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Beneath Hill 60 - Brendan Cowell, Gerald Lepkowski, Aden Young, Jeremy Sims

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

1916. Two massive armies facing each other along the Western Front have fought themselves to a standstill. The count down to the Battle of Messines Ridge has begun. The Allies' audacious plan to break the deadlock depends on a small company of Australian miners led by Captain Oliver Woodward (Brendan Cowell).

These ordinary men from mining towns across Australia were given just two weeks military training before being thrust into the war. Poorly equipped, with scant regard for military etiquette, the miners' task is to defend a leaking, labyrinthine tunnel system snaking beneath the Messines Ridge. The tunnels hide a deadly secret; a series of massive mines. If the plan succeeds it will produce the biggest explosion the world has ever known and could change the course of the war.

But no-one seems to know when the order will be given to blow the mines. With constant inundation of mud and water and endless vibrations from heavy artillery, the tunnels are in imminent danger of collapse. Disaster looms as the Germans discover the Australians' underground activity. A deadly cat-and-mouse game is played out thirty metres below the fields of Flanders and, as zero hour approaches, the whole allied strategy could be in jeopardy...

Beneath Hill 60, based on an extraordinary true story.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Beneath Hill 60 theatrical one sheet image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia true war World War I Western Front sappers tunnel explosive miner France Diggers German

Persons of interest

  • Jacqueline McKenzie .... Mrs Waddell
  • Gyton Grantley .... Norman Morris
  • Gerald Lepkowski .... William Waddell
  • Aden Young .... Major North
  • Brendan Cowell .... Captain Oliver Woodward
  • Anthony Hayes .... McBride
  • Steve Le Marquand .... Bill Fraser
  • Leon Ford .... Robert Clayton
  • Harrison Gilbertson
  • John Stanton .... General Lambert
  • Bob Franklin .... Potsy
  • Tom Green .... Hutchings
  • Bella Heathcote .... Marjorie Waddell
  • Warwick Young .... Percy Marsden
  • David Ritchie .... Kommandeur Fusslein
  • Mark Coles Smith .... Billy Bacon
  • Alan Dukes .... Jim Sneddon
  • Alex Thompson .... Walter
  • Martin Thomas .... Ginger Mick O'Donnell
  • Marcus Costello .... Ernst Wagner
  • Kenneth Spiteri .... Karl Babek
  • Anthony Ring .... Stoat
  • Andy Bramble .... Piggott
  • David Roach .... Screenwriter
  • Jeremy Sims .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Beneath Hill 60 official movie sites:
  • Beneath Hill 60 film production notes
  • Beneath Hill 60 QuickTime movie trailers
  • Awards and film festivals:
    • Australian Film Institute (AFI) 2010: Won: Young actor award (Harrison Gilbertson); Nominated: Best film (Bill Leimbach), Best direction (Jeremy Hartley Sims), Best original screenplay (David Roach), Best lead actor (Brendan Cowell), Members' choice award (Bill Leimbach), Best cinematography (Toby Oliver ACS), Best editing (Dany Cooper ASE), Best sound (Liam Egan, Alicia Slusarski, Mark Cornish, Tony Murtagh, Robert Sullivan, Mario Vaccaro), Best original music score (Cezary Skubiszewski), Best production design (Clayton Jauncey), Best costume design (Ian Sparke, Wendy Cork)
    • if Awards: Nominated: Best sound (Robert Sullivan, Liam Egan, Mark Cornish, Tony Murtagh), Best production design (Clayton Jauncey), Best director (Jeremy Hartley Sims), Best feature film
  • See also Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noël)
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

If you are claustrophobic then Beneath Hill 60 will be less of a war movie and more of a horror. It's like a submarine movie without the useful possibility of being able to move around (ie run away). Joy.

Then there's all the fun of living in a rat-infested mud ditch while German bastards try to kill you. Huzzah.

Of course, there's also a lot of obligatory girl-back-home stuff which does nothing to further the war story but does add some dimension to the character of Oliver Woodward and to the backward nature of contemporaneous Australia. It's little more than a lot of farms near a big country town. All these primary industry workers get sent over to Mother England to save the Empire and end up down a bunch of holes trying to not get blown up. That's life in the Army for you. Lovely.

The acting is good but the actors are limited by the script which, while adequate, is no Defiance. You always have the sense that the main characters are going to come back alive, which is unusual for an Australian film.

Beneath Hill 60 is ok but it's not as good as Gallipoli.

The Australia, true, war movie Beneath Hill 60 is directed by Jeremy Sims and stars Brendan Cowell, Gerald Lepkowski, Aden Young.

Government security censorship classification

M (Mature themes, violence and coarse language)

Surveillance time

122 minutes (2:02 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 15 April 2010

Cinema surveillance images

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