A Town Like Alice (1956) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • At the conclusion of World War II Jean Paget decides to return to Malaya and build a well for the people of the village that sheltered her and several other British expatriates after the Japanese invasion. When taken prisoner, the men were immediately transferred to a prison camp but the women and children go on a forced march, one that never seems to end as no camp commander will take them in. Along the way, many will die but Jean befriends an Australian soldier, Joe Harman, himself a prisoner who does his best to help the women by providing them with bits of food and medicine. Harman oversteps however and the cruel Japanese camp commander has him nailed to a tree. Jean never forgot the brave Australian who helped her and the others but she isn't prepared for the news she receives when she returns to the Malayan village.

  • 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.


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