Home from the Hill

Home from the (Texas) Hill…

I’ve had a love/hate relationship ever since first watching this way back when on Super 8 film. Somehow I liked it yet didn’t. Not sure why. One thing was sure though, I recently “just had to” track it down for my DVD collection. And, naturally, once it arrived in my post box, I absolutely had to re-watch it. And didn’t think it too bad after all. Maybe the 20 or so years of growing up (or older) made me view it differently. Home from the Hill (1960), the movie I’m on about.

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Based on the novel by William Humphrey and directed by Vincente Minnelli, it has Robert Mitchum starring as Wade Hunnicutt, the wealthiest womaniser inhabitant in the Texas town the story is set in. In his luxurious home are also wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker) and their son Theron (George Hamilton). Theron, having been his mother’s “little boy” is at a time in his life where he is curious about women and also becoming a man. Wade is keen to teach him to hunt, together with his loyal employee Rafe (George Peppard). While also learning about women from Rafe, Theron becomes more and more drawn into family politics (as well as some other problems along the way). So unfolds a family drama of note where things are quite complicated and relationships not so straightforward (if they were, we’d have no story would we?).

In a way, I do have some nostalgic memories from Home from the Hill. For example, I always had a soft spot for the name Libby purely because of the character of the same name in this movie. She’s Theron‘s first love, played by Luana Patten and such a sweet girl. And then, there’s a little confession…I’ll forever remember learning the word “flirt” from Libby and Rafe‘s (yes, Rafe, not Theron) encounter in the diner. “Are you flirting with me?” and somewhere there she bursts into tears.

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So, a drama to behold. There is always something on the go in Home from the Hill. From disapproving parents to first loves to the heartbreak and sacrifices. Not bad at all. And I can definitely say, I see this (as with many movies) in a very different light these days as back when I was a teen. Great, convincing performances by Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker and all involved. I always had a soft spot for George Peppard‘s Rafe (or maybe it was just for George Peppard).

Just give yourself time though as this approx 2.5 hour movie never rushes the character development and events (it isn’t an action movie after all). But never boring.

Head on over to The Midnight Drive-In’s Texas Blogathon for more things Texas.

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