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Hungry Hill (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hungry Hill
"Hungry Hill" (1947).jpg
Directed byBrian Desmond Hurst
Written byTerence Young
Daphne du Maurier
Based onthe novel by Daphne du Maurier
Produced byWilliam Sistrom
Filippo Del Giudice
J. Arthur Rank (uncredited)
StarringMargaret Lockwood
Dennis Price
Cecil Parker
Dermot Walsh
Michael Denison
Jean Simmons
CinematographyDesmond Dickinson
Edited byAlan Jaggs
Music byJohn Greenwood, played by the London Symphony Orchestra, directed by Muir Mathieson
Distributed byGeneral Film Distributors (UK)
Universal International (US)
Release date
7 January 1947 (London)(UK)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$1.5 million[1][2]

Hungry Hill is a 1947 British film directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Margaret Lockwood, Dennis Price, and Cecil Parker with a screenplay by Terence Young and Daphne du Maurier, from the 1943 novel by Daphne du Maurier.[3]


A feud is waged between two families in Ireland – the Brodricks and the Donovans – over the sinking of a copper mine in Hungry Hill by "Copper John" Brodrick. The feud has repercussions down three generations.[4]

Copper John Brodrick wants to mine copper at Hungry Hill. Of his two sons, Henry is enthusiastic but Greyhound John is reluctant. The mine goes ahead despite opposition of the Donovan family.

Fanny Rosa flirts with both John and Henry. The Donovans lead a riot at the mine which results in Henry's death.

John becomes a lawyer and is the heir to the mine, but is reluctant to take over. He resumes his romance with Fanny Rosa.



Daphne du Maurier's novel was a best seller. Film rights were bought by Two Cities who assigned William Sistrom to produce.[5] Brian Desmond Hurst was the director and it was decided to film on location in Ireland.[6]

Background filming began in County Wicklow in September 1945.[7] Studio filming did not begin until March 1946 in Denham.

The female lead was offered to Geraldine Fitzgerald but she was unable to get out of her US commitments.[8] The producers approached Sally Gray who turned it down as she did not wish to grow old on camera.[9] Margaret Lockwood played the role instead, once she finished with Bedelia.[10] Lockwood's real life daughter player her daughter in the film.[11]

Robert Cummings was mentioned for the male lead.[12]

According to Dermot Walsh, Brian Desmond Hurst wanted Seamus Locke to play Wild Johnny but producer Bill Sistrom insisted on Walsh. "They had a bit of a barney over that", says Walsh. "After I made an exhaustive test, Sistrom called in all the girls from the front office, sat them down and ran the test. The girls got me the part!"[13]

Walsh says the film took around five months to make. "Every shot was composed, they'd spend hours trying to get it as beautiful and as dramatically effective as possible."[13]

Critical reception

The New York Times wrote, "the film's running time is about average, ninety minutes, but the narrative, for all its ample conflict, progresses so ponderously that it seems interminable ... The few moments of effective cinema in "Hungry Hill" are so fleeting as to be easily forgotten, but the sequence wherein a staid ball is turned into a lively jig session by the infectious music of a fiddler from the town is a bit of expert staging which you probably won't see duplicated again soon. The spontaneity and brilliant conception of this scene is almost sufficient cause to make one show more tolerance toward 'Hungry Hill' than it deserves."[14]

Britmovie called it a "stirring Irish saga based on the epic novel by Daphne du Maurier."[15]

Filmink magazine said the film "was clearly Rank's attempt at making a Gainsborough melodrama, only classy" and "all the ingredients are there – costumes, rivalries, feuding brothers – but the filmmakers stuff it" by failing to focus on one character or theme and lacking stars to partner with Lockwood.[16]


  1. ^ Review of film at Variety
  2. ^ "Thrill-Type Tales Choice of British". Los Angeles Times. 7 July 1946. p. C2.
  3. ^ "Hungry Hill | BFI | BFI". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Hungry Hill". Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ A.H. WEILER (21 January 1945). "RANDOM NOTES ON THE FILM SCENE: Steinbeck Writes Mexican Picture--Thomas Jackson, Detective--Addenda A Real and Reel Sleuth Bowling Along Visitor From Britain". New York Times. p. 45.
  6. ^ "LONDON LETTER". The Irish Times. 7 February 1945. p. 3.
  7. ^ "FILMING OF "HUNGRY HILL" STARTS IN WICKLOW". The Irish Times. 24 September 1945. p. 2.
  8. ^ Hopper, Hedda (11 February 1946). "A Rose in Bloom!". The Washington Post. p. 8.
  9. ^ "Australian fan letter for English actor". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 13, no. 32. 19 January 1946. p. 28. Retrieved 1 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ C.A. LEJEUNE (27 January 1946). "FILM ACTIVITIES IN LONDON: Radar's Role in the War to Be Revealed in 'Top Secret'-- Carol Reed to Make Odd Man Out' in Ireland Radar Deception With a Tint of Green Reset". New York Times. p. X3.
  11. ^ Schallert, Edwin (9 March 1947). "British Film Star Irked by Censors: 'Silly,' Says Margaret Lockwood in Trans-Atlantic Phone Chat". Los Angeles Times. p. B1.
  12. ^ Hopper, Hedda (12 June 1945). "Looking at Hollywood". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 15.
  13. ^ a b Brian McFarlane An Autobiography of British Film p 589
  14. ^ T. M. P. (11 October 1947). "Movie Review – Hungry Hill – Miss du Maurier's Novel Makes Film". New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Hungry Hill 1947 | Britmovie | Home of British Films". Britmovie. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  16. ^ Vagg, Stephen (29 January 2020). "Why Stars Stop Being Stars: Margaret Lockwood". Filmink.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 September 2022, at 17:41
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