), claims the girls for his orphanage. Hillary is forced to give them up as Bonelli has the support of the Governor.
The four girls find that the orphanage is a run-down and cruel place where all the children are forced into labour. Heidi wants to escape, but Ursula insists that Madame Hillary will come for them. Hillary does attempt to get the children, but is blocked by Bonelli. Heidi eventually learns through another orphan, Clarissa (Jade Magri), that they can escape through the drain. The four Brookings girls, Clarissa, and another orphan named Giovanni (Ruben Raiano) escape through the drain and hitch a ride on a cart for the countryside.
Signor Bonelli chases after them and manages to catch Giovanni. The five girls escape through the forest and head for the mountains to cross over into Switzerland, briefly crossing paths with soldiers that are travelling on horseback. Hillary learns of the girls' sighting through the soldiers and, knowing that Heidi would lead the girls to her Grandfather, decides to go to the Alps herself. Grandfather learns of the girls' crossing through Peter, and asks that he find and bring them across safely.
The girls go through the mountains, and are found by Peter, who has brought them food. He leaves them the next morning to get a sled, and while he is gone, Signor Bonelli catches up with them. He intends to fake an accident with all the girls falling off the mountain, knowing that if they speak the truth of the orphanage's conditions, his reputation will be ruined. Heidi manages to call Peter, and he arrives in time to save them.
The group cross the mountains successfully. Heidi is reunited with Grandfather, and the Brookings girls are reunited with Hillary.
The films ends with a Christmas dinner with Grandfather, Hillary, Peter and all the girls. Clarissa is to be adopted by Grandfather, Signor Bonelli's orphanage is closed, but war is still on. Peter declares he has to leave, but he promises to return to Heidi.
- Juliette Caton as Heidi
- Joanna Clarke as Ursula
- Nicola Stapleton as Ilsa
- Jade Magri as Clarissa
- Kathryn Ludlow as Gudrun
- Charlie Sheen as Peter
- Jan Rubes as Grandfather
- Leslie Caron as Jane Hillary
- Yorgo Voyagis as Signor Bonelli
- Laura Betti as Signora Bonelli