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Thread: The Hill (1965)

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    A tragic, brutal and disturbing story about the running of a British Army Military Prison, set in the heat of the Libyan desert, circa WW2.

    It is all the more shocking to hear that such military prisons and indeed punishments such as "The Hill" did exist.

    Incredible performances from a strong cast including - Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Ian Hendry and Sir Michael Redgrave.

    Loses nothing for being in black & white and the lack of colour actually enhances the gripping nature of the story.

    Not a light film to watch but it does deserve repeated viewings.

    An underated film that deserves to appear in any Best of Britain film list.



    Dave.

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    I don't know if there's a Technicolor version out but I think that b/w is much more effective for movies like "The Hill".

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    Yeah, a bit like "colourising" Laurel & Hardy - just doesn't work at all (IMO)

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    (David Brent @ Jan 30 2006, 01:41 AM)

    A tragic, brutal and disturbing story about the running of a British Army Military Prison, set in the heat of the Libyan desert, circa WW2.

    It is all the more shocking to hear that such military prisons and indeed punishments such as "The Hill" did exist.

    Incredible performances from a strong cast including - Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Ian Hendry and Sir Michael Redgrave.

    Loses nothing for being in black & white and the lack of colour actually enhances the gripping nature of the story.

    Not a light film to watch but it does deserve repeated viewings.

    An underated film that deserves to appear in any Best of Britain film list.



    Dave.
    This is a classic and you can say what you like about Sir Sean but Bond was not his crown, he I think was your typical Angry Young Man, and the role he played must be rated as one of his best outside of the Offence. The punishments dished out in the Hill and the mentality of the MPs to service men who were classed as cowards is still prevelent in the military today. I refer to problems in Iraq, Deepcut etc, however bullys will always make it through the net, its the power of the character of individuals such as Sean's character to fight and to quoat Seaton "Dont let the B******s grind you down. If it had been made in colour it would't have had the same impact as in monochrome.

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    (arty-dave @ Jan 31 2006, 06:11 AM)

    Yeah, a bit like "colourising" Laurel & Hardy - just doesn't work at all (IMO)
    Laurel & Hardy did make one or two features in color and also a short but I also prefer them in b/w.



    On a commentary on DVD by Criterion of "The Third Man" Orson Welles was quoted as calling black and white an actor's friend, that you concentrated on the performance and weren't distracted by the details you'd see in color. I'd certainly hate to see "The Third Man" in color and just hope somebody doesn't have the bright idea of remaking it. As good as it is, it is bound in its time and place and I don't think it could be recreated now. I could be wrong and that just might be nostalgia talking but I do believe it's one of a kind.

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    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    (nellybly @ Feb 13 2006, 09:16 PM)

    Laurel & Hardy did make one or two features in color and also a short but I also prefer them in b/w.



    On a commentary on DVD by Criterion of "The Third Man" Orson Welles was quoted as calling black and white an actor's friend, that you concentrated on the performance and weren't distracted by the details you'd see in color. I'd certainly hate to see "The Third Man" in color and just hope somebody doesn't have the bright idea of remaking it. As good as it is, it is bound in its time and place and I don't think it could be recreated now. I could be wrong and that just might be nostalgia talking but I do believe it's one of a kind.
    It can be done, although it's difficult and takes some skillful work, to remake an old B&W film as a colour film. The real sin is when they do things like "colorize" a B&W film.



    B&W photography (& cinematography) is very different from colour photography.

    The photographer is looking for quite different things to make up the image. It's not just a matter of the absence or presence of colour.



    Steve

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    (David Brent @ Jan 30 2006, 01:41 AM)

    A tragic, brutal and disturbing story about the running of a British Army Military Prison, set in the heat of the Libyan desert, circa WW2.

    It is all the more shocking to hear that such military prisons and indeed punishments such as "The Hill" did exist.

    Incredible performances from a strong cast including - Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Ian Hendry and Sir Michael Redgrave.

    Loses nothing for being in black & white and the lack of colour actually enhances the gripping nature of the story.

    Not a light film to watch but it does deserve repeated viewings.

    An underated film that deserves to appear in any Best of Britain film list.



    Dave.
    Hi David



    For me one of the most fascinating developments unfolding in “The Hill” is the gradual decent into insanity of the late great Roy Kinnear’s character.

    This was superb acting from a man known to most only in comedy roles.



    The unbearable heat is also all too clear in many scenes during this gritty and at times difficult to watch film. Great performances by all.



    Regards piroflip

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    (piroflip @ Feb 14 2006, 11:29 AM)

    Hi David



    For me one of the most fascinating developments unfolding in “The Hill” is the gradual decent into insanity of the late great Roy Kinnear’s character.

    This was superb acting from a man known to most only in comedy roles.



    The unbearable heat is also all too clear in many scenes during this gritty and at times difficult to watch film. Great performances by all.



    Regards piroflip
    Piroflip, it sounds like you are describing Alfred Lynch's character, not Kinnear's.

    Incidentally, when I was in Spain last July with friends we drove down south to Almeria. I think the area is Carboneras. The film was shot just yards from the beach. Using frame grabs from the film where you can see the mountain outline we were able to approximate roughly the location where the camp was built.

    Before I travelled to Spain I received an e-mail from Sidney Lumet's secretary in response to an enquiry to where the film was shot. Lumet couldn't remember, but I eventually found out through a friend who asked the camera operator on the film.

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    (Stephen Pickard @ Feb 15 2006, 04:41 AM)

    drove down south to Almeria. I think the area is Carboneras.
    Was there a couple of years ago and had no idea The Hill was shot there.

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    (Stephen Pickard @ Feb 15 2006, 04:41 AM)

    Piroflip, it sounds like you are describing Alfred Lynch's character, not Kinnear's.

    Incidentally, when I was in Spain last July with friends we drove down south to Almeria. I think the area is Carboneras. The film was shot just yards from the beach. Using frame grabs from the film where you can see the mountain outline we were able to approximate roughly the location where the camp was built.

    Before I travelled to Spain I received an e-mail from Sidney Lumet's secretary in response to an enquiry to where the film was shot. Lumet couldn't remember, but I eventually found out through a friend who asked the camera operator on the film.
    thanks Stephen, you are of course right.



    I think that they were all a little dotty by the end of the film though.





    regards piroflip

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    (arty-dave @ Feb 15 2006, 08:57 AM)

    Was there a couple of years ago and had no idea The Hill was shot there
    The studio interiors ofcourse were shot at the MGM-Elstree Studios in Borehamwood in late 1964.

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    (piroflip @ Feb 15 2006, 09:51 AM)

    thanks Stephen, you are of course right.



    I think that they were all a little dotty by the end of the film though.

    regards piroflip
    Thanks, and yes I agree.



    If you study any high shots in "The Hill" - which are few - there is a specific range of mountains you can see which are also featured in other films. For example the Akaba and train sequences in "Lawrence of Arabia" was filmed in an area not far from there and if you look carefully you will see the outline of the same mountains off in the distance.

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    Harry Fleetwood Andrews (great full name) is fascinating as the tough talking Regimental Sgt. Major Bert Wilson. A scary authorative character, played a treat by Andrews.

    Yet in real life Andrews was the long time "partner" of actor Basil Hoskins.

    Hard to imagine as you watch his performance in "The Hill".



    Dave.

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    (David Brent @ Feb 16 2006, 05:24 AM)

    Harry Fleetwood Andrews (great full name) is fascinating as the tough talking Regimental Sgt. Major Bert Wilson. A scary authorative character, played a treat by Andrews.

    Yet in real life Andrews was the long time "partner" of actor Basil Hoskins.

    Hard to imagine as you watch his performance in "The Hill".



    Dave.
    That's Acting for you, but dont be supprised Ian McKenna as Gandalf is very convincing. Why do you think a gay actor is nothing more than he portrays, he is still human regardless of who he loves.

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    (Maltman @ Feb 17 2006, 07:28 PM)

    That's Acting for you, but dont be supprised Ian McKenna as Gandalf is very convincing. Why do you think a gay actor is nothing more than he portrays, he is still human regardless of who he loves.
    Reminds me of a panel cartoon I saw in a magazine years ago. Shows an actor watching himself onscreen doing a love scene with a woman and saying "Well, what do you know? I _can_ act!"

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    (arty-dave @ Feb 15 2006, 08:57 AM)

    Was there a couple of years ago and had no idea The Hill was shot there :huh:
    Hi Arty-dave. One small correction. The area where "The Hill" was shot is Cabo De Gata, not Carboneras - which is not far away - but is still in Almeria.

    I think Warner Bros are releasing this film on dvd region 1 next year (2007).

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    name='Stephen Pickard']Hi Arty-dave. One small correction. The area where "The Hill" was shot is Cabo De Gata, not Carboneras - which is not far away - but is still in Almeria.

    I think Warner Bros are releasing this film on dvd region 1 next year (2007).




    About time too!

    Any more details? Let's hope they do a good job.

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    Watched this film again last week. Still my fav I have to say

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    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Its a great film with great Brit cast and New York based American director Sidney Lumet at the helm. Lumet loved to make films in his native New York, (Serpico) and worked with Connery there on "The Anderson Tapes" If you fancied a heavy evening in front of the TV ,you could always view a double bill of "The Hill" with Lumet's other collaboration with Connery "The Offence"... Or for a lighter viewing experience try " Murder On the Orient Express"!! And for a really good laugh watch Dustin Hoffman playing Connery's son in Lumet's "Family Business", possibly less than a ten year age gap between Hoffman and Connery but then Hoffman did play a student aged 40 in "Marathon Man"....

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    The Hill (1965) Sidney Lumet



    While reading through the paper the other I day I was reminded of Sidnet Lumet's film The Hill a very tense and superb example of hard Imperial style army life - the matter of which I talk about is the death of a soldier in 2006 from what was said "exhausting physical activity", this is known as beasting.



    BBC NEWS | England | Wiltshire | Soldier 'died after punishment'



    The Hill is about a bunch of insubordinate soldiers being punished at a army camp by way by being made to climb again and again a artificial hill built in the middle of the camp - The Camp is situated in the Libyan desert which has reached temperatures of 57.8 �C (136.0 �F), generally accepted as the highest recorded naturally occurring air temperature reached on Earth.



    Sidnet Lumet is a very American director and has made such classics as 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon yet we find him here bivouacked in the desert with a bunch of British actors some of which he would reunite with in another British film The Offence - and making a very British and uncompromising film. Starring in the film is Sean Connery and along with The Offence both are possible Connery's finest efforts on film.



    Connery plays Joe Roberts a man of integrity but of change - he sees a failing empire and the wind of change sweeping through it unlike Harry Andrews in a career best as the barking mad R.S.M. Bert Wilson who protects the sadistic Williams (Ian Hendry in another career best ) his right hand man who resembles a pit-bull terrier more than a human being. We also have Connery's three other insubordinate colleagues played by Roy Kinnear,Jack Watson and the brilliant Ossie Davis as the black Pvt. Jacko King - to tell you anything about Davis' character would spoil the treat of a very assured and paradoxical part of the film. We also have Ian Bannen as the sympathetic Harris and that heavyweight of the British screen Michael Redgarve as a cowardly Medical Officer who turns a blind eye to the camps high ranking officers cruelty and bigotry.



    The Hill if anything is a moral character study of men under intense pressure and whoever can keep their head when all about them men are losing theirs will survive this tortorous examination - beware this film is not for the faint hearted but it is a marvellously crafted film and easily one of my favourites.



    Simon

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