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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HILL (Sean Connery)
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...
Published on 15 Dec 2004 by CARSON KIT

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars The Hill
This a film that took me back to the days when I was in the army, Life as such was was a struggle and some times brutal, but as a young soldier in 1952 the brutality was a way of life, However, Sean Connery and his co stars played a brilliant part in this black and white film, I could almost taste the dust and smell the sweat. Truly brilliant. I highly rate this as one...
Published 7 months ago by Mr Michael Everingham


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE HILL (Sean Connery), 15 Dec 2004
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
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.)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest films to feature an ensemble cast todate, 9 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
The Hill probably represents the finest work of one of the lesser known but none the less great collaborative actor/director teams, that of Sean Connery and Sidney Lumet. Along side these notables, the film boasts a truly outstanding supportive cast, where the likes of Ozzi Davis, Michael Redgrave and Roy Kinner provide classic performances. Set in a Military prison in North Africa the film retains a peerless quality in black and white. It's photography is paired with highly aggressive editing that is stunning. The overall effect provides a time and reality of place little seen in contempery cinema. It is very much a film of it's time yet speaks very much to the present of the past, and so understanding of an attitude that was the British army, as to defy belief. The story centres around a busted Sgt one Joe Roberts played by Connery, sent to account for striking an officer, having faced combat he is all to aware of the system that will once again come to bare on him. His all too knowledgeable attitude provides all the excuse for his prison guard tormentor Ian Hendry to exact ludicrous and murderous punishment on Joe and his fellow cell mates. However, Joe Roberts proves once again that he is exactly the kind of man that defines the real meaning of the term "war hero" inspite of the record he has been wrongly accorded. There are simply not enough stars to mark out this peace of cinema, and if there were they would pale against the performances that are The Hill
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tough climb, 31 Jan 2006
By 
Kurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (London, SW1) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
'The Hill' is an astonishing movie in many respects. It has a great ensemble cast, largely made of up of people who aren't generally part of ensemble acting - Sean Connery, Ossie Davis, and Michael Redgrave were certainly more of the 'leading man' types. Other well-known actors from British cinema are featured as well (Roy Kinnear, Harry Andrews, Alfred Lynch, Ian Hendry, among others). Sidney Lumet directed this film in 1965; based on a play, it shows the harsher side of masculine, military life - it is set in a disciplinary prison in the Libyan desert during World War II.
Connery and others star as a group of new prisoners getting acclimatised to the way life runs in the prison. Some rebel, some go-along-to-get-along, some become introverted and depressed - the whole range of possibilities is explored. There are class issues and racial issues addressed as well.
The title 'The Hill' comes from the artificial sand mountain constructed in the middle of the camp that the prison warder non-commissioned officers drill the prisoners on, breaking them down physically, and supposedly mentally, in order to reconstruct them as properly disciplined soldiers. However, not everyone responds to this, and at a certain point in the film it becomes clear that one of the warders is in fact a quite sadistic guard.
The process goes on with drudging sameness until the disciplinary punishment goes too far, and a man dies from the treatment. The subsequent attempt at a cover-up provides much of the drama for the film (even though this consists of less than have the screen time of the film), and the ending is certainly poetic in its justice even if it isn't a happy ending by any means.
The film was done at the height of Sean Connery's popularity as the new James Bond character - he had done three Bond films in the previous three years, including the classic 'Goldfinger' just the year before; here he was a gritty, working-class career soldier without the polish (or the toupee) of the Bond character. Connery shows he is no lightweight actor here, nor does he use his star power to steal the show.
This film was also done in black-and-white, which shows the dusty, dry desert elements in greater relief than a full-colour or colourised version might.
I eagerly await the DVD.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why does nobody know this film?, 25 July 2003
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Easily the best film about the Second World War and/or the British Army ever made. Hard-hitting, at times claustrophobic, gritty and pulling no punches - with understated violence but tangeable tension throughout, and without a single mis-casting and no passengers. All of the characters are well drawn and the plot is tight and well crafted. This film will grip you entirely and keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautifully shot in black and white, the film shows the inhuman and brutal treatment of a group of British soldiers held in a North African camp by their military police guards - there is no room for your Richard Attenborough 'cheeky chappie' here.
An astounding performance that would be hard for Sean Connery to better - sheriously.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHERE IS THE DVD????, 4 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I am currently browsing around Amazon looking for suitable Christmas presents for friends and family. And I thought of this great old flick for my Dad. This is one of the finest British films of its period and very possibly one of the finest performances ever given by Sean Connery - certainly better than his recent efforts in Hollywood.
WHY IS THIS NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD?
Surely someone at the BFI or elsewhere could do something about this, Please......
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic, 24 Nov 2003
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Connery is one of five new prisoners in a British Army concentration camp. The sadistic prison guards try through a number of sophisticated and brutal ways to break their spirits. Connery, of course, doesn't take this lying down. However, this is not a James Bond type flick, and although the film is black and white, the characters are not simple "good guys" or "bad guys". There is some real complexity in their characterisation, which is not let down by some wooden acting in places.
This is not a feel-good film. It raises real questions about how easy it is to really be a hero in the face of tyrrany, about the importance of heros to mobilising resistance, and about the approaches tyrrany uses to emasculate opposition. This is, however, a cult classic, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hill, 5 Feb 2009
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One of the true classics of British Cinema - woefully overlooked compared to 'Ice Cold In Alex'.
It charts three days in a British Military Prison in North Africa during WW2 following the arrival of 'busted' RSM Sean Connery - charged with cowardice and desertion in the face of the enemy.
Connery is ably assisted by an excellent supporting cast including stalwarts of British Wartime drama Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen, Roy Kinnear, Ossie Davis and Jack Watson.
The brilliant Ian Hendry is chilling as the almost-psychopathic 'Staff Williams' around whom the film's events are centred.

Harsh black and white phototography and superb set design lends an air of claustrophobic authenticity to the film even though the entire set was constructed in Spain just for the movie. You can almost feel the heat as the prisoners parade in the sun...

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest, 18 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I can't put my finger on it, but for some reason this is has to be one of the finest films ever made. Shot in black and white and set in a WW2 North African British military prison,this is a gripping,powerful drama which grabs your attention from the start and doesn't let go untill the very end.

The casting is superb, every character seems to have a depth and quality rarely seen in modern films. No fancy musical score,no special effects,and no hint of Hollywood.This film's strength lies in a simple yet powerful story conveyed with splendid,in your face acting,and a hard hitting script. This film is not for casual viewing, it's far too good for that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intense and claustrophobic. Perhaps Connery's best film, 28 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Hill [1965] [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A gritty, hard edged film about the slow descent of a British military prison in North Africa into revolt. Well worth searching out for a scorching and claustrophobic look at a man battling a system that has written him off as worthless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only take up serious matters with the commandant like arson or sudden death, 22 Jan 2009
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Only take up serious matters with the commandant like arson or sudden death

This is a tough uncompromising film. When I was a kid I steered clear of films that were based on plays as there was never enough outside action and there was too much talking

Now I am older an wiser I am very happy to watch films based-on plays as they have to be well written to survive. The action is minimal it has to be on a set but the characters and dialogue has to be top notch to keep your interest.

Although this film was sold on the fact that Sean Connery was in it as the height of his fame as James Bond he is just one of the very good characters in the story.

It is about a military prison but it could be any situation where there is a power struggle. The more you think about it the more complex the power struggle is.

those who are nominally in power the officers are not. the Sergeant Major is in charge of discipline but he is being undermined by the staff sergeants and ultimately by the prisoners.

The more you watch it the more complicated it becomes. All the prejudice of the time appear but in today's society are they are any better just because we have changed the language.

I envy those who have not seen the film as they are in for a treat.

I think it is up there with All Quiet on the Western Front , Journeys End and Long and the short and the tall. We have seen plenty of films of drill sergeants beasting the squaddies but usually not with these consequences even in Full Metal Jacket.

By being in black and white it concentrates on the action and the bleakness of the subject matter rather than making it look pretty.

Great film not to be missed.
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Hill [DVD] [1965] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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