The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

"Very Good"

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain Review


If you're expecting a big joke about the unfortunate title of this film, you'll be disappointed. Everyone else has done it already. I saw the film late, and I'm just not falling into that trap.

With that out of the way, The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain refers to the title character, Hugh Grant, who is given this wacky Welsh nickname as the result of some wacky events surrounding the wacky title hill/mountain.

The story is a classic comic farce. Set in 1917, in the village at the foot of the mountain, Ffynnon Garw, a pair of surveyors from England come to the village to measure its height. Grant is Anson, as one of the surveyors who recently returned from World War I only to find himself shell-shocked so badly that public service is his only apparent employment option.

When Anson measures Ffynnon Garw, he finds it to be just a bit too short to be called a mountain. Now the Welsh take their mountains very seriously, and this is quite a blow to the village, so with the aid of villagers Morgan (Colm Meaney), Betty (Tara Fitzgerald), and a host of others, they conspire to keep the surveyors in town long enough to pile enough dirt atop Ffynnon Garw to push it into mountaindom. Through high school-style pranks and the affectionate ministrations of Betty, Anson stays in town long enough to be charmed by its beauty, simplicity, and fraternity.

Some of this works. Some of it doesn't. The Englishman can be hilarious at times, and really quite silly at others. In fact, Fitzgerald, who is normally the embodiment of the phrase "ingenue," looks downright goofy with her 1917 Shirley Temple curls and period dress. I couldn't take her seriously at all. Worse still, the critical romance developing between her and Anson is completely unbelievable, and was a real stumbling block for me.

Otherwise, the film is good, if not entirely memorable, featuring some excellent bit players and an original story (but not too original--the story of Ffynnon Garw is true). The film drags a bit here and there, but the ending had me walking out with a smile.



The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th May 1995

Distributed by: Miramax

Production compaines: Miramax Films, Parallax Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Reginald Anson, as Betty, as Morgan the Goat, as George Garrad, as Johnny Shellshocked, Kenneth Griffith as Reverend Jones, Tudor Vaughan as Thomas Twp, Hugh Vaughan as Thomas Twp Two, Robert Pugh as Williams the Petroleum, Robert Blythe as Ivor, Garfield Morgan as Davies the School, Lisa Palfrey as Blod Jones, Dafydd Wyn Roberts as Tommy Twostroke, Ieuan Rhys as Sergeant Thomas, Ieuan Rhys as Sergeant Thomas, Anwen Williams as Mavis, David Lloyd Meredith as Jones the JP, Fraser Cains as Evans the End of the World

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