The Hill

Synopsis: WWII, in a British disciplinary camp located in the Libyan desert. Prisoners are persecuted by Staff Sergeant Williams, who made them climb again and again, under the heavy sun, an artificial hill built right in the middle of the camp. Harris is a more human and compassionate guard, but the chief, S.M. Wilson, 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.
Genre: Drama, War
Director(s): Sidney Lumet
Production: Warner Home Video
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
123 min

Staff! Man fainted!

Morning, sir. Heat exhaustion.

We're expecting a new lot of prisoners in,

aren't we?

I've five listed, sir,

but we can get a lot more.

- Can we?

- The new push has started.

Soon as there's a bit of action, the bloody

layabouts are begging to get in here.

I've a special coming in, sir,

a broken sergeant major.

What, Roberts? So they found him guilty?

Wasn't no doubt about that,

was there, sir?

- I suppose not.

- I want him fit, sir.

If he's fit, you'll get him, Sergeant Major.

I want him, sir.

One, two, three, four. One, two...

- Morning, Harris.

- Morning, sir.

- You the new staff?

- Yes, sir.

- Name, Staff?

- Staff Williams, sir.

- Staff!

- Sir.

You gonna keep them line dodgers

idling all day?

Sir. Attention!

- Worked in the civvy jails, haven't you?

- Yes, sir.

- And Aldershot?

- Yes, sir.

Why give up the comforts of civvy life?

- I wanted overseas, sir.

- Jerry bombed the scrubs. Is that right?

- Yes, sir.

- Then you'll like it here.

Nice and peaceful, isn't it, Staff Harris?

I'll do my job anywhere I'm sent, sir.

Enjoy prison work?

- Fancy I'm the right man for the job, sir.

- Do you?

Staff Harris here don't reckon himself

as a man with a mission.

- Is that right, Harris?

- Well, there's other jobs.

They can still use men up front, sir.

Then why the hell

didn't you join the commandos?

No, all I meant was...

I've done 25 years. Where the hell

do you think I'd like to be, right now?

Nobody's gonna pin a medal on us,

but get this straight,

one job's as important as the next.

- Is that clear?

- Sir.

Two prisoners for release, sir!

- Double them over here!

- Pick 'em up there!

Left, right, right turn,

left, right, left, right, left, right. Mark time!

- Carry on, Gate.

- Sir.

About turn. Right turn.

- Keep them knees up. Keep them up.

- Halt! One, one, two.

Right. Let's have your names. You?

- 743, Walters, sir.

- Put your kit bag down. You?

- 158, Martin, sir.

- Put your kit down.

- Due for release, eh?

- Yes, sir.

- What were you in for, Martin?

- Went absent, sir.

- You, Walters?

- Went absent, sir.

Be going absent again?

- No, sir.

- No, sir.

When they came to me,

they were on the run.

- Living it up in Cairo, wasn't it?

- Yes, sir.

Living with a couple of cabaret bints.

Very tough they was,

considering they was pimps.

Wasn't going to do nothing I told them,

was you? Well, speak up.

We sort of thought like that, sir.

Any complaints about any members

of my staff?

- No, sir.

- Glad of that.

We've treated you well,

better than you deserve.

You look better and you smell sweeter.

Gave you both hell, didn't I?

- No, sir.

- Could have been worse, sir.

Who told you to make a speech?

You know why I made you suffer?

To find out if there's any good in you.

You hurt yourself, lads, trying to beat me.

You take the hill, the pack drill, the lot,

and learn about discipline the hard way.

I've doubled in thousands like you, the

dregs, the dross, the filth of the gutters.

But when I've doubled them out,

they've turned out like you two, like men.

And a credit to the uniform.

Right, pick up your kits.

About turn!

Double march.

Left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right,

left, right, left, right, left, right.

On the double!

- Staff.

- Sir.

You got room in B Wing for five prisoners?

- Yes, sir.

- All in one cell. Fix it.

- Sir, I will.

- New scum and old scum are bad mixers.

I'll assign Staff Williams to you, Harris.

He can cut his teeth on this new lot.

Left, right, left, right,

right wheel, mark time.

- Fix it.

- Sir.


- A new intake of prisoners, sir.

- Sweat them down.

Double them before you give them to me.

Sir. Double march.

Left, right, left, right, left, right,

left, right, left, right, left, right.

I'm a fair man, Staff. All I ask is that the

prisoners obey orders and at the double.

- Your job is to see that they do.

- Yes, sir.

Every member of my staff's

got my full backing.

There's the Commandant, of course.

The Commandant signs bits of paper.

He'd sign his own death warrant

if I handed it to him, but I run this place.

Get that? The Commandant doesn't like

being troubled with trivialities.

So only take up serious matters with him,

Staff. Like arson or sudden death.

But see me first, always.

Left turn!

Left, right, left, right, mark time. Halt!

- Take over, Staff.

- Sir!

Pick up your dressing.

Come on, look lively!

Stand still! All right, turn out your kit.

Tidy it up. Tidy it up. Tidy it up.

Tidy it up. Tidy it up.

Tidy it up.

Stand still!

- Sir, that's my...

- You will get a receipt.

- Love letters.

- Please, sir, they are my wife's.

Tell it to the Sergeant Major.

Those letters, sir.

Please, they're my wife's.

I'll tell you when to speak.

So that's the way

your bloody mind works, is it?

Thought you'd contaminate His Majesty's

prison with fornicating pictures, did you?


Thought we'd let you keep them

for pinups, I suppose.

You dirty-minded animal.

- Staff, what's this?

- Tell it to the Sergeant Major.

- Sergeant Major.

- Shut up.

Staff. Right, let's have your names.

- You?

- 132, Private McGrath, sir.

- You?

- 736, Private King, sir.

929, Private Stevens, sir.

- You?

- 824, Private Bartlett, sir.

421, Trooper Roberts, sir.

- You're Roberts, eh?

- Yes, sir.

My guess is Willie, sir. He is my pal.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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