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Eva Marie Saint,
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John M. Stahl
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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
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 »
Jesus Christ is risen today
Traditional lyrics (from Bohemia)
Music by Robert Williams
Sung when Forrester is asked his favourite Easter hymn See more »
The Purple Plain is a winner, a handsomely mounted WW2 drama set in Burma where the Japanese are never seen: the enemy is the hostile landscape and the memories that cripple its hero. Gregory Peck's damaged pilot is still suffering from a bad case of 12 O'Clock High after the death of his wife in an air raid on their wedding night until he falls for Burmese girl Win Min Tan. (This being 1954, they may share an inter-racial romance, but they never actually kiss.) Naturally, as soon as he rediscovers a reason for living he's shot down behind enemy lines and has to make it back with not one but two crippled comrades. It's not much of a plot, true, but it's handled extremely well thanks to Robert Parrish's direction, which is surprisingly strong, direct and imaginative when called for, but still knows when to be unobtrusive as well. Great last shot too.
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