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The Purple Plain (1954)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,194 users  
Reviews: 27 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 »

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Title: The Purple Plain (1954)

The Purple Plain (1954) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Nominated for 4 BAFTA Film Awards. See more awards »

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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 »
Edit

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When Peck's co-pilot looks out at the starboard engine, it is leaking some kind of fluid; but that fluid is running down the side of engine. It's not showing any sign of what would have to be at least a 200 mph wind passing over the nacelle. See more »

Soundtracks

Jesus Christ is risen today
(uncredited)
Traditional lyrics (from Bohemia)
Music by Robert Williams
Sung when Forrester is asked his favourite Easter hymn
See more »

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User Reviews

 
THE most underrated movie of the 1950s!
4 July 2006 | by (wisconsin) – See all my reviews

I've had this movie on my 10 Best List for many, many years.

This story of healing from loss through love is immensely powerful. It's exquisitely photographed; it looks much more art film than Hollywood. The direction is solid, and the pacing near perfect. Peck holds his own among a field of scene-stealing character actors. His performance gives us a clue as to what he was like on the stage. His good looks don't distract you; he's utterly convincing as a pilot who's lost the love of his life and no longer cares whether he lives or dies. In the first part of the movie his character is not a good guy, and it's believable. Hard to do when you look like Gregory Peck.

Love conquers all, of course. The story turns on his love for a woman. But, as the movie progresses, we find that he loves his crew too, even "old Blore." The young navigator worships him, and the admiration is returned full force. Their relationship is a key element of the story, as important as the romance between Peck and the Burmese girl.

This is one of those rare movies where men openly love each other--not in a gay sense--in a human sense. It's a love based on respect. This is something missing from almost all heterosexual movies. Probably because most men don't seem to be able to easily distinguish between sex, attraction, affection, and love. It all gets mixed up together, and homophobia damps down any positive emotions between men that isn't associated with some sport. Wartime seems to provoke these feelings too, evidently, but it's rare for a picture to show manly affection, except as a joke. It's just one aspect of this film, but one that shouldn't be overlooked.

I can only hope this movie gets rediscovered and recognized for the fine, fine film that it is.


46 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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