Beneath Hill 60
Beneath Hill 60 is a 2010 Australian war film directed by Jeremy Sims and written by David Roach.
- jaar uitgave: 2010
- regisseur: Jeremy Sims
As seen in flashbacks that occur throughout the film, Oliver Woodward is an Australian miner supplying copper for the war effort. He falls in love with Marjorie Waddell, a young woman ten years his junior. However, he is under constant pressure to enlist, especially from Waddall's father. He has the opportunity to do so when the British Army forms the 1st Australian Tunnelling Company to supplement the Royal Engineers; Woodward is commissioned to lead the unit. On the Western Front, Woodward meets Frank Tiffin, a young Australian soldier who is suffering from shell shock; it is later revealed that Tiffin, being underaged, was initially relegated to being a stretcher bearer, where he saw firsthand the horrors of war. Woodward reassigns Tom Dwyer and Norman Morris to relieve Tiffin. Two German tunnelers break through into the tunnel. Morris and Dwyer dispatch both of them, but Dwyer is killed when a German explosive goes off, burying the tunnel on top of them; Morris is rescued by the other sappers. Later, Woodward is tasked to destroy the Red House, a fortified German position raining enfilade fire down upon the frontmost section of the British trenches. Although Hardwood initially proposed tunneling beneath the Red House, his commanding officer, Colonel Wilson Rutledge, insisted that it be done by dawn. Along with Sgt. Bill Fraser and Morris, Woodward crosses No Man's Land. They manage to reach the Red House and plant explosives underneath it. However, as they make their way back to British lines, they discover that their fuse is too short, so Morris runs ahead to retrieve the exploder. While they wait, they discover mortally wounded Lt. Robert Clayton, who had been ordered to cut a gap in the wire for them. Morris arrives with the exploder and they destroy the Red House. The next day, after a game of rugby league, Woodward receives word that they are to be moved up the lines to the Belgium front. Upon arrival, Tiffin, Walter, and Bacon are separated from the rest of the battalion and pinned down by German machine gun fire. Bacon, being the fastest runner, volunteers to distract the Germans while the others make a run for British lines. Although Tiffin and Walter make it, Bacon is killed mere inches from safety. The unit continues on to Hill 60. During an inspection, it is revealed that the Canadian Engineers have been tunneling deep below the Messine Ridge for months, planting a million pounds of ammonium nitrate in the form of 21 massive mines. Woodward is tasked with maintaining the tunnels as the British military buildup begins; they hope to fill the ridge with as many German troops as possible. To this end, he constructs a massive shaft to keep the water table from inundating the explosives. He also digs multiple diversion tunnels to throw the Germans off. Sneddon is buried in one such tunnel when he is ordered into it by Rutledge, despite reporting that the Germans would likely be setting off explosives soon. The Germans eventually catch on to their plan and dig toward the main tunnel. An attack tunnel is dug in response, and the Australians successfully destroy the exploratory shaft with minutes to spare. However, the charge that was used weakens the clay and a portion of the tunnel collapses, trapping Tiffin. His compatriots race to stall the detonation of the mines, but the schedule could not be delayed on account of one man. Woodward sets off the mines to begin the Battle of Messines. Woodward returns to Australia and the surviving members of the unit gather for his wedding with Marjorie. Despite getting through the ceremony, Woodward is shown to suffer from PTSD due to his war experiences.