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Home from the Hill is among the underrated titles in the careers of Robert Mitchum and Vincente Minnelli, two disparate talents who create a potent familial saga here. The setting is East Texas, where Mitchum's philandering patriarch rules the local area. His wife (Eleanor Parker) has raised their son (George Hamilton) as a momma's boy, the kind of soft kid who gets bamboozled into going on a "snipe hunt" with the pranking locals. His opposite number is a manly farmhand (George Peppard) with his own bond with Mitchum. Southern melodrama thrives in such a setting, and the film doesn't avoid all the traps, but Minnelli suffuses the movie with the same emotional effects of color and movement that he brought to his direction of musicals. Minnelli's sensitivity and Mitchum's strength carry the movie, but the secret weapon is the unexpectedly good work from the two Georges, both of whom were at the beginning of their careers. (You can see from this film that Peppard is a dead-cert to become a major movie star, which he almost did--but then didn't, for a variety of reasons.) The film was shot on location around Paris, Texas, and although this is far from Minnelli's An American in Paris, the exciting hunting sequences are solid proof that you can't pigeonhole a talented director. You can't pigeonhole Mitchum, either, and this is one of his best roles.

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WA79539 Home from the Hill DVD (1960/Robert Mitchum) 30% Off! $19.98 $13.98