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Hill 24 Doesn't Answer

The DVD of the 1955 Israeli film classic “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer” is finally here. The film focuses on Israel’s 1948 war of liberation and the creation of the State of Israel sixty years ago. The story relates the story of four young Zionists who are assigned to defend strategic Hill 24 outside of Jerusalem, in order to maintain access to the besieged city during Israel’s War of Independence. The defenders, each with their own story, come from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The film was the first major motion picture in English produced in Israel, heralded by French film historian Georges Sadoul as “superbly directed by Thorold Dickinson.” Dickinson, who was highly regarded as one of the most inventive of British directors, came to Israel to direct the international cast. The cast includes Edward Mulhare (TV’s “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir”), who came from Ireland; Michael Wager, who came from the Broadway stage in the United States and would later be the voice of PBS’s “Great Performances;” Margalit Oved, from Yemen, who became a world renowned choreographer and directed Israel’s celebrated dance company, Inbal; and Israel’s Haya Hararit who would win the Hommage Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance and would go on to star in “Ben Hur," opposite Charlton Heston. British cinematographer Gerald Gibbs filmed the picture and Israel’s brilliant composer Paul Ben-Haim wrote the music. The screenplay was written by Canadian-born Peter Frye and Lithuanian-born Zvi Kolitz.
The DVD, released in celebration of Israel’s 60th birthday, features many extras, including interviews with the producer of the film Jack Padwa, star of the film Michael Wager and production manager Paul Tyras. Also featured is an audio address recorded over 30 years ago by the film’s director, Thorold Dickinson. The DVD includes biographical information on the major members of the cast and crew, scene selection, as well as an introduction to the film.