Sunday, July 17, 2011

365 Movies Day #111 "The Hill"

Light years ahead of it's time from legendary director Sidney Lumet, who the world lost recently. After "The Hill" he would give us such films as "Serpico" and "Dog Day Afternoon". A special thanks to Jeff O'Brien for recommending the film. This is one of those rare films like "Citizen Kane" that with all the modern technology and know-how available all these years later, there's nothing you would really change.

In a nutshell, the film is about a British North African prison camp during WWII where soldiers are sent to be "repaired" and put back into service. The camp is led by incompetent Commandant, yet the RSM, played by Harry Andrews reminds me in so many ways of the epic performance by Stephen Lang in "Avatar". He was the embodiment of military structure. A new Staff Sergeant on the block, combined with an incoming group of five new prisoners including the legendary Sean Connery and Ossie Davis (who played JFK in "BUBBA HO-TEP"). While Connery is wonderful as usual, it is Davis that outshines the rest of the cast as a black British West Indies native who stands against racism and oppression in a wonderfully entertaining a film made in 1965.

A truly wonderful cast with some amazing shots that you've probably seen in films like "The Hurt Locker" and other films more recently. It all comes back to this. Lumet was a wonderful talent and this is one of his best.


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