North Africa, World War II. British soldiers on the brink of collapse push beyond endurance to struggle up a brutal incline. It's not a military objective. It's The Hill, a man made instrument of torture, a tower of sand seared by a white-hot sun. And the troops' tormentors are not the enemy, but their own comrades-in-arms. Sean Connery headlines this stark tale of war inside military prison walls. The inmates are soldiers who once defied, rebelled, talked back. The wardens are sadists who perpetrate cruelty in the name of discipline.
A depiction of the brutality within the British army, filmed in the sixties, but probably timeless. It avoids tempting allegory for a quite forensic look at the bureaucratic, pitiless, idiotic abuse within armed forces, here, in North Africa. A great showcase for its cast of UK stalwarts that have served in many screen wars. But most importantly, a word for the brilliant black and white photography of Oswald Morris. Which was outstanding.