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The 7th Dawn (1964) Poster

(1964)

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The character of Ng is based on the actual chairman of the Malayan Communist Party, Chin Peng who survived the war and now lives in China.
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The film and the novel it is based on are presented as Roman à clef with historical events greatly altered.
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At the start of the film, Ferris is shown participating in the execution of Japanese prisoners of war. While in the source novel, Ferris is described as participating in the rape and execution of female Chinese traitors in the Traitor-Killing Camps located in the jungles of the Main Range.
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The resettlement of the Chinese villagers depicted in the film was part of an ongoing program called the Briggs' Plan named after its developer General Sir Harold Briggs.
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The British High Commissioner of Malaya in 1953 (when the film was set) was General (later Field Marshall) Sir Gerald Templer. The character of Trumphey more closely resembles the next British High Commissioner of Malaya Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray.
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Near the start of the movie, Ferris is allowed to pass through a Malayan People's Liberation Army road ambush. The insurgents are Malay not Chinese as indicated by their conversation - "Jangan tembak. Nanti." -Don't shoot. Wait.
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The character of Ferris is partially based on John Davis, a former SOE officer who worked with Chin Peng during the war. In 1955, he was sent by the government to bring Chin Peng out of the jungle and escort him to Baling for a peace conference.
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The character Dhana is described as half-Vietnamese, half-French yet her name is not Vietnamese (or French). It is a Hindi name meaning "wealthy". This might mean Dhana is actually half-Cham. Many of the Cham people of Vietnam are Shaivite Hindus.
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The character of Dhana is based in part on the writer Han Suyin, an Eurasian physician who lived in Malaya during the Emergency. Her husband at the time, Leon F. Comber, was acting Assistant Commissioner of Police - Malayan Special Branch. Her works of fiction include "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" (later made into a movie starring William Holden) and "And the Rain My Drink" an autobiographical novel of her experiences in Malaya in the early 1950s.
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The actor who plays the Japanese commander at the surrender ceremony was R. William Koh, a Chinese businessman who was a member of the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army during WWII.
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In one scene filmed on the Genting Sempah highway, the MNLA ambush a rubber planter played by Maurice Denham. His car, an Aston Martin saloon, flies over a cliff and explodes in mid-air. Originally, the car was to blow up on impact with the ground but the explosives detonated early. As it was too expensive to film again, the scene stayed in the movie.
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During location shooting in the Malaysian jungle, William Holden was bitten by a python. Since pythons are non-venomous, his wound was treated and he continued filming the movie.
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Tetsuro Tamba, a Japanese actor, plays Ng, the Chinese commander of the Malayan Peoples' Anti-Japanese Army.
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During a forced break in filming due to heavy rains, a Malay Bomoh, or shaman, was hired to predict when the rains would cease. His prediction was spot on and filming resumed.
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Filming was delayed when actual squatters took up residence in the Chinese squatter village set. After their removal, filming resumed and the Chinese squatters stayed to watch. When the village is torched, crying and wailing can be heard. This wasn't from the Malay extras but from the real squatters who just lost their new home.
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Because the UK government deemed the script to be prejudicial to British interests, it refused to cooperate. Therefore, all British troops were portrayed by Australian troops who were, at the time, running operations along the Malaysian-Thai border.
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The character Ferris is partially based on Frederick Spencer Chapman, a British officer and explorer, who worked behind enemy lines in Malaya during WWII. He later wrote of his experiences in his book "The Jungle is Neutral".
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The character of Dhana is based partly on Nona Baker, a British woman who spent WWII behind enemy lines with the MPAJA.
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Michael Keon, author of "The Durian Tree" on which "The 7th Dawn" is based, was a journalist working as Australian Press Attaché in China during the Communist revolution. During that time, it was rumored that he operated as a spy for Western intelligence.
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The director, Lewis Gilbert, was the brother-in-law of actor Sydney Tafler, who played Tom, CPO.
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Certain aspects of the character Ferris are based on a rubber planter by the name of Haddon-Cave. His was the only rubber plantation to escape terrorist attack in Malaya. Haddon-Cave was suspected of collusion with the MNLA by General Templer. When Templer investigated, he found the actual reason for the planter's immunity from attacks was, as Haddon-Cave put it, "we have the best damned security perimeter in the country". Templer was forced to agree.
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The author, Michael Keon, during his stay in Malaya, met with three communist MPLA members. One he referred to as Ng, a pseudonym. This person bears a strong resemblance to Ng, the character in the novel and the movie.
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William Holden's alcoholism initially led him to turn down the role of Ferris, but a brief stint in rehab helped change his mind.
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Michael Keon, the author of the book the movie is based on, was the former brother-in-law of Ferdinand Marcos, former president of the Philippines. He was also reportedly a personal friend of Mao Tse Tung.
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The general plot of "The 7th Dawn" is very close to a UK serial "A Place of Execution". The book "The 7th Dawn" is based on is "The Durian Tree". In this novel a durian tree is to be the place of execution of Candace Trumphey.
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The aircraft attacking the MNLA camp is a late model Gloster Meteor.
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Chin Peng, the Malayan Communist Party chairman who Ng is based on, at one time used the alias "Ng".
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The parachute troops attacking Ng's camp are 22 SAS Regiment. The Parachute Regiment only sent volunteers to Malaya that would later form The Parachute Regiment Squadron of 22 SAS Regiment.
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Durians appear in this film as danger signs three ways. Dhana is arrested when a grenade is found in a hollowed out durian. Candace surrenders herself to Ng at a durian tree. And Ng plans to execute Candace near another durian tree. In Malay, durian means 'thing with thorns' - they kill numerous people each year when they ripen and fall on unwary heads.
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This movie was originally banned in Malaysia due to its neutral portrayal of the MRLA insurgents.
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William Holden, a noted Japanophile - someone preoccupied with Japanese culture, plays Major Ferris who, at the start of the movie, stops the execution of Japanese POW's by the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army leader Ng (played by a Japanese actor).
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Tetsurô Tanba, who plays Ng, would later become a religious leader in Japan with a cult following. Ng is a military/political leader with a cult-like following. One character, Ah Ming, describes him as "a god".
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At the time this movie is set, the late 1940's, Beulah Quo, the American actress who played Ah Ming, was escaping from the communist takeover in China.
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This is the second time William Holden has played a member of Force 136 Special Operations Executive. The first being his famous role in "The Bridge on the River Kwai". In that movie Force 136 was renamed Force 316.
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William Holden, Tetsuro Tamba, Michael Goodliffe, and Allan Cuthbertson all served in the military during WWII representing the US, Imperial Japan, the UK, and Australia.
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According to Bob Thomas's biography "Golden Boy: The Untold Story of William Holden", Holden considered retiring from acting right before agreeing to do this film.
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Capucine was cast as Dhana due to her romantic relationship with executive producer Charles Feldman. This was initially opposed by Holden, producer Karl Tunberg, and director Lewis Gilbert. They were overruled by Feldman. Later in the shoot, Holden began an affair with Capucine much to the displeasure of Feldman.
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The movie was filmed entirely in Malaysia at the Forest Research Institue of Malaysia at Kepong and Bukit Laggong, Lake Gardens, the railway station and the clock tower in Kuala Lumpur, the beach at Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan, the jungle of Ulu Gombak, Pudu Gaol, and the trunk road between KL and Negri Sembilan.
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This film and the book it is based on end in a similar fashion as the 1959 novel "Sun in the Hunter's Eyes" by Mark Derby: the protagonist chasing the antagonist, who has kidnapped a young woman, through the Malay jungle while avoiding MPLA communist/terrorists.
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This movie had two working titles - "Wherever Love Takes Me" and "The Third Road".
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The script writer decided to change the main character's background to tailor it to William Holden. The American Major Ferris was originally an Australian Sergeant in the source novel.
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The main musical theme of the film actually had lyrics (unused in the film but available on the OST LP). They were written by Paul Francis Webster.
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In the source novel, Trumpey is only a Malay state British Advisor to a local sultan.
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The script writer decided to change Dhana's character from Tamil/Malay/English Eurasian to French/Vietnamese Eurasian to better fit Capucine's looks and accent.
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In the source novel there is no interaction between Ferris and Dhana and Ng only says one word to Ferris - "Yes".
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The source novel ends differently than the film. Ng, after being captured by Ferris, refuses to exonerate Dhana and becomes mentally deranged.
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In the source novel, Candace is the main character. Ferris, outside of a few social encounters, only appears in the final third of the book. Dhana only appears in two scenes - the bicycle ban protest and her trial.
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In the source novel, Trumpey is an ex-lover of Dhana.
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This film marks the British film debut of Italian composer Riz Ortolani.
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In the source novel, Candace is Trumpey's sister-in-law not his daughter.
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The python seen in the film was supplied by a US Army Medical Research Team studying jungle conditions in Malaysia. At one point, the tame snake became agitated by the crew and lights and struck out at the first person that crossed its path. That was William Holden who was not seriously injured.
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In the source novel, Ng is a paranoid sociopath who kills everyone who helps him capture Candace - more than a half dozen English, Sikh, and Chinese. He also kills two children and their teacher who were about to discover his location.
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In his book "The Jungle is Neutral", Frederick Spencer Chapman, the inspiration for the character Ferris, called Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character Ng, a "true friend". They spent most of the war together in the Malay jungle fighting the Japanese occupation troops.
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In 2013, Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character of Ng, died in Bangkok, Thailand having never been allowed to return to Malaysia after the war.
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The name of the main character, which is a mononym, is Ferris. Ferris is a Celtic name meaning iron or stone. It is related to the name Fergus which means man's strength.
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Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character Ng, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his efforts fighting the Japanese during WWII. It was later withdrawn.
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Ferris is described by Trumpey as an American who served with the 8th Australian (Division). The 8th Division was destroyed as a fighting unit by the third month of the Pacific War and most its men were killed in action or taken prisoner by the Japanese.
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Ng and Dhana were raised together after her father took him in at the age of nine.
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The village that the British burn is Malay, not Chinese. The villagers are Malay, as is the architecture. The village school's sign is also in Arabic script which, in a modified form, is used in Bahasa Melayu (Malay language).
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The village the British burn down is called "Coconut Hill".
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William Holden refused to do any publicity tours for this movie. Later, it was blamed on a relapse in his alcoholism.
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In the source novel, the character of Cavendish is a hard line policeman who fought the Jews in Palestine. He is also rumored to practice onanism in his locked office.
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Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character of Ng, was only 20 years of age when WWII ended. Three years later he became the Chairman of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). The actor who plays Ng, Tetsuro Tamba, was 42 when he made this movie.
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The aircraft the paratroopers jump from is a Blackburn B-101 Beverley transport. (Not in use by the RAF until 1957, four years after the movie is set.)
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The helicopter used throughout the movie is a Bristol Type 171 Sycamore, the first British-designed helicopter to fly and serve with the Royal Air Force. It began operations in 1953 and served in the Malayan Emergency.
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This movie bears a superficial resemblance to a 1953 British TV series "A Place of Execution". In a British colony in Asia, a suspected terrorist has been tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. The terrorist group kidnaps the British governor's daughter, Caroline, and threaten to kill her if the execution proceeds. Her lover, Ferrell, rescues her just in time.
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The name "Candace" is found in the Bible and means white or pure. The proper pronunciation is Can-duh-see.
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The name "Ng" is translated into English as either five or yellow.
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Ferris's servant refers to him as "Tuan", the Malay word for Lord.
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In one scene a flag is seen folded on a table. This is the Malayan National Liberation Army flag - a red field with a gold star in the upper left corner. It is very similar to the flag used by the Viet Minh and the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam.
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The costumes supervisor for this film was Hylda Gilbert, wife of director Lewis Gilbert.
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The second unit assistant on this film was John Gilbert, the son of director Lewis Gilbert.
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The name of the rubber planter, Tarlton, means "forest clearing settlement", while the name of Ferris's servant, Lim, means "forest".
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The surname Trumpey means "a slow, relaxed person". This best describes the character at the start of the film.
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Dhana's surname Mercier is translated into English as merchant or trader, usually of fabrics and silk.
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Ferris calls Candace "a bright, soft, still folded sarong" in Malay. It is a Malay idiom for a virgin. In the source novel, it is not Ferris who says this but Candace's female friend.
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Before becoming an actor, Tetsuro Tamba was an English language teacher in Japan. However, he retained his Japanese accent which can be heard in the movie.
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This film is Tetsuro Tamba's second non-Japanese film and his first British film.
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In the film, Ferris is assisted at one point by the Senoi jungle people. In the source novel, Ferris lives some months with the Senoi during WWII.
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At the start of the movie, a General Osaki surrenders to the British and MPAJA. In reality, Lieutenant-General Teizo Ishiguro surrendered to just the British in Kuala Lumpur on 13 September 1945.
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The character of Dhana is partially based on Sybil Kathigasu, a Eurasian Malayan nurse, who supported the MPAJA during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. She is the only Malayan woman to ever be awarded the George Medal, a civil decoration presented to those performing acts of bravery.
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At the time this movie was being filmed, Malaysia was fighting two wars - the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation and the Sarawak Communist Insurgency. A few days after the film's release, Indonesian troops started to infiltrate the Malay State of Johor south of the Kuala Lumpur area where most of the movie was shot.
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Less than four years after the release of this movie, MCP Chairman Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character of Ng, restarted the communist insurgency in Malaysia. The Second Malayan Emergency lasted from 1968 until 1989.
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The film never explains how Ferris got his start up money for his tin mines and rubber plantations. In the source novel, it is implied that he received funds by extorting Chinese war collaborators.
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At the time this movie was set, Michael Keon, the author of the source novel, was a journalist covering the Chinese Civil War. In 1948, Keon was west of Beijing when he and another journalist came under fire. Erich Wilberg, the other journalist, was killed. It was rumored at the time that the communists intentionally targeted Keon due to some negative reports.
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The scenes at the Kuala Lumpur rail station were filmed on April 17th, William Holden's birthday. The cast and crew brought in a birthday cake and held an impromptu celebration for Holden.
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This film was initially banned in Malaysia due to the negative portrayal of the government forces during the Malayan Emergency.
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Early in the film, Ferris, Ng, and Dhana are all wearing caps with three red stars. The stars represent the three races of Malaya - Malay, Chinese, and Indian.
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In the film, Dhana's father is a French surgeon. In the source novel, he is a Eurasian and a low level civil servant disillusioned with life.
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In the scene where Candace surrenders to Ng, a siamang, a type of lesser ape or gibbon, is seen climbing a durian tree.
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This film is dedicated to the people and government of Malaysia which at the time the movie was filmed included Singapore.
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The US premiere for this film was held in Boston on 24 June 1964.
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The village the British destroy in the film is suspected of collusion with the MPLA. When the fire sets off an explosion, this is proved to be correct. Elements within the village belonged to a civilian organization called the Min Yuen that supported the communists by providing supplies and intelligence information.
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This movie marks the British film debut for Capucine.
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The machine guns used by both sides during the battle are .303 British Bren light machine guns.
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As of April 2014, the only surviving members of the major cast and crew are Lewis Gilbert, the director, and John Dark, the associate producer.
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In the film, Dhana is accused of violating the Emergency Regulations. Specifically, she is charged with violating Articles 17C and 17D (possession of arms, ammunition or explosives) which carry a death sentence.
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One inspiration for the character of Ferris is Jeffrey Watts-Carter, an Australian rubber planter in Malaya. In April of 1951, Watts-Carter was arrested and charged with consorting with communists, a violation of the Emergency Regulations that brought a death sentence if convicted. Due to highly questionable evidence and testimony, he was acquitted and seven outstanding charges were dismissed.
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This is the second instance where Chin Peng has inspired a movie antagonist. In 1952's "Outpost in Malaya", also known as "The Planter's Wife", the character of Ah Siong was based wholly on Chin Peng. He meets a similar fate in both movies.
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At the time this movie is set, John Davis, an inspiration for the character Ferris, was training Ferret Force, a counter-insurgent unit consisting of civilians who were ex-members of Special Operations Executive Force 136. During WWII, Davis and the Ferret Force members had worked with Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character of Ng. Now, they were targeting Chin Peng and his MRLA.
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The battle scene in the movie is very similar to the Malay Emergency's Operation Termite. In July of 1954, RAF bombers, SAS paratroopers, and heliborne ground troops attacked two MRLA camps in the Kinta and Raia valleys east of Ipoh, Perak. The operation was a resounding success.
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Inspiration for the character Ferris was found in South African Boris Hembry who was a rubber plantation owner in Malaya during the Emergency. Hembry, during WWII, was a member of Freddie Spencer Chapman's stay behind party operating in Japanese occupied Malaya.
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Contrary to popular belief, this film was not intended as an analogy to the Vietnam War. The source novel was published in 1961, well before the US sent military advisors to South Viet Nam and years before combat troops were sent.
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In "The 7th Dawn" three of the four main characters are former Special Operations Executive (SOE) members (Force 136). The director of this movie, Lewis Gilbert, directed two other movies involving SOE personnel - "Carve Her Name with Pride" and "Operation: Daybreak".
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As of 2016, the only surviving member of the major cast and crew is Lewis Gilbert, the director, age 96.
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One inspiration for the character of Ferris was Richard Noone, an anthropologist and former member of SOE's Force 136. He worked with the MPAJA during WWII and later formed the Malayan Scouts, an heritage unit of the Special Air Service.
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In the film, Ferris is asked to participate in the capture of Ng. In real life, the operation to capture Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, was called Operation Profit.
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In the film the paratroopers jump from Blackburn B-101 Beverley aircraft. Actually, at the time the movie is set, the RAF used Vickers Valetta aircraft for airborne operations in Malaya.
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In the film, Ferris walks from his estate near Kuala Lumpur in central Malaya to MRLA headquarters. In reality, at the time the movie is set, MRLA headquarters was located in northern Malaya near the town of Gerik making the walk near impossible.
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The character of Cavendish is based on Nicol de Gray, the police commissioner of Malaya at the time the film is set. Gray was the police commissioner In Palestine during the insurgency there and was well known for his hardline, counter-guerrilla techniques and policies.
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At the time this movie was being filmed, Malaysia and Indonesia were at war. Four days after the film's release, Indonesia invaded West Malaysia near the primary location site for the film.
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In the film a Gloster Meteor aircraft is seen attacking the MRLA camp. At the time the movie is set, there were no Meteors in Malaya. The RAF were still using de Havilland Hornets, a propeller driven airplane, at the time.
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William Holden and Capucine starred together once before in 1962's The Lion.
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Lewis Gilbert also directed Sydney Tafler and Michael Goodliffe in 1958's Carve Her Name with Pride, which also had characters serving in the Special Operations Executive.
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Lewis Gilbert directed Tetsurô Tanba twice more in 1967's You Only Live Twice and 1976's Seven Nights in Japan.
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Sydney Tafler, who portrays the Chief Police Officer (CPO), was cast against type. He usually played thieves and con men.
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This is the fourth time William Holden has played a soldier operating behind enemy lines. The other films are The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Devil's Brigade, and The Horse Soldiers. In The Bridges at Toko-Ri, he portrays a naval pilot who is shot down behind enemy lines and must defend against a North Korean attack.
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This is the third time William Holden has played a man romantically involved with a Eurasian woman. The other films are Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing and The World of Suzie Wong. In The World of Suzie Wong, the female character is never described as Eurasian but is played by Eurasian actress Nancy Kwan (in the play she is played by Eurasian actress France Nuyen).
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The director, Lewis Gilbert, and Sydney Tafler, who plays Tom, worked on fifteen movies together from 1947 to 1977 including this one.
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In the film, the assassination of Tom, CPO, shares numerous similarities to the actual assassination of Sir Henry Gurney, the High Commissioner to Malaya, on 6 October 1951.
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The world premiere was on 13 August 1964 in London.
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In the film, Dhana is Ferris's mistress. In real life, Capucine and William Holden were lovers.
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Nine members of the cast and crew have worked on James Bond movies to include Lewis Gilbert, Tetsurô Tanba, Maurice Binder, Michael Goodliffe and Sydney Tafler.
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A 2008 biography of John Davis, the inspiration for Major Ferris, contains an afterword by Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng. It was titled "Our Man in Malaya" and was written by Margaret Shennan.
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Ferris drives a 1953 Aston Martin DB2.
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Candace drives a 1950 MG TD Midget.
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Tarlton drives a Riley 1½-litre RMA saloon (sedan).
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The automobile that the CPO is riding in when he is ambushed and killed is in the Rover P4 series, probably a Rover 75 luxury saloon.
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The knives used in the fight scene between Ng and Ferris are Malay parangs.
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For many scenes, the production required numerous Western extras. This presented a problem in post-colonial Malaysia. The solution was the recruitment of Australian army and British RAF personnel along with any available and willing civilians.
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At the start of the film, Trumpey, in his capacity as ranking British Army officer, accepts the surrender of Japanese forces in Malaya. Michael Goodliffe, who portrays Trumpey, was in fact a commissioned officer during WWII. He was captured at Dunkirk and spent five years as a POW.
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The title of this movie, The 7th Dawn, is referencing the deadline Ferris is under to save Candace and Dhana. It also has a biblical meaning. At the start of the seventh day, Earth received new guardianship. From this, conflict soon arose. A few on the production staff were against this title due to this implication.
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At the start of the movie, the MPAJA troops, to include Ferris, Dhana, and Ng, are transported to the surrender ceremony in British Army Bedford OY lorries.
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When Karl Tunberg arrived in Paris to show William Holden the script for The 7th Dawn, he found Holden drunk, swinging from atop a massive, iron gate. Holden proclaimed he was finished making movies. Tunberg left seemingly defeated.
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When William Holden traveled to Southeast Asia to do this film, he changed his plans so he would be on the same flight as Indonesian President Sukarno. He thought this flight would be safer. Not two years later, Sukarno was deposed in a coup d'etat.
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In one scene, Dhana is surrounded by her students. They are holding books entitled "Belajar Sambil Bekerja" - learn by doing (working) in Bahasa. This parallels Mao Tse Tung's orders to his men "learn by fighting".
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Some scenes were filmed at Merdeka (Freedom) Studios in Kuala Lumpur. Two years after filming, the studio was acquired by Sir Run Run Shaw of the Shaw Brothers Studio.
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During WWII, Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, started to organize the future insurgency while living and working in the same jungle camp as John Davis, the inspiration for Ferris.
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In the film, Ferris is credited with discovering a hidden, jungle valley during WWII. Freddie Spencer Chapman, the inspiration for Ferris did, in fact, discover a valley that was later used by the Chinese communists as a home base.
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In the scene where Dhana is stopped and arrested, the police are driving a 1951 Thames 10cwt Pick-up .
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In the scene where the squatters' village is burned, a Ford Lynx armoured car can be seen in the background.
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Trumpey's government vehicle is a 1952 Austin Princess 4-litre limousine.
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This is the fourth time a character's nationality was changed to accommodate William Holden. In Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and The World of Suzie Wong, the original characters were British. In The 7th Dawn, Ferris was originally Australian.
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Maurice Denham plays the only male character without a history of military or police service. In fact, Denham is the only actor in the film to have served in combat units for the entirety of WWII, the Buffs and the Royal Artillery.
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Tetsurô Tanba plays Ng, the leader of the Malay Communist Party (CPM) who grew up poor and orphaned in a squatter camp. On the other hand, Tanba was a member of the Japanese aristocracy and his father was the personal physician to Emperor Hirohito.
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Ng and his men all wear caps with three stars and have three stars on their flag. The MPAJA/MRLA was also known as "Bintang Tiga" or, in English, the Three Star army.
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The Australian theatre poster for this film carried a warning - "Not Suitable for Children".
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The Korean theatre poster for this movie shows a photograph of Ferris, Ng, Dhana, and Candace standing in the jungle dressed in fatigues carrying Sten guns. This scene was not in the movie.
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In one scene, a 1951 Ford Consul EOTA is seen parked outside the Proper Paradise Dance Hall in Kuala Lumpur.
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In one scene, a 1952 Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire 346 saloon limousine is seen parked in front of the residence of the High Commissioner for Malaya.
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In the village scene, one of the vehicles used to transport the villagers is a 1948 Commer Superpoise bus.
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The Korean title for this film was "Jo'k Kwa Baek" - "Red and White".
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The beer Ng is drinking in the MRLA camp is Anchor Pilsener brewed in Singapore.
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Certain theatre posters for this film contained an alternate tagline - "MEN...WOMEN...AND WAR STAND NAKED IN THE BLAZE OF THE 7TH DAWN".
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In the film, the British government asks Ferris to go into the jungle and convince Ng to surrender. In reality, after the failure of the Baling peace talks, John Davis, the inspiration for Ferris, was tasked by the British to gain permission from Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, to accompany him back to his jungle camp. His mission was to convince his friend that his cause was hopeless and surrender was the only option. Chin Peng politely refused Davis's request.
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Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, unlike his fictional persona, survived the war and passed away at the age of 88 in Bangkok, Thailand on 16 September 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the creation of Malaysia (Malaysia Day).
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The tagline for this film in Korea was "O' jae ae jo'n u nu'n o nu'l ae jo'k!!" - "Yesterday's brothers-in-arms, today's enemies!!".
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The German title of this film is "Beim siebten Morgengrauen" - "Near the 7th Dawn".
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The song "The Seventh Dawn" is the second time Paul Francis Webster wrote the lyrics for a William Holden movie. The first time was his Academy Award winning song "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" for the same titled film.
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The illustrator for the theatre poster was Howard Terpning, famous for his Native American artwork. Three years after working on "The 7th Dawn" poster, at the request of the USMC, he became a civilian combat artist in South Viet Nam. For one month, he lived with an infantry unit and went out on patrols into the jungle. Six of his paintings now hang in the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
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This film was released on the same day as "Topkapi".
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It is rumoured that the remains of Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, were smuggled into Malaysia and interred at an unknown location.
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In 1953, the MNLA Central Unit was no longer in Malaya as depicted in the film. Due to food shortages, they were forced to relocate to southern Thailand.
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The film's Korean title, "Jo'k Kwa Baek" (Red and White) is a play on words. The Sino-Korean character for "Jo'k" means red, but the Korean hangul characters can also mean enemy. "Baek" means white and is used in combination with "In" (people) to form the Korean word for Caucasians.
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In the film, Ng speaks very good English. Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng, studied English at the Anglo-Chinese Continuation School run by the Methodist Church in Singapore. He left after six months to work for the communist underground.
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The Encyclopedia of British Film lists this film as a joint US/UK production.
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This is the only film produced by Holdean Productions.
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Four people associated with this film were awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBEs) - Lewis Gilbert (CBE), director; Freddie Young, cinematographer; Maurice Denham, "Tarlton"; and Chin Peng, inspiration for Ng and communist/terrorist.
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The inspiration for the character of Ng is Chin Peng, a nom de guerre. His real name was Ong Boon Hua. The surnames Ng and Ong share the same Chinese character in Teochew dialect - meaning "yellow" in English. The Teochew people originated in Guangdong province, but most immigrated to Southeast Asia to include Malaysia.
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At the time this movie is set, the British government had put a $250,000 (Malay dollars) bounty on the head of Chin Peng, the inspiration for Ng. It was never collected.
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This is the third time William Holden has played a Major in films. The other two times are in "The Horse Soldiers" and "Toward the Unknown". In "The Bridge on the River Kwai" he held the artificial rank of "simulated Major".
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This is the second time William Holden and Beulah Quo starred together in a movie. The previous time was 1955's "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing", Beulah Quo's first film.
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At the start of the film, Ferris and the MPAJA are being transported to a parade field by lorries - Bedford OYDs and Bedford QLDs.
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For the bicycle ban protest scene in the Lake Gardens, hundreds of extras were hired. They each were required to bring their own bicycle.
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In Spain, this film was titled "El Séptimo Amanecer", while in Mexico, it was named "La Séptima Aurora". They both mean "The 7th Dawn", but aurora is a feminine noun and amanecer is masculine.
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The Spanish language version of this film is three minutes shorter than the English version.
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In 1976, Lewis Gilbert once again directed Tetsurô Tanba. The film was "Seven Nights in Japan" and Tanba once again portrayed a terrorist leader.
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Lewis Gilbert previously directed Susannah York in 1961's "Loss of Innocence", the story of a young British girl finding love in a foreign land with a much older man.
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In France, this film was titled "La Septième Aube", a direct translation.
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In Italy, this film was called "La Settima Alba" - The Seventh Sunrise. Alba is derived from the Latin Albus meaning white.
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In this film, William Holden plays an Army Major. In 1951's "Submarine Command", he played a Lieutenant Commander, in the Navy, a rank equal to Major.
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John Davis, inspiration for the character Ferris, was close friends at school with Kim Philby, the British MI6 mole who defected to the Soviet Union.
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In 1998, Chin Peng, the inspiration for the character Ng, traveled to London and reconciled with his friend John Davis, the inspiration for the character Ferris. They spent their time together talking about "the good old days" in the jungle fighting the Japanese and avoided discussing politics.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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