Corp. Brady (Brian Keith) an American soldier captured during the Korean War, is taken to a POF camp. There he meets Sgt. Rand (Robert Francis)a prisoner who is cooperating with the North ...
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Corp. Brady (Brian Keith) an American soldier captured during the Korean War, is taken to a POF camp. There he meets Sgt. Rand (Robert Francis)a prisoner who is cooperating with the North Koreans. Brady is disgusted by these actions, but he soon discovers that Rand is actually an intelligence officer playing along to access important secrets. Rand also becomes close to Tanya Clanton (Dianne Foster), the wife of an American traitor, in order to exact information.
Earlier in 1954, Robert Francis and Jack Kelly also appeared together in "They Rode West." See more »
[Sgt. Rand has unexpectedly kissed her on the mouth, leading her to believe he may be abusing his status as a "progressive" - an allied P.O.W. who's converted to Communism]
You are taking too much for granted, Sergeant.
MSgt. John A. Rand:
Yes. Because you see, I do not like "progressives."
MSgt. John A. Rand:
No foolin'. How come?
I do not like "progressives" because I hate and despise Communists. They're all of the same breed: men who have ceased to be men.
MSgt. John A. Rand:
You can get 50 years in a work camp for that.
I have been threatened ...
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Lukewarm Drama Pales In Comparison To Its Predecessor
When the WWII drama "Stalag 17" came out in 1953, it had the benefit of the talents of Billy Wilder as director and writer. It was also co-written by Edwin Blum, whose talents I had never noticed before.
But in 1954, "The Bamboo Prison" was released, also co-written by Edwin Blum. The film, like "Stalag 17", takes place in a POW camp. Though it's a Korean War camp, the similarities between the two scripts are noticeable, e.g. the main character (Sgt. John Rand played by Robert Francis) is hated by his fellow prisoners because he carves out a profitable and semi-comfortable life for himself while in captivity.
But director Lewis Seiler is no Billy Wilder, Robert Francis is no William Holden, and "The Bamboo Prison" is certainly no "Stalag 17". Francis, who only appeared in four films before perishing in a crash of the plane he was piloting, tries to bring a weighty seriousness to his role, but struggles to carry the lead. His Sgt. Rand cooperates with the Communists and spouts anti-capitalist rhetoric that might have been polarizing in its day (right after the Korean conflict ended), but is often voiced by the political left in America today. Likewise the calculated black rights sentiments voiced by the Communists.
The comedy elements feel forced and much less successful than in "Stalag 17". The opening scenes of a 40-day Bataan Death March-like struggle by the new prisoners feel tacked on and ineffective. In he end, there is little to recommend this shallow POW story.
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