Set in a Welsh village during the First World War, THE ENGLISHMAN WHO WENT UP A HILL, BUT CAME DOWN A MOUNTAIN is based on a true story, handed down through generations, of two English map makers who measure the height of the villagers’ “mountain” and declare it to be a “hill.” This stirs quite a commotion among the villagers, who then go to great lengths to ensure that their hill once again be declared a mountain. While map-makers Anson and Garrad are successfully distracted — Anson by the beautiful Betty of Cardiff and Garrad by beer — the townspeople attempt to raise the hill’s height by piling on buckets of dirt so that a new measurement can be taken and their hill again declared a mountain. One can easily see the comic possibilities.
Featuring an entertaining performance by Hugh Grant, ENGLISHMAN is a charming story with moments of humor and chaste romance. Shot in beautiful northern Wales, the photography is magnificent. Regrettably, the movie drags and lacks enough humor and plot to hold the audience’s attention. While romance is in the air, and though Anson eventually proposes marriage to Betty, the filmmakers never take full advantage of the possibilities to enhance the romantic scenes, resulting in less than fulfilling entertainment.
(B, V, A) Moral worldview featuring a pure, innocent love affair; tires slashed to prevent someone from leaving town; and, alcohol use in local pub & drunkenness.