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

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The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain
Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christopher Monger
Produced by Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Sarah Curtis
Sally Hibbin
Robert Jones
Scott Maitland
Paul Sarony
Written by Ivor Monger
Starring Hugh Grant
Ian McNeice
Tara FitzGerald
Colm Meaney
Kenneth Griffith
Music by Stephen Endelman
Cinematography Vernon Layton
Edited by David Martin
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release date(s)
  • 12 May 1995 (1995-05-12) (US)
  • 4 August 1995 (1995-08-04) (UK)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $10,904,930

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain is a 1995 British film written by Ivor Monger and directed by Christopher Monger. It was entered into the 19th Moscow International Film Festival[1] and was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

The film is based on a story heard by Christopher Monger from his grandfather about the real village of Taff's Well (Ffynnon Taf in Welsh), Rhondda Cynon Taff, Wales and its neighbouring Garth Hill. Due to 20th century urbanisation of the area, it was filmed in the more rural Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llansilin in Mid Wales.

Plot[edit]

The film is set in 1917 (with World War I in the background), and revolves around two English cartographers, the pompous Garrad and his junior, Anson. They arrive at the fictional Welsh village of Ffynnon Garw ("Rough Fountain" or "Rough Spring" in Welsh) to measure its "mountain" – only to cause outrage when they conclude that it is only a hill because it is slightly short of the required 1000 feet in height. The villagers, aided and abetted by the wily Morgan the Goat and the Reverend Mr Jones (who after initially opposing the scheme, grasps its symbolism in restoring the community's war-damaged self-esteem), conspire with Morgan to delay the cartographers' departure while they build an earth cairn on top of the hill to make it high enough to be considered a mountain.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

In regard to its humorous and affectionate description of the locals, the film has often been compared with Waking Ned Devine, a comedy film written and directed by Kirk Jones. The movie has resulted in a stream of visitors climbing to the summit of The Garth, and the Pentyrch History Society and the local community council have erected a notice on the mountain to explain its real historical significance.[3]

Welsh language[edit]

One of the most obscure jokes in the film occurs when a mechanic is asked about a nondescript broken part he has removed from a car, and replies "Well I don't know the English word, but in Welsh we call it a be'chi'ngalw." In Welsh, be'chi'ngalw has the same meaning as the word "whatchamacallit" or "thingamajig."[citation needed] However, this is made obvious in the novel on which the film is based.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

  • Mynydd Graig Goch, a member of the Moel Hebog group of summits. This is a Snowdonia hill that became a mountain in September 2008 when it was measured by three Welshmen with GPS equipment and found to be 30 inches taller than previously thought, thereby exceeding the height required to classify it as a 2000-ft mountain by six inches.[4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "19th Moscow International Film Festival (1995)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-03-16. 
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  3. ^ "A book was written about 'Ffynnon Garw' which was made into a film 'The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain'. The location of Ffynnon Garw rather implies it is The Garth. This story is a good one but fictional. To set the record straight the Pentyrch History Society and Community Council have put up an information notice near the summit." pentyrch.com
  4. ^ "Survey turns hill into a mountain". BBC News. September 19, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ Wainwright, Martin (September 19, 2008). "The Welshmen who went up a hill, but came down a mountain". The Guardian (London). Retrieved May 25, 2010. 

External links[edit]