7.9/10
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96 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.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Ray Rigby (screenplay), Ray Rigby (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:
Sean Connery ... Joe Roberts
Harry Andrews ... R.S.M. Wilson
Ian Bannen ... Harris
Alfred Lynch ... George Stevens
Ossie Davis ... Jacko King
Roy Kinnear ... Monty Bartlett
Jack Watson ... Jock McGrath
Ian Hendry ... Staff Sergeant Williams
Michael Redgrave ... The Medical Officer (as Sir Michael Redgrave)
Norman Bird ... Commandant
Neil McCarthy ... Burton
Howard Goorney Howard Goorney ... Walters
Tony Caunter 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1965 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Haufen toller Hunde See more »

Filming Locations:

Málaga, Andalucía, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the film's lack of commercial success, Sean Connery considered it a personal triumph, as it led to more challenging acting roles in the future. See more »

Goofs

When the five new prisoners are ordered to empty their kits, a camera shadow is clearly visible passing over them on the left edge of the screen. See more »

Quotes

Monty Bartlett: You've got it downstaris, mate, but we've got it upstairs. Live up trees, you blokes do. I seen a film about his tribe once. It was called 'Tarazn and the Ape Man.' When Charlie Blogs found you lot, you was walking around starkers, living on monkey nuts.
Jacko King: So this is a member of the great white race. And there's plenty more like Monty. We just call them "white trash."
Jock McGrath: Now look, I don't go for that expression "white trash."
Jacko King: What's Staff Williams?
Jock McGrath: Belt up! I don't want to hear about Williams.
Jacko King: That,...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
AN UNKNOWN CLASSIC
8 December 2001 | by DD-931See all my reviews

I can't think of a film less appreciated than this one. The tragedy of THE HILL began with its horribly botched release in 1965 - a textbook example of studio stupidity. On the other side of the equation, film purists who were worshipping at the alter of goofs like Godard's "Alphaville" turned up their noses at this movie because it starred the "lightweight" commercial actor Sean Connery. Jesus wept.

It is absolutely amazing that this movie is so uncompromisingly British while being directed by the so-called "New York" director Sidney Lumet. The man's a genius. And less you wonder, I lived for three years in England (1966-69) and am a World War II buff, so I have reason to testify to its authenticity. And for Sean Connery, at the height of his popularity (He was the Number One box office draw the year this movie came out), to play the character of SGT. Joe Roberts, sans toupee, and without the typical "movie star out" for his character - see the movie and compare it to THE LAST CASTLE, and you'll know what I mean - is nothing short of stunning.

Can you tell I love this movie? There's not a false moment in it. And the acting! Besides Connery, there are great performances by Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Ian Hendry, Ossie Davis...and oh yeah, every other person in the cast. Is it hard to understand the accents sometimes? Sure. But it's nothing that can't be overcome by simply paying attention when you watch this film.

And what does this movie say about the military mindset, the lust for power, racism, the duality of heroism and cowardice, the dangers of unquestioning loyalty, and more? A whole helluva lot more than 99% of the other movies - and theatrical plays - that you'll ever see.

I'll just finish by saying you are missing so much if you don't see this movie. You'll come out of it seeing things a little differently than you ever did before. And that's all you can possibly ask from a movie.

Come on, people. Let's get in the votes on THE HILL to get it into the IMDB Top 250 movie list. My vote: a 10.


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