Beneath Hill 60 (2010) torrent download

Beneath Hill 60

2010

Action / Drama / History / War

7.1

Synopsis

The extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward. It's 1916 and Woodward must tear himself from his new young love to go to the mud and carnage of the Western Front. Deep beneath the German lines. Woodward and his secret platoon of Australian tunnelers fight to defend a leaking, labyrinthine tunnel system packed with enough high explosives to change the course of the War.

Director

Jeremy Sims

Cast

Brendan Cowell
as Captain Oliver Woodward
Harrison Gilbertson
as Frank Tiffin
Steve Le Marquand
as Sergeant Bill Fraser
Gyton Grantley
as Norman Morris
Alan Dukes
as Jim Sneddon
Alex Thompson
as Walter Sneddon
Warwick Young
as Percy Marsden

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by anthonyjlangford 8 /10

A tense thriller yet an accurate insight.

'Beneath Hill 60' is a true story based on a front-line campaign in Belgium in 1917. This is a war film unlike any other. Not at least that it is about Australian soldiers in a predominately British campaign. There were many others who fought in both World Wars, though you wouldn't know it from most big budget war films we are used to seeing.

Oliver Woodward (Brendan Cowell) is a late inductee into the campaign on the front who must prove himself to his fellow Aussies who have been in the trenches for some time. It's literally hell on earth. But these soldiers belong to a special unit. The tunnelers. Their job, to subvert the enemy from beneath. They are soon sent to one of the great Fronts of WW1 in Belgium, to an area known Hill 60 which is currently dominated by the Germans. There is a plan in place, but can they pull it off? It's claustrophobic. It's tense. There is constant shelling. The guns shots come from nowhere. You can understand how many were driven mad by it. (Shell shock).

This film works on so many levels. A brilliant taut script by David Roach based on the actual diaries of Woodward who shows us that there is more at stake here than gaining mere inches of ground. There is the tenacity of man. The blunt simple-mindedness which is required to get the job done, but which can also blind some men from the truth. War is stupid. It's a game. And yet they are not merely soldiers but ordinary people. We get an insight into their lives, predominately through Woodward himself, which juxtaposes how horrific war is. We get an idea of the German position too. Often they are faceless enemy's but here we get a little insight into the men on the other side of the muddy walls.

It's a suspenseful film, directed with real flair and I'm surprised to say, mastery of the medium, by actor Jeremy Sims, whose first film, (Last Train to Freo), was rather an languid affair. Once again he works within an tight budget, (like all Australian films, except for that unmentionable one), but he puts you into the mud and the water and the darkness underground. You'll by yearning for your shower, dry bed and a cup of tea; privileges denied to most of these chaps for months at a time.

My only criticism is that Brendan Cowell looks too old for the part. He' s supposed to be 25. I could have gone along with it if I'd been told much earlier. But really he is Australia's best actor (Noise, Love My Way) and plays Woodward to perfection.

The supporting cast is also first class. Steve Le Marquand shows his depth and is totally believable. It's welcoming to see John Stanton back. We don't see him enough in Australian film. He has a strong presence and that amazing voice. He is an underused icon. I barely recognized Jacqueline McKenzie, who looks ten years younger than she is. She is always a pleasure to watch. Her on screen daughter played by Bella Heathcote is a real talent too though Aden Young's brief odd appearance seemed unconvincing. The tunnelers themselves, all work together to bring a on-screen camaraderie and presence. Credit must go to Sims and Roach for this collective working dynamic. Also noted are the chillingly effective 5.1 sound effects and a classy score by legendary composer Cezary Skubiszewski.

If you are from outside Australia, and don't like war films, it is still effective as a thriller and even a love story. It's highly recommended. For Australians, it's a must own DVD for every household. Finally, an Australian film to be proud of. And an important one at that.

Reviewed by danspan101 10 /10

Most believable war movie I've seen in a long time.

First of all, I'd like to address the large number of reviews that mention Americans haven't seen/wouldn't't be interested in this film. There seems to be an assumption that Americans aren't interested in war films that don't feature Americans. Not sure where this is coming from, but I've never found that to be the case. Americans who like war movies, like war movies. Almost everyone I know has seen 'Gallipoli', 'The Odd Angry Shot', 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence', 'Mad Max' (OK, not a real 'war' movie, but just sayin'), in addition to many of the great British and German-made films. The issue isn't with interest, it's with distribution. If studios and theater owners don't think they'll make a zillion dollars by showing a movie, we don't get to see it unless it turns up on cable or Netflix. OK, I'll step off my tree-stump now and review this fine movie.

WW1 certainly does not get the film-making attention it should, so to find one that's this excellent makes up for this a little bit. I was drawn in and kept there by the fine acting, attention to detail, and fluidity of story telling. In any war flick, I'm always waiting for that cheesy moment that breaks the rhythm and steals the credibility of the scene. Usually a 'why we fight' type of speech that you know never would have happened; soldiers fight to keep themselves and their buddies alive, and don't need any other reason. That type of dialog is obvious, useless, and clearly just there for the audience, and not for the benefit of the characters or story. None of that puffiness or foolishness here. Also, it wasn't one of those war films that was made just so someone could put it one their resume', or show off their special-effects prowess. It is first and foremost a great story about real characters and events. I got the feeling that everyone involved in making this film truly cared for what these men went through and brought their best effort as a way to honor that. As much as I like movies about the well-know people, places and events that took place in war, movies that give this much attention to the lesser-known stories can be a much more fulfilling experience. If done right, these types of movies can make the events much more personal and bring you uncomfortably close to the realities of war, which is what war movies should be doing. 'Beneath Hill 60' does this in spades, and this American appreciated every minute of it.

Reviewed by donb-519-335075 10 /10

Everyone should see this

An outstanding portrayal of the Messines Ridge battles - a part of the overall series of battles in WWI around Ypres in Belgium. Anyone who knows anything about WWI will recognize the incredible fighting and human misery surrounding the 3 major Ypres battles. For a great depiction of these battles - read A Storm in Flanders - by Winston Groom -one of the best histories of the Great War.

The movie works on all levels - some of the other reviews state that Aussies should see this - I disagree - everyone who is interested in how the free world defended against German aggression need to see this. I am a WWI junkie, but I believe this movie will appeal to a very wide audience.

A few of the good points: Realism - this movie focuses on many small details which give it great credibility: clipping canaries nails; covering your coffee cup when there is an explosion (to keep dirt from falling in); continual rain and mud (can you say Passchendaele?) ; unbelievable living conditions; the cat and mouse game being played under ground where both sides were trying to discover the others mines; prejudice against the miners/sappers as not being real soldiers; and the death of the father (you'll see what I mean).

This is one of the finest war movies I have seen (and I've seen a lot.) I really hope you will take this one in. Then, the next time you are in London - go to the Imperial War Museum for an in depth look at WWI & II. Cheers DonB

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