Thunder on the Hill

Last updated
Thunder on the Hill
Thunder Hill.jpeg
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Produced byMichael Kraike
Written by Oscar Saul
Andrew Solt
Charlotte Hastings (play)
Starring Claudette Colbert
Ann Blyth
Music by Hans J. Salter
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Edited by Ted J. Kent
Universal Pictures
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
  • October 17, 1951 (1951-10-17)(United States)
Running time
84 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.5 million [1]

Thunder on the Hill is a 1951 American film noir crime film directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Claudette Colbert and Ann Blyth with Robert Douglas, Gladys Cooper, Michael Pate, John Abbott and Norma Varden. The picture was made by Universal Pictures and produced by Michael Kraike from a screenplay by Oscar Saul and Andrew Solt, based on the play Bonaventure by Charlotte Hastings. The music score was by Hans J. Salter and the cinematography by William H. Daniels.



Sister Mary Bonaventure is in charge of the hospital ward of a convent in the county of Norfolk, England. She is troubled by her own sister's suicide, which she confides to her Mother Superior.

A torrential rain closes nearby roads, causing Sergeant Melling of the police to bring condemned murderer Valerie Carns there. She is being taken to prison.

Valerie was convicted of poisoning her brother Jason, a pianist. Jason's physician, Dr. Jeffreys, is head of the hospital where Sister Mary now works. Valerie still proclaims her innocence, but Jeffreys insists that she gave Jason a fatal overdose of his medicine.

A photograph of Jason clearly disturbs Isabel Jeffreys, the doctor's wife. He gives her a sedative. Valerie appeals to Sister Mary to bring her fiancé, Sidney Kingham, to the convent to see her. A servant tells Sister Mary about the sadistic behavior of Jason Carns and produces a love letter to him, clearly written by Isabel.

Mother Superior is upset by Sister Mary's meddling. She burns the letter. The nun still intends to tell Melling the police sergeant what she knows.

Dr. Jeffreys is the one who gave Jason the fatal dose, and he might be slowly poisoning Isabel as well. He lures Sister Mary to a bell tower, where he attacks her. She rings the bell. Sidney hears it, rushes to her aid and overpowers Jeffreys, who is arrested by Melling.

Sister Mary's faith is restored, believing the rain that delivered Valerie to her to be divine intervention.


Related Research Articles

Mary Pickford Canadian-American actress

Gladys Louise Smith, known professionally as Mary Pickford, was a Canadian-born American film actress and producer with a career spanning 50 years. She was a co-founder of the Pickford–Fairbanks Studios with Douglas Fairbanks and the United Artists studio with Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith, and she was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who present the yearly "Oscar" Awards ceremony.

Claudette Colbert French-American actress

Claudette Colbert was an American stage and film actress.

George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys Welsh judge

George Jeffreys, 1st Baron Jeffreys, PC, also known as "the Hanging Judge", was a Welsh judge. He became notable during the reign of King James II, rising to the position of Lord Chancellor. His conduct as a judge was to enforce royal policy, resulting in a historical reputation for severity and bias.

Claudette Colvin African-American civil rights movement activist

Claudette Colvin is a retired American nurse aide who was a pioneer of the 1950s civil rights movement. On March 2, 1955, she was arrested at the age of 15 in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on a crowded, segregated bus. This occurred nine months before the more widely known incident in which Rosa Parks, secretary of the local chapter of the NAACP, helped spark the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott.

The following is an overview of 1931 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.

Athole Shearer Canadian American actress

Athole Shearer Hawks was a Canadian American actress, who was the sister of motion picture star Norma Shearer and MGM film sound engineer Douglas Shearer.

Judy Carne actress

Joyce Audrey Botterill, known professionally as Judy Carne, was an English actress best remembered for the phrase "Sock it to me!" on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

Norma Talmadge American actress

Norma Marie Talmadge was an American actress and film producer of the silent era. A major box-office draw for more than a decade, her career reached a peak in the early 1920s, when she ranked among the most popular idols of the American screen.

Ann Blyth American actress

Ann Marie Blyth is an American retired actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but also successful in dramatic roles. For her performance as Veda Pierce in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce, Blyth was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

<i>The Trouble with Angels</i> (film) 1966 film by Ida Lupino

The Trouble with Angels is a 1966 American comedy film about the adventures of two girls, later best friends, in an all-girls Catholic school run by nuns. The film was directed by Ida Lupino and stars Hayley Mills, Rosalind Russell and June Harding.

<i>Magnificent Obsession</i> (1935 film) 1935 film by John M. Stahl

Magnificent Obsession is a 1935 drama film based on the novel of the same name by Lloyd C. Douglas. The film was adapted by Sarah Y. Mason, Victor Heerman, and George O'Neil, directed by John M. Stahl, and stars Irene Dunne, Robert Taylor, Charles Butterworth, and Betty Furness.

Michael Pate television actor

Michael Pate was an Australian actor, writer, director, and World War II army veteran.

The Mrs Bradley Mysteries is a British drama series starring Diana Rigg as Adela Bradley, and Neil Dudgeon as her chauffeur George Moody. The series was produced by the BBC for its BBC One channel between 31 August 1998 and 6 February 2000, based on the character created by detective writer Gladys Mitchell. Five episodes were produced, including a pilot special. Stylish images of the 1920s are featured, including a classic Rolls Royce limousine and art deco fashions and jewellery worn by the title character.

Travis Banton American fashion designer

Travis Banton was an American costume designer. He is perhaps best known for his long collaboration with actress Marlene Dietrich and director Josef von Sternberg. He is generally considered one of the most important Hollywood costume designers of the golden age.

Mary Euphrasia Pelletier 19th-century French Roman Catholic nun and saint

Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, born Rose Virginie Pelletier, was a French Roman Catholic nun, best known as the foundress of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.

Spencer family (<i>General Hospital</i>) fictional family on the American soap opera General Hospital

The Spencer family is a fictional family on the American soap opera General Hospital. The family is created by Douglas Marland and first introduced in 1977 when Bobbie Spencer arrives in Port Charles. Bobbie's brother, Luke arrived a year later in 1978. Supercouple Luke and Laura Spencer are part of this family, known for their romance and many adventures. The Spencer family is characterized as an adventurous bunch, but many in the family have struggled with various types of substance abuse. They are known for their longstanding feud with the Cassadine family. The family is currently represented by: Laura, Lulu, Bobbie, Carly, Lucas, Valerie, Michael, Josslyn, Cameron, Jake, Aiden, Rocco, Charlotte, Jonah and Donna. The Spencers are the owners of the Haunted Star yacht, which is a staple establishment in the Port Charles community.

<i>Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake</i> 1942 film by John Cromwell

Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake is a 1942 adventure film directed by John Cromwell, starring Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney. The film was adapted from Edison Marshall's 1941 historical novel Benjamin Blake. It is notable as the last film Frances Farmer appeared in before her legal problems and eventual commitment to psychiatric hospitals until 1950.

<i>The Women</i> (1939 film) 1939 film by George Cukor

The Women is a 1939 American comedy-drama film directed by George Cukor. The film is based on Clare Boothe Luce's play of the same name, and was adapted for the screen by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin, who had to make the film acceptable for the Production Code for it to be released.

<i>Barnyard Follies</i> 1940 film by Frank McDonald

Barnyard Follies is a 1940 Republic Pictures musical B movie directed by Frank McDonald with music directed by Cy Feuer and dance choreography by Josephine Earl. Set in the rural American West, a small-town orphanage struggles to become self-supporting through its 4-H Club projects. The screenplay, written by Dorrell McGowan and Stuart E. McGowan, is based on a story concept by Robert T. Shannon. Released 6 October 1940, the film stars Mary Lee, Harry Cheshire, Rufe Davis, June Storey, Ralph Bowman, Joan Woodbury, Jed Prouty, Victor Kilian, and Isabel Randolph.

Isabel Bateman American actress

Isabel Bateman was an American actress. She was born near Cincinnati, Ohio on December 28, 1854. The daughter of the actors H. L. Bateman and Sidney Frances Bateman. Her sisters were the actors Kate Josephine Bateman and Virginia Frances Bateman.