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The Bamboo Prison (1954)

Approved | | Drama, War | December 1954 (USA)
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 ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Tanya Clayton
Cpl. Brady
Father Francis Dolan
Doc Jackson, medic
Commandant Hsai Tung
Comrade-Instructor Li Ching
Comrade Clayton
P.O.W. Jackie (as Dick Jones)
Pepe Hern ...
Weaver Levy ...


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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

December 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Was a Prisoner in Korea  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Earlier in 1954, Robert Francis and Jack Kelly also appeared together in "They Rode West." See more »


Tanya Clayton: [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: Am I?
Tanya Clayton: Yes. Because you see, I do not like "progressives."
MSgt. John A. Rand: No foolin'. How come?
Tanya Clayton: 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.
Tanya Clayton: I have been threatened ...
See more »

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User Reviews

Lukewarm Drama Pales In Comparison To Its Predecessor
26 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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