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
The tote board for bets on the hill's height prominently shows one bettor's name as "Dai Bread." Dai Bread is a character in Welshman Dylan Thomas' iconic play for voices "Under Milkwood." See more »
The layout of Reginald's hands changes during his morning conversation in the pub with Betty. 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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A gentle, affectionate portrait of a village in Wales
This film is a gentle, affectionate portrait of a village in Wales, its people and its Mountain. Within the village, there are long standing feuds and traditions. Then, two Englishmen arrive with a job to do and history is made. It may or may not be based on a real Welsh village. The writer and many of the names in the credits have Welsh sounding names. The scenery is beautiful and the characters are delightfully observed. It is a piece set at the time of the First World War. It has echoes of Under Milk Wood, of The Shooting Party, and of Clochemerle. Kenneth Griffith was memorable in Clochemerle and plays the Reverend Jones in this film. At first, Hugh Grant seems to be playing yet another floppy haired, romantic hero, but as the film unfolds, there is greater depth to his character. The harsh reality of mining is simply portrayed and we are reminded of the heightened need for coal in wartime. The Great War itself casts a shadow over the whole village, making the film poignant and touching.
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