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Two English cartographers visit the small South Wales village of Ffynnon Garw, to measure what is claimed to be the "first mountain inside of Wales". It's 1917, and the war in Europe continues. The villagers are very proud of their "mountain", and are understandably disappointed and furious to find that it is in fact a "hill". Not to be outwitted by a rule (and the Englishmen who enforce it), the villagers set out to make their hill into a mountain, but to do so they must keep the English from leaving, before the job is done. Written by
When Williams the Petroleum breaks a piece of the Englishmen's car and pretends to discover it, he says he doesn't know the English name for it, but in Welsh it's called a "beth-yn-galw." "Beth-yn-galw" translates more or less to "whatchamacallit". See more »
Garrad says that he has been surveying for 25 years but at one point mentions surveying in 1888, which would have been 28 years before. See more »
For some odd reason, lost in the mists of time, there's an extraordinary shortage of last names in Wales. Almost everyone seems to be a Williams, a Jones, or an Evans. To avoid widespread confusion, Welsh people often add an occupation to a name. For example, there was Williams the Petroleum, and Williams the Death. There was Jones the Bottle, and Jones the Prize Cabbage... which described his hobby and his personality. Evans the Bacon, and Evans the End of the World. But one man's...
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Wonderfully light little comedy with an eye on Ealing
In 1919 the first world war is raging but in a small Welsh village two Englishmen arrive to measure the village's mountain. When a pre-assessment reveals a prediction of below 1000ft the villagers are worried but are incensed when the official measurement is 20 feet shy of `mountain' and they find they now have a `hill' instead. They plot to keep the men in the village until they can pile enough earth on top of their hill to make it over 1000ft and win back their mountain.
This film starts strong with a great sense of humour that it can't quite sustain but is enough to win you over and get into the story. The romance doesn't come into the film until he second half but the whole film is very gentle and winning so that it all just flows together so very effortlessly. The humour at the top is a little sharper and it gets progressively slighter and mushier as it goes but it still works well. Anyone who loves the Ealing comedies should enjoy this, as it appears to aspire to that mould.
I really dislike Grant and find his whole stuttering, blinking act to be annoying most of the time Mickey Blue Eyes is an example of the sort of performance that makes me want to give up hope for cinema. However here it works dammit! He does his usual stuff but it fits perfectly because his character has no malice and doesn't go against the stuttering etc. The support cast is rich with humour. Fitzgerald likewise keeps it all fizzy and superficial as the tone requires and Meaney is suitably funny. Griffith is very good and Hart is a surprising cameo even if his character is a little too serious for the piece.
Overall this is very slight and has a great feel of whimsy about it. If you're not in the mood for this sort of thing then it's light nature may annoy you but it was just the ticket for me and I really enjoyed it.
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