Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : The Hill

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We open on some kind of military encampment in the desert. Various groups are going through various exercises and drills. We focus on one man climbing a makeshift “Hill” carrying a duffel bag. He’s either getting fit or being punished. He looks to be in some distress as he struggles to the top eventually collapsing before he does.

We are in a British military prison and see the arrival of five new prisoners. The prisoners are sent here for varying offences, none too major, mostly petty crimes. They will be disciplined then sent back to their units. We watch as the five new men are put through the paces and introduced to life at the camp. Drill and more drill in the desert heat. Basically the prison tries to break the men down with constant pressure and exercise. When a prisoner gets out of line they face the “Hill’ which both physically and mentally is a test to a man’s limits. Some break, some don’t, some die. We watch our five as they face this looming obstruction and the constant berating of the staff who are also at the breaking point.

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Sitting in the darkened theater, CB was swept up in this story of men being pushed to the limits in harsh conditions. Sidney Lumet directs the film (from a play by R.S. Allen and screenplay by Ray Rigby) and he makes a good one. Right from the start you can feel the constant pressure, the heat and hard conditions of the prison. You hear the sound of men drilling endlessly. He creates an environment that is believable. Shot in black and white by Oswald Morris, he captures Lumet’s vision.  Some very good dialogue. The performances are all top notch with all the roles being cast perfectly. So many of the portrayals standout.

Harry Andrews plays the major who runs the camp. He is all British military and sweats the role. Great performance by a man trying to live by the rule book.  Sean Connery is the main character (shares the screen time with the others) and the opposite to the Andrews role. Another case of the right actor for the role. Again Connery shows what a fine actor he is.

CB has one question, are you ready for a go at the “Hill”?

31 comments on “Movie : The Hill

  1. Sarca
    September 30, 2018

    CB, my friend, we watched the Big Red One with Lee Marvin – you see it? Another war flick that may be up your alley. Another one that made me think about you was Blackboard Jungle. Sidney Poitier and Glenn Ford. Black n white and awesome all over! Some good film action there…
    Also, my hubs has been reviewing some great Burt R. movies on his YouTube channel.
    take good care,

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      I know the film. I just watched a Lee film last night. I watch so many films from back when. Revisit certain ones over and over. Just watched ‘Double Indemnity’ again.
      Thanks for the heads up on ‘Mars. I checked it out and he does a fine job. Very professionally done. Plus he’s done his homework. I don’t leave comments on YouTube so pass onto to him that I dug his ‘Cape Fear’ and ‘Deliverance’ (one of CB’s first takes) takes. I’ll maybe stop by his page and leave a comment somewhere there. We might hav e some com on ground on the film side of things. Later Sarca.

      Like

  2. Jim S.
    September 30, 2018

    Haven’t seen this one, CB but Lumet has a heck of a resume: Twelve Angry Men, Network, Serpico, Fail Safe, Pawnbroker.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      Doc you are on top of your Sid stuff. The guy just outright made good films. I just did a take on his Anderson Tapes a while back. Everyone of those films you noted are worth a watch. He does a few others that I absolutely dig. Q&A was probably in CB’s opinion the best thing Nolte’s ever done. An all time favorite Character. You’d love it.
      The Hill is a real good film Doc. I usually don’t like plays adapted to the screen but this really works. Another one he did was ‘The Offence, also with Connery. The Doc knows his celluloid he’s not just a string bender.

      Like

      • Jim S.
        October 1, 2018

        String-bending first, film buff not too far behind. I am CB’s long-last cousin on his mother’s side twice removed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 1, 2018

        Cousin Doc. You are a certified “movie guy” for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. 1537
    September 30, 2018

    No thanks, I’d like to sit down in a nice comfy chair with a glass of something tasty please.

    Liked by 2 people

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      You (and CB) are exactly the kind of guy that the Hill was made for. If I was in the British military I would have been a permanent visitor to that exercise.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. keepsmealive
    October 1, 2018

    Wow. This looks and sounds fantastic. Never seen it but now I must.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      It’s a pretty strong film Books. Not too many week moments. Lumet and Connery hooked up for three very good films. This one, The Anderson Tapes and The Offence. Ian Bannen is in this one and The Offence also. Such a good actor. Hey thanks for dropping by for some celluloid talk.

      Like

      • keepsmealive
        October 1, 2018

        Now I have THREE films on my list, thanks! I’ll be stopping by more often. I’m clearing up some space so I can get back to reading blogs again…

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 1, 2018

        I know how you feel on getting to the backlog. It will be there when you’re ready with lots of good listening, reading and watching.

        Like

  5. J.
    October 1, 2018

    Never seen this one, CB. Can’t even say I was aware of it, so thanks for throwing it on the radar. I can tell I’ll enjoy this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      No wonder Connery got pissed of when all certain people wanted to talk about was Bond. The Guy had some really good films under his belt. This was one of them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        October 2, 2018

        Aye, that’s a kicker. This sounds brilliant and just the type of flick you can point at when your arguing that Connery was a great actor.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 2, 2018

        He has a lot to point at. That’s how lazy the mainstream press is and why old Sean didn’t have a lot of time for them. I totally get it. If you like it dark J, try ‘The Offence’. I think it’s his best work.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        October 2, 2018

        I think I’ve seen that one… cop? Batters a bad bad man when they catch him?

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 2, 2018

        Yes that’s the one. Ian Bannen and Trevor Howard are in it. Brilliant. I did a take on a scene from it a way back. Great portrayal of a cop losing his grip from all the pressures. Truthful performance by the big guy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        October 3, 2018

        Aye – that’s what Connery did best. Gritty and don’t give a damn. The performance in The Untouchables is sorta like the mainstream version of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 3, 2018

        Exactly. He was given acting lessons to some of the cast in the ‘Untouchables’

        Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        October 3, 2018

        Costner and Garcia were definitely trying to tap into some of that attitude, for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 3, 2018

        In the Hill Connery is surrounded by really good actors. Nobody was carrying the film by themselves. Lumet used them all to the max. I probably could have directed that bunch. Say “Action” and let them go.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Yeah, Another Blogger
    October 1, 2018

    I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t seen this one! I’ve always liked Sean a lot. Ditto for Harry Andrews. If it pops up on Turner Classic, I’m going to tune in. Being a kind of romantic, I was a sucker for Sean and Audrey in Robin And Marian. Wouldn’t mind seeing that one again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2018

      Like I said on a comment, Lumet and Connery teamed up for 3 really good films that I know of.
      I’m with you on Robin and Marian. I will eventually get to a take on that. So much to like about it. Again sprinkled with some fine performances. Pull it out Neil and let me know how it stands up for you. I would guess pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. greenpete58
    October 2, 2018

    Lumet is one of my favorite directors, but I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t yet seen “The Hill,” only heard about it. I watched a recent documentary about Lumet, and this movie is considered one of his many high points. I’m surprised Turner Classic Movies (TCM) doesn’t show this. Another fine choice, CB.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 2, 2018

      Sid has a very high batting average with me. An actors director and a very good story teller with the camera. All I can say Pete is get off the “trail” and watch it.

      Like

  8. Chris
    November 16, 2018

    To me, one of Connery’s best. The prison-guard dynamic is full of tension. As you said, well-written dialogue and fine performances, and I felt I was there with them in the heat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      November 16, 2018

      It’s sounding like we have some common ground with films. This plus two other Lumet/Connery combos work for me. ‘The Anderson Tapes’ and The Offence’. The late being really strong work by Connery. What do you know Chris, 70’s films.
      One note on the Hill and the Offense, both plays. I usually don’t like film adaptations but these work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Chris
    November 16, 2018

    *I meant prisoner-guard dynamic

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 30, 2018 by in 1965 Film, British Films, Drama, Sean Connery, Sidney Lumet, War Film and tagged , , .

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