BE INSPIRED TODAY!
Based on a true story. THE HILL, and the life on which it is based, is the definition of perseverance. We live in a world of quick fixes and easy access and delivery on-demand. THE HILL reminds us that some things require discipline and sacrifice and a won’t-quit attitude.
THE HILL releases in theaters TODAY Friday, August 25th, 2023
THE HILL is about many things and chief among them is the power of believing in yourself when no one else will. For Ricky, his belief in God and his belief in himself are inextricably linked. This might also be one of the more compelling themes in the film for people of faith. As Scripture reminds us that humanity is made in the image of God, THE HILL implicitly asks us to consider the ways in which these two beliefs (in self and in God) play out in our own lives
Growing up impoverished in small-town Texas, young Rickey Hill shows an extraordinary ability for hitting a baseball, despite being burdened by leg braces from a degenerative spinal disease. His stern, pastor father (DENNIS QUAID) discourages Rickey from playing baseball to protect him from injury, and to have him follow in his footsteps and become a preacher. As a young man, Rickey (COLIN FORD) becomes a baseball phenomenon. His desire to participate in a try-out for a legendary major league scout divides the family and threatens Rickey’s dream of playing professional baseball.
Pastor Hill, Ricky’s father is a complex figure, a man of deep faith who is blind to the miracle in front of his very eyes. As is often the case in life, those who criticize others for their shortcomings often exhibit those same shortcomings. Pastor Hill accuses Ricky of being selfish. It isn’t until he has a change of heart much later in the film that Pastor Hill realizes that he has been the selfish one all along.
As stubborn as he can be, Pastor Hill is also an example of someone who puts service over self. While there is a danger of taking this too far, he is a man that hears and heeds a higher calling, one that doesn’t necessarily promise earthly riches.
Ricky’s girlfriend reminds him—and us—that if you’re not trying, you’re dying. Closely related to the theme of perseverance is this recognition of the importance and value of trying...of embarking on a journey to accomplish a goal. Even if Ricky didn’t succeed in the tryout, he could have lived his life with no regrets, recognizing that he did all that he could.
THE HILL shows us that we don’t walk alone and that greatness cannot be achieved in isolation. Ricky feeds off the support of his mother and siblings. He was able to have surgery on his broken ankle due to the kindness of friends and strangers. In this way, THE HILL encourages to be mindful of those who cheer us on in life and to express gratitude to and for them.
Ricky’s mother is also an important character in the film. She is emblematic of so many women who serve God and their family with a quiet and wise spirit. She is ultimately able to break down Pastor Hill’s barriers and to make him see how his own ideas about his son's life are actually undermining what God has in store for Ricky.
THE HILL also shows us how weaknesses in one part of our life can actually strengthen us in others. Because Ricky can’t run as a child, all he can do is focusing on hitting. Years and years of honing this skill make him the great player he becomes, thanks, in part, to his leg braces.
Based on a true story, THE HILL is directed by Jeff Celentano and also stars JOELLE CARTER, country music singer and songwriter RANDY HOUSER, Golden Globe nominee BONNIE BEDELIA, and SCOTT GLENN.