The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
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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.Read more ›
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!
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this movie its folksy, silly, and a good all around story.Published 12 days ago by christopher jackson
This is a cute movie and the scenes of the countryside make you want to go and visit.Published 1 month ago by BaHall
Great movie. One of Grant's best. Thoroughly demonstrates the Welsh quirkiness as well as the devastating effects of WWI on the well heeled and the common folk alike.Published 1 month ago by James H. Adair
About the most stupid film I have ever seen. Hugh Grant is even more pathetic than usual.Published 3 months ago by Colin Taylor
Typically well-told, character-driven, history-based British film. Easy to watch and enjoy multiple times.Published 4 months ago by j. england
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