ⓘ The Angry Hills (film)

                                     

ⓘ The Angry Hills (film)

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.

                                     

1. Cast

  • Kieron Moore as Andreas
  • Donald Wolfit as Dr. Stergion
  • Gia Scala as Eleftheria
  • Stanley Van Beers as Tavern Proprietor
  • Jocelyn Lane as Maria Tassos
  • Marius Goring as Colonel Elrick Oberg
  • Marita Constantinou as Cleopatra
  • Leslie Phillips as Ray Taylor
  • Theodore Bikel as Dimitrios Tassos
  • Sebastian Cabot as Chesney
  • Stanley Baker as Conrad Heisler
  • Kostas Gousgounis as Agentuncredited
  • Robert Mitchum as Mike Morrison
  • George Pastell as Papa Panos
  • Alec Mango as Phillibos
  • Patrick Jordan as Bluey
  • Elisabeth Muller as Lisa Kyriakides
  • Peter Illing as Leonides
                                     

2. Production

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

Film rights were bought by Raymond Stross in England, who said he wanted Clark Gable for the lead. Stross eventually set up the film with MGM and New Yorks Cine World Productions, and announced Robert Mitchum would star. According to Mitchum, Alan Ladd was meant to play the lead but the producers drove out to Ladds house and met him after "hed just crawled out of his swimming pool and was all shrunken up like a dishwashers hand. They decided he wouldnt 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 so I did it."

Pier Angeli was wanted for the female lead. Elizabeth Mueller was cast instead.

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.

The film was shot from June to December 1958 with location shooting in Greece and interiors at MGM-British Studios.

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

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 didnt. The Strosses of this world just hang back there and let you work your ass off, till youre 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.

                                     

3. Box office

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.

It had admissions of 588.260 in France.

                                     

4. Legacy

Robert Aldrich later said the film was "disappointing not because its 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. Id know how to make The Angry Hills better in a thousand ways."