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 »

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(novel) (as H. E. Bates), (screenplay)
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

ADVENTURE! ...With the sky as its canopy and Burma's "Purple Hell" as its arena! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Drama | War | Action

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 November 1954 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

La flamme pourpre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just before the crash Peck's navigator references "Where the dawn comes up like thunder". This is a quote from Mandalay by Rudyard Kipling. See more »

Goofs

The markings on the small model aircraft used in the crash scenes are different to the markings on the larger mock-up crashed aircraft. See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Unusual, well written, acted and produced love/war movie.
11 November 2004 | by (Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

This is a Rank Company (British) medium budget production of a post war H. E. Bates novel. Well directed by Robert Parrish, the screen writing by Eric Ambler is quite good. It was shot on site in, what was then, Ceylon. (Same location as "Bridge on the River Kwai")

The young Gregory Peck plays Bill Forrester a Canadian pilot in the RAF serving in far off Burma in the closing months of WWII. He flies a two seat Mosquito fighter-bomber. (The actual aircraft was provided through the cooperation of the RAF and repainted in accurate camouflage and markings, for once.) Forrester, it seems, has gone "round the bend" after losing his new wife in the Blitz. He's self destructive, wanting to end it all in combat. "You'd think that would be easy in a war", he explains to Anna, "but I just kept getting medals instead." Anna is a small, slim, pretty teacher, played very well by Win Min Than, a Burmese actress (how refreshing). They, of course, fall in love (It's a MOVIE, folks) and his life really seems to be turning around. But, on a routine flight, he and two others go down in a very remote desert area of Burma's central plain (hence, the title). From there on we have a rather good, believable survival saga.

The English love eccentric characters and this story has several, all well depicted by some of those fine performers who bounce back and forth between the British "legitimate" stage and cinema. Watch for Brenda De Banzie, who plays Miss McNab, an elderly missionary. (Ya couldn't miss her!)

The Purple Plain is a good movie, a fine movie really. Not too heavy, it's historically accurate with good production values. Forrester's growth curve coming out of his personal hell is quite interesting. I found the depiction of the native Burmese was respectful without being condescending. For instance, the love between Bill and Anna is portrayed in a very reserved manner, as it would be between a Westerner and a Christian Asian woman in real life. All in all, the story line and performances are very believable and very enjoyable. I highly recommended The Purple Plain, if YOU can find it.


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