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The Hill (1965)

Approved | | Drama, War | 27 June 1965 (UK)
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 »
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
Learn more

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Storyline

World War II, in a British disciplinary camp located in the Libyan desert, prisoners are persecuted by Staff Sergeant Williams (Ian Hendry), who made them climb again and again, under the heavy sun, an artificial hill built right in the middle of the camp. Harris (Ian Bannen) is a more human and compassionate guard, but the chief, R.S.M. Wilson (Harry Andrews), 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alexander Mackendrick was originally attached to direct. See more »

Goofs

The new prisoners are lined up in the middle of the camp with their kit at their feet waiting to see the army doctor. As Stevens is called, a flat board suddenly appears in front of the line up so the camera can pull forward along the line up for a tracking shot. It disappears immediately afterwards. See more »

Quotes

Trooper Joe Roberts: So what's the charge? Failing to obey an order? Or, drunk in charge of a cigarette lighter? Oh, you crazy bastard! You'd prop up dead men and inspect them if you was ordered to!
Regimental Sergeant Major Bert Wilson: Right! You're RIGHT!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zámek Nekonecno (1984) See more »

User Reviews

 
A Mound For Punishment
22 May 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of Sean Connery's personal favorites among his movies is The Hill. He had high hopes for its success and that it would break him out of the James Bond mold. Unfortunately the movie going public wanted more James Bond and less Sean Connery at this point.

The Hill is close to a perfect masterpiece of characterization and cinematography. Director Sidney Lumet opted for black and white in making The Hill and I think it enhances the stark surroundings of the British military stockade in North Africa. These are really the forgotten people of World War II.

If Sean Connery could have gotten a chance for a Dirty Dozen type mission from the British army he would have taken it. His character is very similar to Charles Bronson's from that film. Bronson was an officer, Connery a sergeant major, Bronson shot, Connery struck a superior with extremely good cause, but their respective armies didn't see it that way.

So now Sean is in a cell with four other prisoners all of varying character, Roy Kinnear, Ossie Davis, Jack Watson, and Alfred Lynch. Norman Bird is the commandant, but the camp is really run as in all armies by the Sergeant-Major Harry Andrews. Andrews has a special punishment for the prisoners, called The Hill; a specially constructed mound of sand about 200 feet high where they have to run up and down it with field pack in the desert heat.

Andrews has the assistance of Staff Sergeant Ian Hendry who has his own sadistic bent quite apart from military punishment. When one of Connery's cell-mates dies from punishment, all hell threatens to break loose.

One of the things that attracted Sean Connery to this film according to the Citadel Film series book on his work was the fact that it was unlike James Bond, no glamorous locations, no fancy wardrobe and absolutely no romance. This would give him the chance to show he could be something other than James Bond.

Connery got rave reviews for playing former Sergeant Major Joe Roberts in The Hill and the rest of the cast Sidney Lumet assembled did likewise. Unfortunately the film failed at the box office. Connery remarked that without his name on it, this would have been an art house special limited release type of work. But the public only wanted to see James Bond and it wasn't until The Anderson Tapes that Sean Connery finally got great reviews in a film that did well at the box office as well as the critics.

Over 40 years after it was released The Hill now is considered a cinema masterpiece. Besides Connery my favorite performances are from Michael Redgrave as the medical officer who's not a strong man, but steps to the plate when his duty is clear and from Ossie Davis as a cynical black soldier who finally grows tired of the institutional racism he finds and 'leaves' the army. You won't forget them, Connery or The Hill once you see it.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1965 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hill 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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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