Sheriff Sean Kilpatrick is a pacifist. Frank Brand is the leader of a band of killers. When their paths cross Kilpatrick is compelled to go against everything he has stood for to bring ... See full summary »
Aboard the cargo vessel converted into a luxury cruise ship SS Campari somewhere in the Caribbean is lying in port due to a succession of delays. Chief Officer Johnny Carter, who has to put... See full summary »
Richard Harris portrays Eitan, yesterday's football hero waiting for tomorrow. A man who has nothing left but guts. He consults the unheroic prospects of having to find a new profession and... See full summary »
A troop of British soldiers are out in the jungle to record jungle noises and troop noises in the jungle so that the recordings can be played back by other troops to divert the enemy to their whereabouts. As they progress to what they think is closer to the base camp they find themselves farther and farther from radio range until the only channel they can get clearly is that of a Japanese broadcast. They now realize they are probably only 10 to 15 miles from a Japanese camp! The tension is added to by rowdy and openly admitted "non-hero" Private Bamforth who has nothing good to say about anyone and especially Corporal Johnstone (who holds an equal dislike for Bamforth). When a Japanese soldier is taken as their prisoner, the true colors of each man comes to the surface ... Written by
"A handsome young private lay dying ...", recited by Bamforth, is based on 'The Old Stable Jacket' or 'Tarpaulin Jacket' (words by G. J. Whyte-Melville, music by Charles Coote). Various parodies of the song exist, also including another wartime song, 'The Dying Airman'. The Australian bush poem/ ballad, 'The Dying Stockman' is based on this as well. See more »
In the hut the soldiers' clothes become dry very quickly. Even when Laurence Harvey is wringing his shirt to get the water out, the rest of his clothes are dry. In the jungle during the rainy season, clothes would take hours if not days to dry out. See more »
Morality play masquerading as your standard war movie
What at first seems to be your typical British war film about a squad of soldiers behind enemy lines in Burma actually turns out to be something far, far different - and better. THE LONG AND THE SHORT AND THE TALL is actually a morality play about the importance of human life, the nature of warfare, and mankind's humanity towards his own kind. It was based on a play and occasionally feels very staged and studio-bound, but it overcomes these flaws to become something very compelling.
What's especially good about this film is that it takes careful time to develop each of the main characters in turn. So we get Richard Todd as the tough, incredibly ruthless sergeant, and Richard Harris as his volatile corporal. Ronald Fraser does well as a man conflicted between kindness and brutality, and David McCallum is a delight as the coward of the group. Best of all is Laurence Harvey, who plays a racist on the outside but at the same time becomes the most humane one of the lot.
THE LNG AND THE SHORT AND THE TALL doesn't pack a great deal of action into the running time, but when it does occur it's incredibly hard-hitting due to the aforementioned characterisation. Kenji Takaki also deserves kudos for playing the Japanese soldier; without a single word of English, he manages to create a thoroughly sympathetic character. Less is more, and this underrated war movie is a great example of that ethos.
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