The Angry Hills (film)

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The Angry Hills
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Produced by Raymond Stross
Written by A. I. Bezzerides
Based on the novel by Leon Uris
Starring Robert Mitchum
Stanley Baker
Music by Richard Rodney Bennett
Cinematography Stephen Dade
Edited by Peter Tanner
Distributed by MGM
Release date
  • July 29, 1959 (1959-07-29)
Running time
105 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,190,000[1]
Box office $1,285,000[1]

The Angry Hills is a 1959 film directed by Robert Aldrich, based on the novel by Leon Uris, and starring Robert Mitchum and Stanley Baker.

Plot[edit]

Set in Greece in 1941, before and after the German invasion, the film follows an American journalist who possesses a list of Greek resistance leaders. Having memorized the list he destroys it and is then pursued by various groups of people keen to have it: Communist resistance fighters, the Gestapo and Greek collaborators.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Uris' novel was published in 1955.[2] Because of its Greek setting, Uris was hired to write the screenplay for Boy on a Dolphin.[3]

Film rights were bought by Raymond Stross in England, who said he wanted Clark Gable for the lead.[4] Stross eventually set up the film with MGM and New York's Cine World Productions, and announced Robert Mitchum would star.[5] According to Mitchum, Alan Ladd was meant to play the lead but the producers drove out to Ladd's house and met him after "he'd just crawled out of his swimming pool and was all shrunken up like a dishwasher's hand. They decided he wouldn't do for the big war correspondent. So, what happened? Some idiot said, 'Ask Mitchum to play it. That bum will do anything if he has five minutes free.' Well I had five minutes free do I did it."[6]

Pier Angeli was wanted for the female lead.[7] Elizabeth Mueller was cast instead.[8]

Leon Uris did the first draft of the screenplay. However Aldrich had it rewritten by A.I. Bezzerides, who had written Kiss Me Deadly for Aldrich.[9]

The film was shot from June to December 1958.[10][11]

Robert Aldrich had just made Ten Seconds to Hell in Germany. He later recalled:[12]

I stayed to make The Angry Hills for Raymond Stross. He understood that Metro was buying film by the yard then, and Mitchum was reasonably hot. So they thought that as long as it was an hour and a half with Mitchum and some Greek scenery, it would work. Obviously it didn't... The Strosses of this world just hang back there and let you work your ass off, till you're all through, and then say, "Fine. Goody-bye. Thank you, very much." Despite whatever promises about length or final cut they made to you, they take it back then and do what they were going to do in the first place.

Box office[edit]

According to MGM records the film earned $510,000 in the US and Canada and $775,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $497,000.[1]

It had admissions of 588,260 in France.[13]

Legacy[edit]

Robert Aldrich later said the film was "disappointing not because it's not a good picture but because it could have been good. It had a potential that was never remotely realised... you feel sad about The Angry Hills... I'd know how to make The Angry Hills better in a thousand ways."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ Dempsey, David (October 16, 1955). "Unwitting Go-Between". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  3. ^ Drama: Indie Setups Announced by Cummings, Chandler; Hello, Barry Fitzgerald Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times November 21, 1955: 41.
  4. ^ Smart Detective Role Pursued for Peck; Ross Story Stars Mitchell Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 14 Jan 1957: C9.
  5. ^ "Film to be Made of Novel by Uris". New York Times. August 17, 1957. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ Roberts, Jerry, ed. (2000). Mitchum: In His Own Words. New York: Limelight Editions. p. 159. Retrieved August 5, 2015. 
  7. ^ Disney Will Produce New Film in Ireland Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 26 Feb 1958: 20.
  8. ^ Pryor, Thomas M. (May 1, 1958). "Perlberg, Seaton to Film 'The Hook'". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  9. ^ Nixon, Rob. "The Angry Hills (1959)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  10. ^ Alain Silver and James Ursini, Whatever Happened to Robert Aldrich?, Limelight, 1995 p 251
  11. ^ On Location in Greece By John N. Rigos. The Christian Science Monitor [Boston, Mass] 22 July 1958: 7.
  12. ^ mr. film noir stays at the table Silver, Alain. Film Comment8.1 (Spring 1972): 14-23.
  13. ^ French box office results for Robert Aldrich films at Box Office Story
  14. ^ Miller Jr., Eugene L.; Arnold, Edwin T., eds. (2004). Robert Aldrich: Interviews. University Press of Mississippi. p. 47. 

External links[edit]