A Town Like Alice (1956)

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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 919 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 10 critic

A newly wealthy English woman returns to Malaya to build a well for the villagers who helped her during war. Thinking back, she recalls the Australian man who made a great sacrifice to aid her and her fellow prisoners of war.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenji Takaki ...
Japanese Sergeant (as Takagi)
Tran Van Khe ...
Jean Anderson ...
Miss Horsefall
Marie Lohr ...
Mrs. Dudley Frost (as Marie Löhr)
Maureen Swanson ...
Renee Houston ...
Nora Nicholson ...
Eileen Moore ...
Mrs. Holland
John Fabian ...
Vincent Ball ...
British Sergeant
Vu Ngoc Tuan ...
Captain Yanata
Munesato Yamada ...
Captain Takata (as Yamada)


In 1941, The advancing Japanese army captures a lot of British territory very quickly. The men are sent off to labor camps, but they have no plan on what to do with the women and children of the British. A group is sent on a forced march from place to place searching for a Women's Camp. Told from the point of view of one of the women, she meets an Australian soldier who sneaks food for them from his labor camp. After the war, she goes to Australia to see the town he was from and hopefully reunite with the soldier. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance | War


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Release Date:

1 June 1956 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Rape of Malaya  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to the book 'The Golden Gong - Fifty years of the Rank Organisation, its films and its stars' by Quentin Falk, "While at premiere of a Disney film, 'Robin Hood' [See: The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)], he [Earl St. John] was particularly impressed by the young man who played the Sheriff of Nottingham. The name on the programme was that of Peter Finch. St John bumped into Finch on the stairs of the theatre and invited him to come and talk business at Pinewood. Next day he gave Finch what would be a pivotal role in his burgeoning career: the Australian soldier, Joe, in 'A Town Like Alice'." See more »


Harry Corbett bought his Sooty puppet from a regular store - he didn't design or create it as such. It's possible therefore that Freddie might have had the same puppet before Harry Corbett gave it national fame. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The characters in this story are fictitious. The story itself however is based upon true fact. See more »


Referenced in Chicken Run (2000) See more »


There's a Friend for Little Children
set to the tune "In Memoriam"
Music by John Stainer
Words by Albert Midlane
Arranged by Matyas Seiber
See more »

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User Reviews

A strong story makes for a good film
29 October 2000 | by (Sydney Australia) – See all my reviews

A Town Like Alice is now an old film. However it has a certain directness and freshness which makes it quite watchable.

A Town like Alice is the story of an English nurse, who is trapped in Malaya with a group of Englihs women during the Japanese invasion. As the group can't be categorised by the Japanese army into a useful pigeonhole, they are forced to walk from city to city looking for a place to be prisoners-of-war.

The story is a strong one and the movie doesn't let the book down. Shot in excellent locations in Malaysia, the only problems are fitting the breadth of the story into a limited time.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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