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The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

4.3 out of 5 stars 181 customer reviews

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(Sep 07, 1999)
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Editorial Reviews

Comedy favorite Hugh Grant (BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY) stars as a young man who offends an entire town by declaring their mountain -- a prized landmark -- to be a "hill." But soon he finds the eccentric locals, led by a witty innkeeper (Colm Meaney -- STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION) will stop at nothing to defend their honor! While the townspeople rally around their "mountain," a fiery young woman (Tara Fitzgerald -- SIRENS) charms the puzzled out-of-towner into seeing things their way! You'll be elevated by laughter as the hilarious townspeople rise to the occasion -- and the bewildered visitor stumbles into love when he least expects it!

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, Colm Meaney, Ian McNeice, Ian Hart
  • Directors: Christopher Monger
  • Writers: Christopher Monger, Ifor David Monger
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Paul Sarony, Robert Jones, Sally Hibbin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305428557
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,953 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
"All this fuss...over what? Is it a hill, is it a mountain? Perhaps it wouldn't matter anywhere else, but this is Wales."
So what happens in this epic story about the Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain? On Sunday, 17 June 1917, cartographers/retired army officers Reginald Anson and George Garrad come to a Welsh village to measure Ffynnon Garw to determine whether it's a hill or a mountain. Their presence causes anxiety among the villagers, who are on pins and needles when they hear the British standard of a mountain defined as anything over 1,000 feet. The Britons stay at the inn of the cheeky Morgan the Goat (as opposed to Morgan the Sheep?), intending to leave after their task is completed. However, guess what height Ffynnon Garw is less than?
The villagers put things in motion with two objectives: one, to make sure their beloved Ffynnon Garw becomes a mountain, and two, to extend the Britons' stay, such as something involving two pounds of sugar and a gas tank, and a knife. The first objective forms the action of the movie, villagers moving dirt from their gardens bucket by bucket, tray by tray, through toil, sweat, and sacrifice, and placing them...guess where? And excuses for delay? The war--take note of the date listed above.
There's also a conflict between the religiously fervent Reverend Jones and Morgan, as the latter doesn't go to church and plies alcohol. When Jones asks Morgan, "Have you no shame?" Morgan flippantly pats himself down and says "No, can't think where I left it" and walks off, leaving Jones fuming.
During the movie, we see that the younger Anson is more sympathetic and humble to the villagers, while the stout and older Garrod is more logical, arrogant, and looks down on the Welsh.
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2 Comments 103 of 112 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie is a labor of love, as is its topic. This true story, well acted and beautifully filmed, initially stopped me with its music as I surfed past a television broadcast. Within minutes, I was entranced, equally by the fine character acting as by the familiar faces of Hugh Grant and Colm Meaney. In the first 10 minutes, I cancelled all other plans for that evening, and spent my first commercial break calling friends to tell them it was on, then spent my remaining commercial breaks surfing to find it on video.
Movies of similar beauty, heart, and soul include Waking Ned Devine, Fairy Tale: A True Story, Shakespeare in Love, and The Secret of Roan Inish. I'm now buying a copy to give my mother as a gift, and look forward to watching it on our home theater system. A movie of the people, with quiet in-jokes between English and Welsh that seem to elude the Ugly AmeriMalkin.
Spend a couple of hours with the people of Wales, and feel your heart expand with the love and care and fun of this fine film. There aren't enough of such gems available!
Comment 59 of 64 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This unassuming film takes place during World War I in a Welsh village when two English cartographers, Anson (Hugh Grant) and the more senior Garrad (Ian McNeice), arrive as part of the war effort to map the Welsh countryside. The villagers are jubilant that they are finally going to be noticed since they have what they call "the first mountain in Wales" within their boundaries. Unfortunately, to qualify as a mountain in the eyes of the British government, the peak must be 1000 feet high and, of course, this one falls just short, much to the outrage and sorrow of the townspeople. To have their mountain reclassified as a hill threatens their regional pride and identity. Naturally, they stubbornly set out to do something about it. In a town with so few surnames that people are designated by profession or personality - Williams the Petroleum or Evans the End of the World - the town has its surprising divisions that first must be bridged.
The charm of this film lies in its gentle good humor and the coziness of the small Welsh community it evokes. Everything about this film is simple - the premise, the characters, the conflict, the resolution - and this lack of complexity allows the determination of its characters to shine through in a way that a more boisterous film would not. Hugh Grant plays his usual awkwardly charming character, fitting for the role but occasionally annoying. Colm Meaney is wonderful as innkeeper Morgan the Goat, and Kenneth Griffith turns in a remarkable performance as Morgan's foil, the elderly but feisty Rev. Jones. Tara Fitzgerald is radiant as the love interest Betty. Ian Hart as Johnny Shellshocked nicely underplays his part as the young man returned from the war with emotional scars.
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Comment 50 of 54 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
There are already great reviews giving previews of the movie so I'll not do that again.

My son is 15 and my husband and I are in our 40's. We both adore this movie. You must sit back and take the time to see (and enjoy) the humor, share in the pain(s), the quirkiness, the light romance and be a part of this village of people who will use a number of means to turn their hill into a mountain. Did I mention that the movie is based on a true story? This is one of those movies that the more times you watch it, the more things you see and catch...ahhh. Give it a chance, you may be happily surprised. We've rewatched it a couple of times a year since it first came out and truly enjoy it each and every time. I think now we sit in anticipation of what's to come.

I'm already grinning just from thinking of the sugar and the train. It's time to watch it again.
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