Home from the Hill (film)
|Home from the Hill|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Vincente Minnelli|
|Produced by||Edmund Grainger|
|Written by||William Humphrey|
|Screenplay by||Harriet Frank, Jr.
|Based on||Home from the Hill (novel) 1958|
|Music by||Bronislau Kaper|
|Cinematography||Milton R. Krasner|
|Edited by||Harold F. Kress|
Home from the Hill is a 1960 Metrocolor film in CinemaScope directed by Vincente Minnelli and starring Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, George Peppard, George Hamilton, Everett Sloane, and Luana Patten.
The script was adapted from the novel, Home from the Hill, by author, William Humphrey. The film was entered into the 1960 Cannes Film Festival. The film's title is from the last line of Robert Louis Stevenson's short poem "Requiem". This film was originally intended for actors Clark Gable and Bette Davis, but the roles then went to Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker. As of June 2016 the film's only surviving credited cast member was George Hamilton.
In the beginning, Captain Wade Hunnicutt (Robert Mitchum), the wealthiest and most powerful person in his East Texas town, is wounded by a jealous husband. Wade is a notorious womanizer, who lives with his beautiful wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker) who scorns him. She has raised their son Theron (George Hamilton) to be dependent upon her, but as he reaches adulthood Theron seeks his father’s help in becoming a man.
Wade initiates Theron in hunting and other masculine pursuits under the watchful eye of Rafe (George Peppard), Hunnicutt's loyal employee. Theron admires the slightly older and more worldly Rafe, and rapidly develops into a marksman and skilled hunter; he also learns about women from Rafe.
Theron's new lifestyle leads him into a love affair with Libby Halstead (Luana Patten), a local girl from a proper family, but her father, Albert’s (Everett Sloane) animosity forces a secret relationship. Theron learns from his mother that the reason for Libby’s father's scorn is Wade's reputation as a womanizer. In this conversation he learns things about his parents that were previously hidden from him, including that Rafe is his illegitimate half-brother. We learn that Rafe’s mother is the root of Hannah’s anger at Wade, although the affair and Rafe’s birth preceded Hannah, and that Wade became unfaithful to her after Hannah turned him out. While Wade respects Rafe, his position is staunch that a bastard is not to be included or acknowledged.
Theron becomes disturbed by his parents' dysfunctional relationship and his father’s treatment of Rafe. A disillusioned Theron rejects both his parents along with the concept of family, and thus Libby, his true love. Unbeknownst to Theron, Libby is pregnant, but she does not want this to be the reason for their marriage. However, a confused and despondent Libby turns to Rafe, who out of passion and compassion agrees to marry her. This devastates Theron who then realized his error.
All seems resolved until on the day of Libby's newborn son's christening, her father overhears gossip that his daughter was impregnated by Captain Hunnicutt, and goes into a rage. We then see Wade and Hannah reconcile, at home, after seventeen years. After Hannah leaves the room, Wade is then shot down by an unknown murderer who escapes. Theron tracks down his father's killer and sees he is Halstead. Theron kills Halstead in self-defense and soon after Rafe catches up. Though Rafe objects, Theron decides to leave town never to return.
In the end, several months later, Rafe encounters Hannah at Wade’s grave. He offers to include her in the life of her grandson, and she shows him that she has acknowledged him as Wade’s son on the headstone.
- Robert Mitchum as Capt. Wade Hunnicutt
- Eleanor Parker as Hannah Hunnicutt
- George Peppard as Raphael 'Rafe' Copley
- George Hamilton as Theron Hunnicutt
- Everett Sloane as Albert Halstead
- Luana Patten as Elizabeth 'Libby' Halstead
- Anne Seymour as Sarah Halstead
- Constance Ford as Opal Bixby
- Ken Renard as Chauncey (Hunnicutt butler)
- Ray Teal as Dr. Reuben Carson
George Hamilton was cast after MGM executives were impressed by his performance in Crime and Punishment USA. He later said "What Vincente later told me he saw in me was not my tortured soul but that I had the quality of a privileged but sensitive mama's boy."
Hamilton and Peppard were signed to long term contracts with the studio.
The lead role was intended for Clark Gable.
Despite being set in Clarksville, Texas Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filmed the movie at Oxford, Mississippi near the University of Mississippi campus. "Home from the Hill" was filmed in and around Paris and Clarksville, Texas. The homes used in the movie, particularly the interior shots, are in Clarksville. The downtown area is Clarksville. The hunting scenes were filmed near Lake Crook, the Paris, TX, water supply.
According to MGM records the film earned $3,275,000 in the US and Canada and $1.8 million elsewhere but because of its high production cost incurred a loss of $122,000.
- The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- US and Canada figures see "Rental Potentials of 1960", Variety, 4 January 1961 p 47.
- "Festival de Cannes: Home from the Hill". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- 'Bull Halsey' Role Readied by Cagney: Robert Montgomery to Direct; Bikel Opposed Sheriff Role Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 13 Mar 1959: A7.
- George Hamilton & William Stadiem, Don't Mind If I Do, Simon & Schuster 2008 p 130
- Young Men of Movies Adopting Suave Style Hyams, Joe. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 14 May 1959: B9.