7.9/10
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87 user 26 critic

The Hill (1965)

Approved | | Drama, War | 11 June 1965 (France)
In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.

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(screenplay), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
Alfred Lynch ...
...
...
Jack Watson ...
...
...
The Medical Officer (as Sir Michael Redgrave)
...
Commandant
Neil McCarthy ...
Burton
Howard Goorney ...
Walters
Tony Caunter ...
Martin
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Storyline

WWII, in a British disciplinary camp located in the Libyan desert. Prisoners are persecuted by Staff Sergeant Williams, who made them climb again and again, under the heavy sun, an artificial hill built right in the middle of the camp. Harris is a more human and compassionate guard, but the chief, S.M. Wilson, refuses to disown his subordinate Williams. One day, five new prisoners arrive. Each of them will deal in a different way with the authority and Williams' ferocity. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They went up like men! They came down like animals!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 June 1965 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Haufen toller Hunde  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several West Indian actors working in Britain protested against the casting of Ossie Davis, an American, in a West Indian role. See more »

Goofs

Late in the movie, RSM Wilson circles the broken Tpr Roberts delivering a motivational barracking, the camera following Wilson through 360 degrees.

The sequence is preceded by a long shot of Wilson and Roberts surrounded by ten yards of empty desert.

As Wilson utters the words "You'll double, drill, do anything...", the camera pan reveals Sgt Williams standing a yard or two away, and Sgt Harris alone at the medical hut doorway in the distance.

After dealing with Roberts, Wilson turns to face the medical hut doorway, where Williams and Harris are standing side by side.

Wilson then summons Williams, who trots over to assume the position he was just seen in. See more »

Quotes

Regimental Sergeant Major Bert Wilson: I AM the Q Ar Ohs!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sean Connery 1971: The BBC Interview (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Connery at his finest
24 June 2000 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Life in a British Military prison somewhere in the Lybian desert, at a time when national service (conscription) in the UK was still in force up until the mid 60s.

A superb film from Lumet that involves all sorts of political, social & personal issues. Clearly the most defined is one of Social Class between the officers & the grunts on the ground. Although Lumet doesn't make this distinction blatently obvious he makes up for it with subtle hints that are made known between Connery & Andrews in particular.

Of course another issue is one of national identity. Britain was no longer the superpower it was by the 60s and her empire was being lost through independence. Meaning that the British forces, and the army in particular, was losing its place in the world of Service & honour to the Throne.

Andrews represents a man of tradition, honour, breeding & standing. He is the unofficial overlord of the camp where he tries hard to reinforce those rules not only to the prisoners but also to his fellow officers.

While Connery represents the other side of the coin: a working class man with principles, but also a more objective man who can see the world has changed and that Britain is out of touch and is sickened by what he sees inside Andrews' camp.

But again, Lumet doesn't insult our intelligence by marking these distinctions with over the top violence. It is all cleverly interwoven throughout the film with a quality ending.

Connery has never been better, with the exception of perhaps The Untouchables and The Name of the Rose.

Andrews just takes the plaudits as the Sergeant caught in a timewarp, seeing his own little "empire" of Rules & Regulations crumble around him, and his efforts to maintain order at any cost.

In addition there is remarkable support from Ian Bannen, another Sergeant but younger and more human than his superior. Bannen is excellent as he tries to help the prisoners from Andrews' sadism but he too is soon found wanting.

Finally, there's Ossie Davis, who is a black prisoner proud to fight for his Queen & Country, and yet gets treated far worse by Andrews' & co simply because he is black.

Although Davis gives a very good performance, I'm always concerned that quite a few of his movie roles represent the racial aspect and how he deals with it. But nevertheless, he is excellent here.

A good film then, on a par with Full Metal Jacket. Tough, sweaty, loud, gripping!

****/******


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