Staged scenes and extended re-enactments or reconstructions were not unusual in documentaries of the time. The scene enacted here is certainly exaggerated for effect – with instruments made from a bottle, a washing board and a box of dynamite – but the essence at its heart conveys a truth about the lives, friendships and cultures of the workers who lived on the mountains during the Scheme’s construction. This is a romantic twist on social realism.
While it is not clear whether ‘Tunnel thro’ the mountains’ was written especially for the film, the lyrics, written by Ralph Peterson who also co-scripted the film, provide narration-in-song and reveal the workers’ experiences on the mountain. The music was co-written by Herbie Marks and Dick Carr.