A veteran comes home from the Korean War to the mountains and takes over the family moonshining business. He has to battle big-city gangsters who are trying to take over the business and the police who are trying to put him in prison.
Captain Wade Hunnicutt is the wealthiest and most powerful citizen in his Texan town; he is also a notorious womanizer, which has turned his wife Hannah against him. She has brought up their son Theron to be dependent upon her; but as he reaches adulthood, Hunnicutt insists on taking over his upbringing, initiating him in hunting and other masculine pursuits, under the watchful eye of Rafe, Hunnicutt's loyal employee. But Theron's new lifestyle leads him into a love-affair with a local girl, and thence to his learning things about his parents that were previously hidden from him.Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
Theron is shooting cans off a fence for target practice. However, every time he hits a can, it shoots straight up in the air instead of backwards. In addition, little puffs of bluish smoke are visible - probably indicating a small charge of gunpowder was used to propel the cans. See more »
Home From The Hill though it is located in Texas has the look and feel of those southern stories made so popular back in the day by William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams. This is not the Texas of say Giant, this is East Texas which bares quite a lot of resemblance to the delta country of Louisiana and Mississippi. And Robert Mitchum's Wade Hunnicutt is not quite the same kind of local patriarch as Rock Hudson's Bick Benedict.
Whatever else Bick Benedict was he was certainly loyal to Elizabeth Taylor. Whereas Robert Mitchum's been absolutely notorious for sowing his wild oats around the whole region. Eleanor Parker stays married to him, more for the sake of propriety than anything else, and for their son George Hamilton.
Some of Mitchum's good old boy drinking buddies like Guinn Williams and Denver Pyle send young Hamilton on that southern tradition, a futile snipe hunt. That little prank actually sets the whole plot of the film into gear. It's supposed to be women who gossip, but these good old boys also with some of their locker room gossip that Everette Sloane overhears that sets the climax of the film going.
Robert Mitchum is cast in one of his best roles and it's ironic that he was a second choice for Clark Gable. I doubt that Gable could have done better with this part. The always dependable Eleanor Parker matches Mitchum all the way with her performance as the suppressed wife.
George Hamilton and George Peppard got very good roles in Home from the Hill in the salad days of their respective careers.
Though Home from the Hill does veer into soap opera it's held together primarily by director Vincent Minnelli and by a great cast he assembled.
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