This film is the best I have ever seen. Always has me on the edge of my seat every time I watch it. In 1965, thirty-nine years ago I went to the Pictures as it was called then, to watch the first showing in my local town of ST Helens.
The setting is a British Military prison out in the desert in North Africa, A typical army setting with white painted stones marking the parade square, the flagpoles flying the Union Jack and unit flags. The attention to military detail is absolutely correct (a failing in many modern day made war films)
Sean Connery portrays a Sergeant major (Warrant Officer) who had been court marshalled for disobeying orders during a conflict. He was the only returning survivor which has given him the reputation of being a coward (Is he or isn't he a coward?) now a trooper he is sent to this extremely hard prison. On arrival together with four other prisoners, just inside the camp gates Sean Conney is met by prison staff and the Regimental Sergeant Major and receives a tough welcome indeed.
The Hill is a pile of sand about forty or fifty feet high and is situated in the middle of the camp. With full webbing and wearing backpack prisoners run backwards & forwards over the hill as a punishment for stepping out of line. Of course the newcomers are introduced to the hill straight away.
The film is exciting, sad, funny, is full of revenge, hate, mutiny, and questionable murder, plus many other nail biting aspects. The acting is beyond reproach, and the whole thing in glorious Black and white. If you want to see a good film watch this one, I promise you a treat.
May I suggest a remake of this classic? Nope, Perhaps not, after all there's only one Sean Connery
Howard Donoghue (Berlin.)