The Purple Plain (1954)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, War  |  26 November 1954 (Finland)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,280 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 7 critic

After losing his bride in a Luftwaffe air raid, bomber pilot Forrester becomes a solitary killing machine, who doesn't care whether he dies. The reckless Canadian pilot is both admired and ... See full summary »



(novel) (as H. E. Bates) , (screenplay)
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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »



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Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Bennett, Robert Preston


Complete credited cast:
Squadron Leader Bill Forrester
Win Min Than ...
Brenda de Banzie ...
Miss McNab
Dr. Harris
Maurice Denham ...
Lyndon Brook ...
Anthony Bushell ...
Group Captain Aldridge
Josephine Griffin ...
Mrs. Bill Forrester
Ram Gopal ...
Mr. Phang


After losing his bride in a Luftwaffe air raid, bomber pilot Forrester becomes a solitary killing machine, who doesn't care whether he dies. The reckless Canadian pilot is both admired and feared by the rest of his squadron in World War II Burma. The squadron physician is assigned to determine the embittered Bill Forrester's fitness for duty. To break through the nightmare-haunted man's wall of silence, the physician drives Forrester to visit an outpost of English-speaking refugees, which includes an alluring young Burmese woman. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HIS PEAK OF ADVENTURE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Adventure | Drama | War | Action


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 November 1954 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La flamme pourpre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Blore's quote, "Theirs not to reason why...", is from "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson. See more »


When the Avro Anson touches down on the dirt runway near the end of the film, it makes screeching sounds as per a hard surface. See more »


Onward Christian Soldiers
Music by Arthur Sullivan and lyrics by Sabine Baring-Gould
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User Reviews

The Purple Plain
5 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I suppose the reason why I loved the film so much was that I was actually watching the film being made in Sigaria in Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka). I was part of an RAF Police team from RAF Columbo called to investigate the theft of some property from the set of the film. The visit also gave me the opportunity to actually have breakfast with Grgory Peck before the days shooting. I was astounded by the amount of detail that went into the making of the film, and the amount of responsibility put upon Jean, the continuity girl. Gregory Peck was a perfect gentleman, and I was so proud to actually be introduced to him by Brummie Benson, an RAF extra on the film set. To me, the film depicted courage at it's best, and as said by a previous critic , a simple story, with no over blown heroics,a good and believable cast, and a most enjoyable though somewhat predictable conclusion. But, NO bad language..... It's a pity more films of today cannot follow the same pattern. In all a very good example of the Royal Air Force at it's humble best, and a credit to the J.Arthur Rank Studios for its production

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