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The Angry Hills (1959) Online

The Angry Hills (1959) Online
Original Title :
The Angry Hills
Genre :
Movie / Drama / War / Thriller
Year :
Directror :
Robert Aldrich
Cast :
Robert Mitchum,Stanley Baker,Elisabeth Müller
Writer :
A.I. Bezzerides,Leon Uris
Budget :
Type :
Time :
1h 45min
Rating :
The Angry Hills (1959) Online

In 1941 an American journalist in Greece is given a secret list of collaborators. He is helped by the Greek resistance as he is pursued across the country by the Nazis.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Mitchum Robert Mitchum - Mike Morrison
Stanley Baker Stanley Baker - Conrad Heisler
Elisabeth Müller Elisabeth Müller - Lisa Kyriakides (as Elisabeth Mueller)
Gia Scala Gia Scala - Eleftheria
Theodore Bikel Theodore Bikel - Dimitrios Tassos
Sebastian Cabot Sebastian Cabot - Chesney
Peter Illing Peter Illing - Leonides
Leslie Phillips Leslie Phillips - Ray Taylor
Donald Wolfit Donald Wolfit - Dr. Stergion
Marius Goring Marius Goring - Col. Elrick Oberg
Jocelyn Lane Jocelyn Lane - Maria Tassos (as Jackie Lane)
Kieron Moore Kieron Moore - Andreas
George Pastell George Pastell - Papa Panos
Patrick Jordan Patrick Jordan - Bluey
Marita Constantinou Marita Constantinou - Cleopatra

Stanley Baker challenged Robert Mitchum to a drinking contest. Mitchum won, allegedly after the two men had drunk non-stop for 74 hours.

The original running time was 119 minutes before it was edited down to 105 minutes for US release. The European version ran longer. In 2004 the British Film Institute screened a print with a running time of 114 minutes. Director Robert Aldrich felt that certain scenes lost their meaning with the trims made.

Alan Ladd was considered to play the war correspondent, but Robert Mitchum said the producers decided Ladd was too small.

This film failed at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $497,000 ($4.27M in 2018) according to studio records.

Director Robert Aldrich was very dismissive of his own film in later years, once referring to it as "a terrible film, a joke"; he said there had not been enough time to develop the screenplay properly, although he also pointed out that, at least, his screenwriter, A.I. Bezzerides, was a man of Greek ancestry who knew the country and its history and traditions, whereas Leon Uris, the author of the original novel, had never even been there.

Both Gia Scala and Stanley Baker are in The Guns of Navarone (1961) which is also set in Greece.

User reviews



The opening developments in this picture are promising in the manner that Hitchcock so often exploited: an innocent bystander finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and is drawn into intrigue of which he has no prior knowledge, and in which he has no interest. But he has something that the villains want - while all he wants is to get out of the situation alive. So far, so good. It is not long, however, before the complications give way to standard action fare, the emphasis now being on hiding, getting away, deciding who is trustworthy - elements used many times in many pictures, some better, some worse. Ultimately, the story disappoints. There are rewarding performances by steely-eyed Stanley Baker, and sweaty, cowardly Theodore Bikel. Robert Mitchum plays the lead role with competence, if not distinction.


Based on the Leon Uris novel 'The Angry Hills' is a disappointment. This is a long rambling film and and Mitchum has a long ramble through it, just about acting. Characters appear and disappear, the plot wavers, stops and starts. There are other interesting actors equally wasted; Sebastian Cabot, Donald Wolfit, Marius Goring, and tough guy Stanley Baker doesn't even get to face off with Mitchum. Theodore Bikel comes out better with a sad but sympathetic performance, even when being nasty.The female characters are thinly drawn.

The best things are the clear, crisp photography and the extensive use of location shooting. The hills may be angry but they sure look pretty.


Always liked Robert Mitchum in most of his films and for some reason did not view this late 1950's film. This film is suppose to take place in Greece during the year 1941 and is occupied by the lunatic Nazi forces. Robert Mitchum,(Mike Morrison), is an Army officer who manages to somehow get involved with some very secret information that can help the underground forces in Greece to destroy the Nazi strong holds during WWII. Mike Morrison meets up with a Greek gal and becomes romantically involved with her along with an other young gal who is very confused about what to do with her children. It is rather long and drawn out and at the same time, Robert Mitchum seemed very bored with his role and gave very little enthusiasm. The film wound up being very boring and way too long. The Nazi officer in charge was always sick and complained about not having a PULSE !


Stephen Dade's noirish black-and-white cinematography is the best thing on view in Robert Aldrich's early (1955) and all-too standard-issue tale of an American (Robert Mitchum) involved against his well-developed instincts for survival in resisting the Nazis in a periphery (Athens and the title hills of Greece). There's a conventionally cold-blooded Nazi commander (Marius Goring), Theodore Bikel in the Peter Lorre role of the cowardly collaborator, a wooden Stanley Baker as a less-cowardly one, Elisabeth Müller and Gia Scala as brave love interests, and Robert Mitchum in what might be considered the Humphrey Bogart role if Mitchum had not essayed it a number of times himself. And in a variant on the Sidney Greenstreet role, every bit as rotund but more jovial is Sebastian Cabot. The set-up is handled well, but the middle of the movie drags through reprisals and miraculous escapes by the antihero. The low point is a discussion about values between Mitchum and Müller and the final scene is a bolt from the blue of redemption. The movie is watchable, not least for the Greek locations, but inferior to earlier Aldrich westerns and his superb WWII melodrama "Attack!"


Considering that this film was made from a Leon Uris novel AND stars Robert Mitchum, you might easily assume it would be a wonderful film. However, it's very ordinary and nothing more. The novel is certainly among Uris' weakest and the story simply isn't that extraordinary. It's watchable enough--but not compelling enough to make it a must-see for anyone but die-hard Mitchum fans.

The film is set in Greece during the Nazi occupation. An American reporter (Mitchum) is given a list of collaborators--a list he's entrusted to get to the British. However, the Nazis learn of him and the list and spend most of the film pursuing him across the nation. Basically, he hops from one tiny village to the next and the Nazis commit atrocities in the towns in order to try to get the folks to turn in the American. Along the way, there is a woman (naturally) who falls in love with him as well as another woman who MIGHT be in love with him. Can he make it out of the country and deliver the list? See the film if you really need to know.

Overall, the film is fair to middling. While not a bad film, there really isn't a lot to make it stand out--unless you adore Mitchum or want to see Sebastian Cabot in a VERY unusual role.


One of Robert Mitchum's and Director Robert Aldrich's Least Impressive Films. Both Usually Reliable Professionals are Off Their Game on this one. It is a Flat and Tired Movie from the Beginning, Never Managing to Grab Hold of the Story's Intrigue and it is Lacking in the Period Setting of WWII.

The Movie Looks Like a 1959 Movie set in 1941. The Action is Dull and Telegraphed and the Suspense Never Builds Beyond its Premise. The Script is a bit Confusing and Nothing in this Misfire Maintains Anything More than Mediocrity.

A Dud and a Disappointment from All Involved. The Almost Two-Hour Length is Excruciating.


With such an accomplished director (Aldrich) and author (Uris) involved, I was really surprised that this wasn't more of a success, but as previously discussed by others, this was probably over-edited and over-cut. Robert Aldrich also directed The Dirty Dozen, and TWO Bette Davis films (Baby Jane and Sweet Charlotte). Robert Uris wrote numerous books on the subjects of war and international conflict. The lead, Robert Mitchum was no slouch either, having starred in so many big films - Cape Fear, Out of the Past, Sundowners, Night of the Hunter. In Angry Hills, he is Mike Morrison, a journalist caught up in wartime Europe. He checks into his hotel, and meets someone who wants to give him a secret list that is to be delivered to British intelligence when he returns to London. He refuses, and that's when the adventures begin. Morrison escapes the clutches of the bad guys, (several times) and pops up in a village that has been conquered by the Germans. He is looked after by the beautiful "Eleftheria" and her family. (Gia Scala, who died quite young at age 38. she has an interesting write-up on wikipedia.org) He hangs around town, and then scoots off to another town. Keep an eye out for Sebastian Cabot, best known as the butler on the show "Family Affair", made a couple years after Hills. It's entertaining enough, and a believable tale, but the whole time, I got the feeling that he could have left the various villages much earlier to avoid trouble; he just seemed to dawdle around town for the sake of the script. Still, a good WW II adventure story.


I was thinking ooh Robert Mitchum, Leon Uris, Greece, WEEE.

They were going for some kind of Orson Welles Intrigue/Thriller, but this film was subtle archetypes not doing much! Sadistic Nazi kind-of Cynical yank OK, Slimy Greek/Nazi sympathizer, then the wild-cards that drop in every 15 minutes to, y'know, mix it up!

Laugable dialog, I'm paraphrasing here" We were the hunters, yet suddenly WE'RE the hunted", UGH!

If your going to have a complicated plot, trim all those useless scenes that trail off to nowhere.

Good cinematography, awkward interiors, but excellent composition when they filmed outdoors.

I've said enough, See TOP SECRET, same idea.
Fast Lovebird

Fast Lovebird

"The angry hills" (1959) directed by Robert Aldrich is a lovely movie in black and white where Greece is at stake as country considered a little just before a slow penetration and strange German invasion, in which as story of wartime and peaceful purpose it is yet very interesting for appreciating its local culture. Differently understood by a kind of war press correspondent, between urban and rural landscapes and gestures in this land of symbolic Paternon and democratic values, among crossfires of snipers on streets and roads and suddenly opening doors for surviving at any price even with guerrilla peasants help. What it seems in a given scene located in a folkloric local at Athens, during the installation of the special smooth occupation entering with the almost gentle invader, is the naked chest of a dancer in a frontal touch of love, after the exhibition at a stage inside for also mixed origin officers in which the correspondent is there at his table.

Obviously in a kind of freedom of the time, by director Aldrich during this movie production - whose screenplay is somehow far away of the book where it came from, without the visit of the writer himself to Greece when he had written his book - concerning the sex-appeal without too much corruption, but maybe more passion in free love in wartime. Where Robert Mitchum in his character of correspondent of war ridicules the prudery and attraction from his colleague nearby his common table at there in this evening. Meanwhile, aside observing this sincerity like of the someone, seemingly enormous like Maria Callas at the time, when still unknown voluntarily or not by the effect of Aldrich direction, who was risking his career here. This is an interesting framework of a mixed population, shared by contradictory feelings about foreigners, when a stranger like him came during the evening bringing hope.

The complicated plot is here useful for registering the evidence of difficulties, however also in which a better comprehension for separating the treachery from the betrayed and protecting what is sure and not capable to pass away. Namely, under torture and after giving to the occupant the others civilians, whom not having clearly cooperated with the enemy ; under these circumstances of stressing the strength out of the laws and only by barbarity, for spelling against the will of the local authority. It was like that that the war correspondent it was there between two love affairs, meanwhile and by no means essays escaping from the mountains with some children. But finally by the port of a given island, there is a small ship from a local fisherman for them, when by the window of the police station from the occupants one of his lovers, a beautiful lady, is inside with one of the collaborators, that in a deal accepts intuitively this young and her sacrifice : forgotten the sad affair only for will solving it as account for the resistance, after the war finished.


The Angry Hills casts Robert Mitchum as an American foreign correspondent embedded to use today's terminology with the British troops who are evacuating Greece after the German invasions blitzkrieg catches them flat footed in the summer of 1941. The Germans were invading to pull their Italian ally's chestnuts out of the fire as the Italians got bogged down in the Balkans. This took needed troops from their Russian invasion and in my personal opinion it was the point where Hitler started losing the war.

But who knew that then. Mitchum comes into possession of a list of underground contacts and the Nazis in the person of SS Colonel Marius Goring and Gestapo head Stanley Baker spend the entire picture covering both Athens and the countryside in search of him. Neither Baker or Goring are too squeamish in their methods.

I think the film might have been better had Mitchum been a bit more interested in the project. According to Lee Server's comprehensive biography on him, he was most indifferent. For the usual reasons with him he was on the film simply for a Greek vacation.

The supporting players took up some of the slack and the ones to watch out for are Baker and Theodore Bikel. Especially Bikel he was truly hateful as Nazi collaborator who pimps out his sister to Baker who has her children as hostages. The sister is Elizabeth Mueller who in turn is pimped out to Mitchum to draw him into a Nazi trap.

Bad or mediocre pictures never prevented Mitchum from having a good time. Server's book tells a rollicking story of Mitchum and Stanley Baker matching drinks with Mitchum a clear winner. Baker was no slouch in the hell-raising department, but apparently he was outclassed.


This is a well-cast and quite enjoyable Greek-set World War II yarn,which manages to entertain even with the studio edits(Which caused confusion to some).War Correspondent Robert Mitchum is suitably both laconic and heroic as he,initially reluctantly,seeks to escape Nazi-occupied Greece with a memorised list of Greek Patriots who will feed information to the Allies,whilst feigning collaboration with the Germans. Acting is generally good,with Mitchum and Gia Scala(As the Greek Village girl who aids him and loves him)bonding well together.Some interesting supporting performances too,including a surprising but vital appearance by Sebastion Cabot later in the movie. We also have a risqué(For 1959)early Taverna scene,featuring the "exuberant" Singer/Dancer Marita Constantinou,which must have been filmed twice in anticipation of possible Censorship. The VHS copy I have from the U.S.A shows her bosom discreetly covered - The recently acquired DVD(U.K)reveals her to be topless! Overall,some good,nostalgic location filming:The Plaka,Tourkolimano,etc.;adds atmosphere to this likable Adventure/Drama.


It's pretty much his signature for Robert Mitchum to take his shirt off in his movies, but it's not every day you get to see him in the bathtub! "If you're a good girl, I'll let you scrub my back," he jokes when he thinks room service has come into his hotel room. Ladies, you might want to rent The Angry Hills if you want to see him adjusting the faucet with his feet.

And where else can you see Robert Mitchum go to a nightclub and hide his eyes in embarrassment as a topless singer dances at his table? It's pretty hilarious, and perhaps the most blatant "Take that, Code!" movie I've ever seen. Maybe an edited version was released in the United States, because I can't imagine a scene like that being released without any uproar from critics and censors.

This movie does have a plot, though, besides bathtub scenes and topless scenes. Robert Mitchum gets hold of a list of collaborators to the Greek Resistance, and while he tries to help the Greek people, he also has to dodge Nazis and undercover Nazis who want to steal the list. He doesn't know who he can trust, and when Elisabeth Muller comes into the picture for romance, she just might have an ulterior motive. If you like these types of movies, there's nothing really wrong with this one. It's pretty typical of the genre, but unless you really like underground resistance movies set during WWII, you probably won't come across it.


Copyright 1959 by Raymond Stross Productions. Released through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. New York opening at neighborhoods: 15 July 1959. U.K. release: 8 March 1959. Australian release: 4 June 1959. 9,461 feet; 105 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Wounded by a Nazi collaborator, a war correspondent in 1941 Athens, flees to the hills.

COMMENT: This confused and muddled tale of espionage in war-torn Greece, is the result, Aldrich claims, of savage cutting and mutilating by producer Stross after shooting had been completed. This would certainly explain the totally inept concluding sequences, but not the general slackness and lack of suspense throughout the last hour or so of a rather rambling yarn. (Even an attempt to tighten the movie still further has worked no magic. The print under review runs only 97 minutes, not 105).

Some of the acting is best described as hesitant. Aldrich states in a rather roundabout way (he blames himself rather than the actor) that Mitchum was totally uncooperative, although it is really only in the last third of the movie that Mitchum suddenly decides to stop taking direction. Up to that point, he is quite acceptable. Perhaps he simply lost confidence in the script. Indeed, until the sudden introduction of Elizabeth Mueller, the screenplay is one of Bezzerides' best. The plot deploys some memorable characters and out-of-the rut dialogue. I particularly enjoyed Marius Goring's brilliant portrait of a punctilious, hypochondria-cal German major who dreams of a little man as big as his thumb.

The first half of the movie is all directed in an appropriately bravura style. A swinging light in a museum sequence, heralds a really breath-catching chase scene. The interrogation sequence with Baker running his finger along the map, the night raid and the execution episodes are also prime examples of Aldrich's masterly directorial flair.


Having watched this film as a 10/11 year old child in Manchester,UK in 1969, I am intrigued by the very explicit topless dancer scene! I think that I would have remembered this scene, and wonder if it was censored in the UK!! Otherwise not a bad movie, though it was overlong. It would definitely have looked better in colour.Interesting to see so many top rate actors in one film, even though some only had brief roles. Stanley Baker and Gia Scala would appear together in another Greek located film two years later, namely "The Guns Of Navarone"! Personally, I think the look of the film was quite good. The locations, and set dressing,period vehicles looked quite authentic. If I remember correctly in the UK this film was shown on a double bill, with a Tarzan film as the second feature. The Tarzan film was in colour!!


Robert Mitchum stars in "The Angry Hills" from 1959, directed by Robert Aldrich and written by Leon Uris. The film also features Gia Scala, Theodore Bikel, Stanley Baker, and Sebastian Cabot.

Mitchum plays Mike Morrison, a journalist during World War II, who is given a list of undercover people who will seem to collaborate when the Nazis move into Greece. The battle for the list begins, as Morrison goes on the wrong and is helped to hide by the Greek resistance.

A list of secret agents, a list of double agents, a list of Nazi collaborators, a list of resistance members...this has to be the most overused plot in film history. It was recently used as the "Macguffin" in Skyfall. We've seen it in dozens upon dozens of films.

When you use a hackneyed plot, you've got to do better than this film, which is overly long and overly talky. I have no problem with "talky" scripts as long as the dialogue is good -- All About Eve comes to mind. "The Angry Hills" is not of that caliber. Rather than action scenes, it has meandering scenes and does not hold interest. The characters aren't well defined enough.

Robert Mitchum is always good, and in fact, the cast is good, doing their best with a mediocre script. It's not much of a story. Nice scenery, though, and Sebastian Cabot seems like he's doing Sydney Greenstreet.


Reporter on his way home to America is given a list with the names of Greek collaborators, as Nazi Germany is about to gobble up Greece in 1941.

He is chased throughout the country by the Germans and has his lover, her brother and father killed in the process. He also falls in with one of the collaborators, who is also in love with a Nazi official. Theodore Bikel portrays a cowardly Greek man working for the Nazis.

To me, the ending is rather bizarre and questionable. Stanley Bakes plays the conflicted lover of the collaborator, who ultimately questions his duty when it calls for the killing of her two young children from a failed marriage.

The movie is not satisfying.


It could have a double meaning.

The topless dancer scenes are very daring. It has just been on Turner Classic Movies in the UK. I would of liked to a have been present at the no doubt legendary drinking sessions .

The brilliant Leslie Phillips hamming it up shamelessly with Robert Mitchum. Showing an early glimpse of his well known lecherous persona. This combines with a certain amount of gravitas as the film picks up pace and and gets a bit like a bogart film. Take your pick as to which one there are girls a plenty all willing to turn our hero into the fall guy.

aaah the days before sexism.

this is a very scenic romp.


Droll scenes, broken storyline, ridiculous villains, a yummy actress (Gia Scala), Mitchum not soaked by the general silliness, and Aldrich severely clueless. Directed by Aldrich and starring Mitchum, it's an uninspired, eerily misdirected war _actioner, often droll, as if a half-wit hired Aldrich, Mitchum, Goring, Cabot, Bikel, Baker, to see this movie done, like someone's ambition came through, say a war movie by E. Wood, the lousiest scenes are saved for Heisler (head of the Gestapo in Athens), the undecided mother and the fat benefactor; the twists seem bizarrely inefficient (when the car shows up at the nunnery, I gathered the Gestapo sent it, but it didn't, the double agent broad, Lisa, was merely acting on her own, only then do the Gestapo try to convince her), the gimmicks look childish and unlikely (Heisler's map, also Mitchum's attempt to shoot the Gestapo head, then the fooling of Tassos …), the Germans track Mitchum in the hut where he hided, but aren't able to arrest him when the broad hosts him in Athens …. Both script and, save Mitchum, Goring and the Greek girl, acting are uncannily clumsy, with a random storyline and unlikely scenes meant to look intriguing, many scenes have a droll look, and the character seem sly-boots, jokers, hoaxers. This movie disappointed me, the director and the cast looked promising, though the title almost gave away the silliness; there are a few nice scenes, till the Germans step in, and the warrior (who is in fact a foreign correspondent, and remains mysterious till the finis) wakes in Elefteria's house, but even these exciting initial scenes, from Mitchum's arrival in Athens (it remains undecided whether he was only pretending to be an officer) until his jumping in an army car, have droll forebodings (like Tassos spying at Mitchum's door, or Mitchum leaving the museum unharmed). I don't believe I have ever heard about it before finding it, and in this situation it seems reasonable. Aldrich deserved a spanking for angering those hills. Perhaps less for giving a wholly positive image of the Greek patriotism and life in the country, with the nunnery meant to give Western audiences a sense of familiarity, and endearing, though later entirely anti-ecumenical, Greek priests.

Mitchum's true job, the officer with whom he spends his evening in a cabaret, Lisa's arrival at the nunnery, Mitchum's secret presence in Athens, the benevolent and useful pawnbroker are random items in a zany, aimless plot. Heisler and Lisa are supposed to reveal puzzling depths. The actors who embody them are the most deluded of the cast. If the comic book intrigue is derisory, the melodrama is sick. Aldrich earned himself a spanking.

Yet somehow, Mitchum alone manages to be likable, with his coolness, nonchalance and handsomeness, in this hallmark of phoniness and unbelievable nonsense. I wrote Mitchum alone, but I should mention also Elefteria, played by the yummy Gia Scala. And there's also a 3rd actor.

Goring, as colonel Oberg, does an enjoyable role as an eerie sickly officer, outspoken, who complains about the leader's campaigns and about his own shattered health, a role wasted on this formless silliness.

Cabot is the fat pawnbroker, Th. Bikel is Tassos (a comic book henchman of the Gestapo); like Goring as the hypochondriac colonel, they seem to believe they act in a comedy. The plot is so childish, unconvincing and thoughtless, that it could of been an instinctive choice of subverting it. The drollest scenes belong to E. Muller and Baker, as Lisa and Heisler, both with delusions of fine acting; on the other hand, Mitchum misread Heisler, who, though from a nation bent on killing an entire other nation, shows unexpected largeness, so he's not the heartless wretch his enemy supposes him to be. Mitchum's outburst of anger when he finds out about Lisa's story and kids is his critique of the movie, at least of its plot.