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Olivia de Havilland,
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Much to the consternation of the local townsfolk, the very rich Copper John Brodrick begins to develop a copper mine on Hungry Hill. He imports Cornish workers hoping to eventually entice the locals into working for him. His son, known as Greyhound John, isn't so sure anything will endear them to the locals. The opposition to the Brodricks is lead by the Donovan family and he gives them fair warning to stay off the property. When one of the protesters is killed while trying to help himself to some of the copper, the townspeople attack the facilities resulting in a great many more deaths - including one of Brodrick's sons, Henry - when the gunpowder store explodes. It marks the true beginning of a feud that will last for decades. Brodrick rebuilds his facilities and Greyhound John returns from London where he is studying the law after his sister tells him Fanny Rosa has also returned. A cave-in at the mine kills another member of the Donovan family but the younger John contracts ... Written by
Adapted from a Dahpnee DeMaurier novel about a hundred year feud between Irish families Hungry Hill suffers from trying to cover too much ground in just over an hour and half. Working it's way through three generations Hill's cast, save for family patriarch Copper John Broderick (Cecil Parker), remains constantly in tragic transition with characters barely developed before disappearing for the duration.
Copper John brings employment to Hungry Hill by opening a mine but the resentment of the townspeople led by the Donovans runs deep. Brodrick can be stern and firm in family and business matters but the head of the Donovan clan is even more implacable and it leads to a mining disasters. Years pass and the hatred ebbs and flows as Brodrick loses children and grandsons assume leadership roles in the company while the Donovans stew in their juices and almost become part of the family.
Hungry Hill never really builds up much steam. For the most part it remains disjointed and lifeless with the stubborn patriarchs facing off first followed by the next generation along with an ironic romantic twist that leads to more tragedy. Brian Desmond Hurst's direction fails to ignite passion in scenes or cast as well as make much sense of the feud by forgoing detail in favor of passing years, leaping ahead without finishing up and leaving gaping holes in the plot. Making matters worse censorship further obfuscates the plot regarding a tryst between a Donovan and Brodrick that Hurst's ham fisted direction deals with through clumsy innuendo.
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