Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    124
    Liked
    0 times
    Watched this recently on DVD.

    What a stunning film! Even though I knew the basic story, I was still absolutely gripped from start to finish.

    The black and white cinematography helps to accentuate the bleak, harsh conditions, the claustrophobic prison cells, and the stark, sweat-soaked faces of the characters.

    Absolutely stunning performances from everyone...Connery gives of one of his best ever perfomances (showing there was clearly far more to him than just Bond), Roy Kinnear's role is just heartbreaking, Ian Hendry is pure, misguided evil, Harry Andrews traditional old-school RSM completely entrenched in his ways, Ian Bannen as the only voice of reason in a brutal system, Ossie Davis does wonders with what could have been a 'token black' role of the sort that was common at the time, and not forgetting other British stalwarts Michael Redgrave, Norman Bird, Jack Watson and Tony Caunter.

    In fact, many of the actors, though they would go on to have long, prolific careers rarely bettered the performances they gave here.

    And...Sidney Lumet...did this man EVER make a bad movie?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,128
    Liked
    9 times
    Totally agree - an incredibly powerful film, with excellent performances all round. I remember reading once that is was apparently made as part of a deal Connery had in return for Bond - a kind of 'one for me, one for the studio' type thing.

    Its a shame that its only available as a US DVD release, and there is no Blu Ray version as yet.

    And...Sidney Lumet...did this man EVER make a bad movie?
    He did have a remarkable record. Not everything was a classic, but even his 'off' stuff is perfectly OK by normal standards. When stuff did bomb financially, like the The Wiz, it still won awards, and he even apparently got a good performance out of Vin Diesel (OK, the film bombed, but the reviews weren't bad).

    His record from 1971 to 1982 is remarkable. The Anderson Tapes, The Offence, Serpico, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Equus, The Wiz, Prince of the City, Deathtrap, The Verdict. Even the ones I hadn't heard of from that period, such as Child Play, Loving Molly and Just Tell Me What You Want sound interesting. I might track down some of his less popular films, particularly the later ones, such as Power and Critical Condition. Thanks for mentioning him, because there are load of films I've either never seen, or havn't seen in a long time - time to check them out!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    804
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by asmithee View Post
    ....And...Sidney Lumet...did this man EVER make a bad movie?
    I think of him as a very talented journeyman.

    He made lots of movies in Britain, hired lots of British talent and he made lots of 'high-cultural' movies.

    But he also made lots of other movies with uninteresting subject matter and I'm mystified as to whether he had any particular 'personality' or ethos.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    124
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    Totally agree
    But you're forgetting some of the earlier classics...12 Angry Men, The Pawnbroker, Fail Safe...and I kind of liked his last movie Before The Devil Knows You Are dead...bleak and depressing, but absorbing and a fascinating watch.

    Personally, My all time faves are The Verdict and Prince Of The City. The latter a kind of updated, expanded Serpico, but still based on a true story and an incredible, never bettered performance from Treat Williams. And The Verdict...well, its a masterpiece...apart from Newman, you have James Mason, Milo O'Shea, Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling, Lindsey Crouse...and even Bruce Willis!

  5. #5
    Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    35
    Liked
    0 times
    Agree, it's a brilliant film, superb ensemble cast, great direction and cinematography. Woody Allen includes it in his top 15 American films.

    This year is the 50th anniversary of it's release and the article below pays tribute to the film.

    It includes some rare stills and details on the location/ set:

    The Hill 50th Anniversary Tribute

    Neil Hendry
    Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry
    Last edited by Neil Hendry; 19-06-15 at 09:23 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK eyeloveTV's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    454
    Liked
    0 times
    A great 50th anniversary tribute article on your website Neil. Some great photo's, film memorabilia, location info, and behind the scenes photo's. Your website has become a very comprehensive mine of information.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,636
    Liked
    7 times
    I am reading the biog of Hendry right now.Good book.Author believes that this was probably the height of his film career.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,903
    Liked
    23 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Hendry View Post
    Agree, it's a brilliant film, superb ensemble cast, great direction and cinematography. Woody Allen includes it in his top 15 American films.

    This year is the 50th anniversary of it's release and the article below pays tribute to the film.

    It includes some rare stills and details on the location/ set:

    The Hill 50th Anniversary Tribute

    Neil Hendry
    Editor, Official Website of Ian Hendry
    I'm going to stoke up controversy again I expect by ascertaining that The Hill is a British film in its style and nature and by the fact that the selling points are British people-the cast (except for a few) and the cinematographer was Oswald Morris. Unless the director (Sidney Lumet who did a sterling job though) was British also, in my opinion was a guest director. I speak for the British people at the time-and now-who spent their money at their box-offices who felt this picture in their eyes was in a tradition of British film-making without comparison.

    We can exchange The Hill for "Bullitt". British in no way that exchange between mise-en-scene and American as-it-was, but Peter Yates was one of our British best. Discuss lol.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,128
    Liked
    9 times
    who spent their money at their box-offices who felt this picture in their eyes was in a tradition of British film-making without comparison
    IMDB lists it as a UK production, with a largely British cast, but of course it was made by MGM/Seven Arts (US), with an American director and on location in Spain (and Borehamwood). Perhaps there is enough quality to go round! Frankly, whats a British film has caused many an argument (and possibly the occasional head exploding), not to mention a fair amount of thought on the part of the tax authories. Why worry?

    I think of him as a very talented journeyman.........But he also made lots of other movies with uninteresting subject matter
    Ouch! Journeyman can be defined as 'any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.' In looking at Lumet's track record throughout the 1970's (dont worry, I hadn't forgotten the 1960's films - who can forget films like Failsafe?), its not only the quality which stands out, but its the consistant critical and box-office success. His 14 films were nominated for no fewer than 44 Oscars over 31 years, and although he should have won a lot more (The Verdict got nominated for 5, but ended up with nada), and his films are all over the AFI's various top 100 lists. Yes, Prince of the City and some others didn't make money, but they still got Oscar nominated.

    On the other hand, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and Serpico all made serious money. From 1971 until 1982 he made 14 films, which is pretty good going. 7 made either decent or a lot of money. Thats not a bad score for 1970's Hollywood (or today), and certainly when making drama films. Even those which flopped were at least decent efforts, and in the case of Equus, Prince of the City and The Offence, are recognised today as classics.

    You may not like the various subject matter of his films - they are generally challenging social dramas, with The Offence, Equus and Serpico on very few peoples lists of light viewing. But they are great films, and its difficult to see the subject matter as uninteresting. Dog Day Afternoon is about a bank robbery that goes wrong, ends up as a siege and hostage situation, and where the crowd end up cheering the robber as he shout 'Attica, Attica'. One of Pacino's characters apparent reasons for robbing the bank is to pay for his 'wifes' sex reassignment surgery to become a woman. You might not like it, but thats certainly interesting!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Australia IlllIIllllIIii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    804
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    ...Ouch! .....
    I don't consider being called a 'Journeyman' as an insult.

    William Wyler made some of the most satisfying American films of his century but I still think of him as a extremely talented journeyman. He wasn't a Wilder or a Hitchcock.

    I'd much prefer a highly competent journeyman such as Stephen Frears or Tom Hooper over the overly-gloomy, over-praised so-called "auteurs" like Mike Leigh, Terence Davies, Lindsay Anderson, Paul Cox etc, etc.


    But getting back to The Hill; I saw it years ago and thinking as it finished 'What am I supposed to be feeling? Is it just a study of Staff Sergeant Williams as an individual psychopath? Or is he symbol of something or other?.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: England Nakke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    256
    Liked
    0 times
    The full film used to be on YouTube for years, and some good parts of it and the film itself pops up there every now and then. I used to watch the final 10-12 minutes or so, absolutely riveting.

    "Roberts. Roberts! You'd be lost! LOST! If there weren't anyone shouting orders at you!"

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    124
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Nakke View Post
    The full film used to be on YouTube for years, and some good parts of it and the film itself pops up there every now and then. I used to watch the final 10-12 minutes or so, absolutely riveting.

    "Roberts. Roberts! You'd be lost! LOST! If there weren't anyone shouting orders at you!"

    Agreed...the last 10 mins or so is one of the most intense things I have ever seen. It's not fair to spoil it, but it's a truly gut - wrenching ending.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    124
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    IMDB lists it as a UK production, with a largely British cast, but of course it was made by MGM/Seven Arts (US), with an American director and on location in Spain (and Borehamwood). Perhaps there is enough quality to go round! Frankly, whats a British film has caused many an argument (and possibly the occasional head exploding), not to mention a fair amount of thought on the part of the tax authories. Why worry?



    Ouch! Journeyman can be defined as 'any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.' In looking at Lumet's track record throughout the 1970's (dont worry, I hadn't forgotten the 1960's films - who can forget films like Failsafe?), its not only the quality which stands out, but its the consistant critical and box-office success. His 14 films were nominated for no fewer than 44 Oscars over 31 years, and although he should have won a lot more (The Verdict got nominated for 5, but ended up with nada), and his films are all over the AFI's various top 100 lists. Yes, Prince of the City and some others didn't make money, but they still got Oscar nominated.

    On the other hand, Murder on the Orient Express, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and Serpico all made serious money. From 1971 until 1982 he made 14 films, which is pretty good going. 7 made either decent or a lot of money. Thats not a bad score for 1970's Hollywood (or today), and certainly when making drama films. Even those which flopped were at least decent efforts, and in the case of Equus, Prince of the City and The Offence, are recognised today as classics.

    You may not like the various subject matter of his films - they are generally challenging social dramas, with The Offence, Equus and Serpico on very few peoples lists of light viewing. But they are great films, and its difficult to see the subject matter as uninteresting. Dog Day Afternoon is about a bank robbery that goes wrong, ends up as a siege and hostage situation, and where the crowd end up cheering the robber as he shout 'Attica, Attica'. One of Pacino's characters apparent reasons for robbing the bank is to pay for his 'wifes' sex reassignment surgery to become a woman. You might not like it, but thats certainly interesting!
    DDA is a classic, and I am sure a lot of people forget the central premise regarding Pacino's love for John Cazale's character, and the notion of pulling off the robbery to pay for his sex-change operation. Risky stuff for it's time, but I think the film was just do damned good no one really cared too much.

    Serpico is still an absolute classic, but I also love Prince Of The City, a very similar story but also based on a true story. It's like an epic version of Serpico, and Treat Williams never bettered that performance. He looked like he really lived that part.

    But my all-time favourite Lumet? The Verdict. One of the best courtroom drama's ever made...and what a cast, Newman, James Mason, Milo O'Shea, Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,128
    Liked
    9 times
    Treat Williams never bettered that performance. He looked like he really lived that part.
    What happened to Treat Williams? He has a pretty decent part in The Eagle Has Landed in 1976, and by 1981 he's the lead in Prince of the City and The Pursuit of D.B Cooper. By 1984 he's in Once Upon a Time in America, but then its a whole lot of of TV movies amongst the films, until the next time I spot him, he's in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Always worked, good actor, and good looking - perhaps there just wasn't the breaks.

    Much the same can be said of William Atherton. I have a film annual from the 1970's which has a whole thing about him and how he was going to be a big dramatic star. He'd had a big part in Sugarland Express, then The Hindenburg and The Day of the Locusts, then Looking for Mr Goodbar. Now, he's been very much in demand, and has a huge amount of experience in stage, TV and films, and lots of awards, but its slightly annoying that a very talented actor is best known for playing a jerk in Ghostbusters, and playing a jerk in two Die Hard movies.

    The Verdict is superb, and its a shame that its 5 Oscar nominations didn't yield anything, but it was that sort of year, with Gandhi bulldozing its way through the awards. You also had Missing, ET, Das Boot, Sophies Choice (not nominated for best picture!), Frances, Diner, Tootsie, etc. Blade Runner got almost no nominations (2) and lost out to ET for visual effects and Gandhi for Art Direction. Perhaps the next year The Verdict and Newman would have stormed it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    124
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeB View Post
    What happened to Treat Williams? He has a pretty decent part in The Eagle Has Landed in 1976, and by 1981 he's the lead in Prince of the City and The Pursuit of D.B Cooper. By 1984 he's in Once Upon a Time in America, but then its a whole lot of of TV movies amongst the films, until the next time I spot him, he's in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Always worked, good actor, and good looking - perhaps there just wasn't the breaks.

    Much the same can be said of William Atherton. I have a film annual from the 1970's which has a whole thing about him and how he was going to be a big dramatic star. He'd had a big part in Sugarland Express, then The Hindenburg and The Day of the Locusts, then Looking for Mr Goodbar. Now, he's been very much in demand, and has a huge amount of experience in stage, TV and films, and lots of awards, but its slightly annoying that a very talented actor is best known for playing a jerk in Ghostbusters, and playing a jerk in two Die Hard movies.

    The Verdict is superb, and its a shame that its 5 Oscar nominations didn't yield anything, but it was that sort of year, with Gandhi bulldozing its way through the awards. You also had Missing, ET, Das Boot, Sophies Choice (not nominated for best picture!), Frances, Diner, Tootsie, etc. Blade Runner got almost no nominations (2) and lost out to ET for visual effects and Gandhi for Art Direction. Perhaps the next year The Verdict and Newman would have stormed it.
    Agree about Williams...POTC showed the mans superb acting ability, but I think he was just unlucky, didn't get the breaks.

    I also agree about Atherton, he was excellent as the na�ve, hyper, nervous Clovis Poplin in Spielberg's much underrated Sugarland Express (and Goldie Hawn's part in that movie was a revelation...shame it is usually only remembered as a car-chase comedy, which it most certainly is not).. And he was very good in the other movies you mention, and showed a good range. Yet somehow he seemed to get pigeonholed into officious, pompous types, and I think that is where his career started to stall. Shame.

    So many great actors out there that have had their promising careers derailed by being pigeonholed or typecast...shame.

  16. #16
    Member Country: Bulgaria
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    62
    Liked
    0 times
    Thanks for reading the book. Please leave a review on Amazon. All comments welcome, complimentary or otherwise - but hopefully the former.

Similar Threads

  1. The Hill (1965)
    By David Brent in forum Your Favourite British Films
    Replies: 68
    Last Post: 28-07-15, 10:12 AM
  2. Sidney Lumet RIP
    By will.15 in forum Obituaries
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 16-09-14, 04:24 PM
  3. Ann Sidney
    By wellendcanons in forum Actors and Actresses
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 05-03-13, 12:26 AM
  4. Sidney Gilliat
    By HitchcockScholar in forum Directors and Film Crew
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-03-11, 09:28 PM
  5. Child's Play / Sidney Lumet / 1972
    By moonfleet in forum Ask a Film Question
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-11-10, 01:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts